Sons of Anarchy Early Review: "Fun Town"

*Mild Spoilers Included!*

Sons of Anarchy promised to be shocking, down and dirty, and dramatic... and well, it is. Almost to the point of an overload, though perhaps this just means it's an excellent, edgy drama.

I haven't kept up with FX's The Shield, but I believe most of The Shield's success has been around the extreme, sometimes violent, disturbing, and majorly lacking moral fiber portrayal of corrupt police life.

Since Sons of Anarchy comes from The Shield's executive producer, Kurt Sutter, it seems pretty undeniable that SOA is looking to follow suit as a shocking, thrilling, and often disturbing drama.

And in this, it's showing to be very successful, though I'm honestly not sure how much the average viewer can handle weekly.

SideReel received an early copy of episodes 3-5, so I've been taking a look at these episodes and in Episode 3, "Fun Town" which airs tonight, I found Sons of Anarchy is just getting better and better as we go, but also digging deeper into the shocking and disturbing aspect.

At the end of our last SOA episode, we got some insight into how the motorcycle club is a family who love and support each other, even though this does often include violence.

And this week, "Fun Town" opens with a similar spirit as the club stops by the carnival in town for a little family fun, including Clay and Gemma's trip to the photo booth turned naughty.

So all fun and games, but not for long when a local young girl is raped at the carnival. Of course, in Charming, under-ground gun dealing is cool, but a rape is entirely unacceptable... well, actually, I'm okay with that. The SOA know exactly what they're into and do it willingly... rape of an innocent 13-year-old girl is a far, far different story.

But with the SOA in town, or rather, in a battle for power of the town with the cops, the father of the girl goes to Clay Morrow to find his daughter's rapist, so the episode turns into the SOA vs. the police - the SOA on the warpath to bring "true" justice to the rapist, and the cops looking to beat the SOA to this guy to bring the guy to justice via trial and "just" law.

Now, all of this in general is disturbing as rape, yes, is an incredibly unfortunate and sick reality of life and not something never done on TV shows, but the way in which justice is sought out and served, well, that... is left for you to see, but all of us to be probably a bit bothered by.

The interesting aspect of Sons of Anarchy, as I'm sure is the same for The Shield, is viewers are on the main characters' side, yet don't really agree with what they're doing or who they are at all.

Yes, I agree the justice system doesn't really bring proper justice to criminals especially in these truly awful cases, but what can we think of the town tough guys personally seeking out criminals and choosing their own justice? And on top of that, the father of the girl has certain influences in the town, so Clay's motivation goes beyond bringing "justice" to bringing himself and the SOA some benefits as well from helping this guy out.

In general, this was a great episode, and I have to say I'm getting more pulled into this show as it truly is unique and completely fascinating. But at the same time, I'm afraid for those of us with weaker stomachs - if things continue to get more gruesome and intense, this may just be the horrible car accident we just don't want to rubberneck at any longer.

So, check out "Fun Town" tonight on FX at 10/9c and let me know what you think! Is SOA the next big drama for "going there," or could it be too much?

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Default avatar cat

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Sep 18, 2008 5:25AM EDT

Yeah the punishment for raping the 13 year old girl was disturbing to say the least. What I loved was that not everyone was okay with the punishment, Jax spoke out, I think that was done to show that they all still have a thread morality.

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Sep 18, 2008 2:28PM EDT

I liked it a lot, speacially the fact that Jax seem to develop into the moral conscience of the club, reading his fathers thoughts on how he wanted the club to turn out...
Sure the punishment for the rapist was pretty heavy, but we might have seen worse in a series like 24 or even Prison Break already.
I don´t care if this series really portrays the real life and struggles of a motorcycle gang, as long as its done smart, with good stories and has a cast that works. I think so far the 3 episosdes have been excellent and I am planning on staying.

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Sep 19, 2008 1:12PM EDT

The punishment should be disturbing. The sad fact I have come to find is most people who rape young girls never get caught. The girls a lot of the time think it is their fault or are too ashamed to say anything for years. A lot of times alcohol is involved, but a grown man should know better than to do that with a 13 or younger girl. If there were people out there willing to do this, these guys might think twice. I have people I love and care about have been raped when they were that age or younger and the person never punished. Too bad life doesnt imitate art in this case.

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