November 13, 2014
For the most part, I find television to be a waste of time. It impairs time to be productive in writing, physical training, chores, contemplation, etc. But I have to admit that I have been addicted to two shows over the last year, Mad Men (AMC) and Sons of Anarchy (FX).
I am a new comer to both shows, but I watched through both series in the last 16 months (thank you Apple TV). Both shows fascinated me, in that the lead roles are both very masculine men who are politically incorrect by today’s entertainment character standard.
Don Draper of Mad Men is a very complex, but very much in charge man. Flawed, with deep, dark secrets he rules his office with competence and an odd mix of caring hardness. He is not faithful to two wives but seems to sincerely want to be. The show chronicles the goings on around an advertising agency in a sprawling view of the 60s, complete with the style changes. The show is a well spring of very good business wisdom. A man would do well to study the Don Draper character. His stoic and hard working no nonsense approach to business is right on. Also, the character is bold and to the point.
Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnum) is almost lifted from the pages of a romance novel. A man who can be very violent and yet has a heart of gold. It is implied that he has so many women that he is advised in the first episode to purchase contraceptives by the case by a check out girl, and yet he becomes madly in love with a surgeon and is sacrificially faithful to her. For those not familiar, the setting is an international biker club (SOA) that is involved with the IRA, Mexican Cartel, street gangs and Middle East gun traders.
The romance pablum not withstanding, the characters in the show exhibit traditional male bonding in ways that have become almost extinct in modern popular culture as well as in the widespread culture. The loyalty and willingness to take care of business, no matter how difficult, is refreshing, even if it is shown in a criminal light. Jax’s mother, Gemma (played by Katie Sagal, remember Peg Bundy) is a fascinating mother and her interaction with her son is very entertaining.
Both shows are coming into their final seasons, with Sons winding down over the next few weeks.
Interesting, that women are a large part of these shows’ audience. The masculine character still has its pull, despite modern culture ramming Mr. Sensitive down our throats.
I think both shows are worth a watching, though perhaps without the young ones as they both have plenty of sexual scenes and SOA a boatload of violence as well.