Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sons of Anarchy – Season 4 not what I had hoped … *updated* …

What a great series! Very raw in that “Breaking Bad” way … it all feels very real. Those moments near and at the end of season 3 when all the duplicitous people get their comeuppance are almost orgasmic in TV terms :-)

But season 4 has become a profound disappointment for me by episode 5 … all the good guys involved in duplicitous behavior against one another and every time something can go right, the writers twist it the wrong way. I realize that this is the point of the season and that they are going to resolve it later to our satisfaction (mostly) … but is it ever getting tiresome. For the first time in the entire series, I did not feel like immediately watching the next episode.

Update: Season 4 redeems itself towards the end, although it does it with a classic Deus ex machina. It was so blatant that it felt a bit like a violation of the filmmaking rule “you can get your characters in trouble with a coincidence but you cannot get them out of trouble that way.” Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but sheesh …

What it did, though, was to set up a rockin’ and rollin’ season 5, which truly blew my mind.

And one more thing … many people say that season 4 is the big one. The tour de force. I get that from the perspective of twisting the characters up into knots and having the intra-MC intrigue at breathtaking levels. But frankly, I found it way too much … every time there was a chance to redeem a character, they managed to fail and there were so many moments when something tweaked just the wrong way (again, smelling a lot like a bad coincidence) and things continued going south. You are supposed to give your audience a chance to breathe before it turns to sh-t again, but they really didn’t do much of that.

So I am a much bigger fan of seasons 3 and 5 (and of course 1 and 2.) But … as a whole, the series is staggeringly good. The acting, the story, the brutality … excellent filmmaking.