Now rolls in the next gritty FX drama following in the tracks of such acclaimed series as “The Shield” and “Rescue Me.”
“Sons of Anarchy,” debuting at 10 tonight, is a heartwarming family drama about … a motorcycle club.
Subtitled “Men of Mayhem,” the series focuses on the members of Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original — SAMCRO for short — and those in their orbit. SAMCRO runs the quaint town of Charming, Calif., with a legitimate automotive shop and a not-so-legitimate gunrunning operation. Local law enforcement is largely in the club’s pocket.
Heading up the club is president Clay Morrow (played by Ron Perlman, “Hellboy”), who is the second husband of Gemma Teller Morrow (Katey Sagal, “Married With Children”). Gemma is the mother of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), SAMCRO’s heir apparent.
Clay and Jax are surrounded by explosives expert Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Jr.), muscle Tig Trager (Kim Coates) and Chibs Telford (Tommy Flanagan), recruit Kip “Half-Sack” Epps (Johnny Lewis) and intelligence officer Juice Ortiz (Theo Rossi).
The club finds its familial way of life threatened, however. There are drug dealers wanting to move in, including the white-supremacist Nords gang, led by Ernest Darby (Mitch Pileggi), and the Latino Mayans. The new face of law enforcement is Deputy Chief David Hale (Tayler Sheridan), who wants to lessen SAMCRO’s impact on Charming and open the town to corporate development.
There’s turmoil within as well. Jax has just become father to a baby boy, born prematurely to his junkie ex-wife, Wendy (Drea de Matteo). He has a growing attachment to his high school sweetheart Tara (Maggie Siff), who has returned to Charming as a resident in pediatrics. Jax has also come into possession of journals filled with the philosophy of his late father, a SAMCRO founder killed in a traffic accident, and has come to question the club’s way of doing business.
Jax’s best friend, Opie (Ryan Hurst), has just come out of prison and is trying to go straight, largely at the insistence of his wife, Donna (Sprague Grayden), but the SAMCRO life is exerting a mighty pull on him.
The brainchild of Kurt Sutter, a longtime writer and producer on “The Shield,” “Sons of Anarchy” promises to be the next great series from FX.