SHOW: Sons of Anarchy
PREMIERES: Season Three starts on 5USA on Wednesday, July 20.
AIRS: Wednesdays at 10pm.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Sons of Anarchy might not be a household name, but some of the most trusted critics (like yours truly) in the business adore it. This tough-as-nails drama isn't shy about anything--just like its creator Kurt Sutter (The Shield). The violence is mega, the drama is thick, and the acting is slicker than oil (Katey Sagal was robbed of an Emmy nomination). It's rightfully compared to Shakespeare's Hamlet, with its power plays and character turns, only it leaves out all ye olde timey words and replaces them with car-mechanic profanity. And if you have a thing for burly men, you won't be disappointed.
WHY YOU MIGHT HATE IT: Sons is a manly man's show. If you prefer things a bit lighter, stay as far away as you can because this is one of the most violent shows on TV at the moment. Also, justice isn't always served, as was evident in the last season ender when the season's big villain walked away scot free. Might I suggest Hannah Montana instead?
THE PREMISE: The SAMCRO Motorcycle Club wants to run things in the Northern California town of Charming. Well, the guns and drug trade specifically. Jax (Brit Charlie Hunnam who disappears into his character) is a young upstart at SAMCRO and the closest thing to a biker with a heart of gold the club has. Jax's dad, a former SAMCRO leader, believed the club was straying from its responsibilities and was now in the hands of a thug, Clay (Ron Perlman). Jax's mom Gemma (Sagal) serves as the club's matriarch and remarried Clay, causing one heck of a uncomfortable family dynamic (and the series' best storyline) as Jax attempts to wrestle SAMCRO away from his stepdad. The cops and the Feds are both keeping a close eye on SAMCRO, and sometimes even work with them because SAMCRO is the lesser of a handful of evils that includes all sorts of rival gangs.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Season Two ended with Jax screaming on a dock as an Irish gang member boated away with his new baby. Gemma was fleeing town with the Chief of Police after being framed for murder... by FBI Agent Stahl. And Half Sack died. :( Actually a lot of people died and will continue to die, so don't go getting attached to them.
CATCH UP ON YOUR OWN: The first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy are available on DVD.