“Sons of Anarchy” season 6 premiere may conjure up some backlash after it airs on Tuesday night. The opening scene of “Sons of Anarchy” newest season has a boy about 12, taking a high-caliber semiautomatic out of his backpack in a calm manner and walking into a school opening fire.
According to Newsday on Sept. 6, the creator Kurt Sutter, says that all of the scenes out of “Sons” have a purpose, this one is going to go a long way with Jax and his conscience once it is found out the gun leads back to the SAMCRO club.
The violent scene doesn’t show any of the carnage, you don’t see kids getting shot, but the sound effects are there. You can also hear a teacher screaming “Oh my God.” “Kids are killed” as the gunfire riddles the school. The bursts of light from the flash of the gunshots are seen through the windows of the school, but as far as seeing any children shot or bodies in the aftermath, Sutter left that out.
When Jax finds out the gun this kid used originated from SAMCRO this pulls at everything he’s every stood for as far as being a father to his boys. Finding out about the club’s involvement with the gun, is an important part of the season opener.
With the Newtown, Connecticut shooting of all those children still fresh in the mind of the nation, this scene might cost the “Sons” some backlash. It seems like across the board TV shows have stayed away from school shootings in all the programing coming off the little screen.
Newsday suggests that since the Newtown shootings, there’s been something that resembles a self-imposed embargo of this subject when it comes to TV shows. They suggest that up until Tuesday night’s “Sons” premiere, “TV has mostly pretended nothing ever happened.”
Now “Sons of Anarchy” is breaking that unofficial embargo and going where no one has since the Connecticut shootings on December 12, 2012.
Sutter says about his choice for the violence in the school for the season opener:
"There is a lot of blood and guts in my show, [but] nothing is done gratuitously."
Sutter gives this scene to the viewers to set Jax up with some deep thoughts about being a father while holding the job as the leader for "Sons of Anarchy." Newsday suggests that this sets the scene for Jax to basically wrestle with the question: "Can he be a good father to his kids yet also a murdering thug?"
Blood and violence is an important part of making the SAMCRO club look, feel and sound realistic and it's always been a part of the show since its first aired. Newsday gives the premiere of season 6 the grade of B+ and suggests it's for fans of the show only. "Everyone else, proceed with caution, or avoid."
Most fans of the show would agree with Newsday's take on the writing, it is excellent and the acting is some of the best on TV today, but they refer to the show's violence as "appalling." Yes, it does take your breath away and can churn even the stomachs made of steel out there, but it is not a made-up violence, it is something that exists in society.
Sutter is taking a select group of people, the motorcycle gang of SAMCRO, and bringing the very real behaviors to the screen. These behaviors do exist inside some of the real-life clubs out there. As far as the violence goes, it's not that much different than the HBO series the "Sopranos" that took the ratings by storm. "Sopranos" had cut up a guy in a bathtub, put another through a meat grinder and this list goes on.
Very much like the "Sopranos," the "Sons of Anarchy" offers you characters that you can actually like, even though they are doing things that are just legally and morally wrong. Because some of the most violent behavior is demonstrated by the characters you've come to care about, it leaves the viewer feeling a bit of the cognitive dissonance that is felt by the characters on the show, like Jax and Tara.
This is what makes this show so good, it pulls you in. There's a very fine line between the good guy and the murdering thug and frequently that line is blurred. The show goes a step above entertainment as it gets the viewer wrestling with their own morals after what they've just witnessed.
How can you like this guy after you just watched him doing something so awful? This is a question that many viewers have wrestled with at certain points through the seasons. The writers have done an excellent job at showing how people can have some really good qualities, but are capable of doing some awful things. Again, it offers more than just entertainment!
"Sons of Anarchy" season 6 premiere airs Tuesday night, September 10, at 10 p.m. on FX.