BLU-RAY REVIEW: Sons of Anarchy - Season Two
SAMCRO hits home video once again with more anger, action, and drama...
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If you're not watching FX's original series Sons of Anarchy, you're missing out on what many have called the best show on TV today.
Filled with action, drama, black comedy, suspense, and some of the most disturbing, twisted plot lines on TV, Sons of Anarchy is one of the most intense, emotionally-invested, well-acted and well-written TV series I've ever seen...and I've watched a lot of TV.
After the first season introduced viewers to the Sons of Anarchy outlaw motorcycle club and the fictitious town of Charming, California, it was only natural for those viewers like myself to fall in love with the many different types of townsfolk in this charming little burb. Soon, FX discovered producer Kurt Sutter had a hit on his hands and it's been a rip-roaring ride since.
The first season, which included 13 episodes, introduced viewers to the club, the characters, the bikes, the locales, and more. Of course, after we all fell in love with the characters in the first season, it's only natural that the producers - in the second season - do what any good creative team does and destroys everything that we as viewers had started to love and care for in the show. And I mean this in the best way possible...
While I won't ruin any major plot points, the second season starts with white supremacists entering Charming and committing one of the most shocking crimes against the club possible. This begins a chain of events which sees murder, kidnap, rape, and betrayal the likes of which haven't been seen on TV in this amount before. The entire 13 episodes of season two lead fan-favorite characters on a path of destruction and mayhem the likes of which could only be seen in a series like Sons of Anarchy...after all, the title has "anarchy" in it!
Of course fan-favorite actors return to play fan-favorite characters as Charlie Hunnam returns as Jax, the main character and protagonist of the series, Ron Perlman returns as club president Clarence 'Clay' Morrow, and Katey Sagal returns as Jax's mother and Clay's wife, Gemma Teller Morrow. Other actors returning include Kim Coates as Alex 'Tig' Trager (a standout from Season One who really shines), Tommy Flanagan as Filip 'Chibs' Telford (who finally gets his time in the limelight in Season Two), Ryan Hurst as Harry 'Opie' Winston, and more. As an added bonus, Season Two sees rocker Henry Rollins join the cast as - you guessed it - white supremacist muscleman AJ Weston. Good stuff all around!
The second season Blu-ray 3-disc set brings the impressive series to home video with a beautiful, crystal clear hi-def picture and impressive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The picture is crisp, clean and easy to watch while the sounds are well managed and easy to hear, be they the well-matched theme music, the softest whisper, or the loudest gunshot.
This set also delivers a number of worthwhile special features, including three commentaries on specific episodes, 13 deleted scenes, a gag reel (that'll have fans laughing out loud) and a "The Moral Code of Sons of Anarchy" featurette which shows how vets returning from war formed the original biker clubs and more. Finally, a 40 minute "Sons of Anarchy Roundtable" includes producer Sutter and 11 actors addressing everything from acting and individual characters to the plot and themes.
It's no real secret the series is roughly based on Shakespeare's classic tragedy Hamlet. So it's to be expect that bad things happen...over and over again. The third season of Sons of Anarchy debuted last night and, for those who've seen Season Two, while it might not seem like things can get any worse, no doubt Sutter and his crew of misfits will somehow make it happen...and we'll no doubt enjoy watching every last minute of it...
Sons of Anarchy: Season Two is available now on DVD and Blu-ray wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley