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The "Son's of Anarchy" TV show is one of the most successful to have appeared on the FX network with the highest viewing figures the network had ever known to that time. The show was created by Kurt Sutter, who acted as showrunner, writer, director, and producer over the course of its seven seasons and 92 episodes.
The main focus of "Sons of Anarchy" is on the protagonist, Jackson "Jax" Teller who begins the pilot episode in a convenience store buying cigarettes and condoms. Jax is also looking at a children's book which the clerk slips into his bag when he is not looking. Jax is distracted by a fire breaking out in a nearby warehouse which he knows is a storage facility for local gun runners in the town of Charming.
The warehouse has been robbed by a Mexican_american biker gang, the Mayans, who are the main rivals to Jax own gang, the "Sons of Anarchy." The Mayans set fire to the warehouse after robbing it but did not know the basement was home to two women who were killed in the blaze. Jax meets with members of his gang and explains to them the problems the Mayans have caused and believes they must act soon to bring an end to the issues they are facing. Despite the problems caused by the Mayans, Jax believes the time has come for the gang to exit the gun running business as the number of rival gangs involved in similar activities is making it difficult for them to make any money. One of Jax's deputies, Clay explains the guns were already paid for by a local drug dealer who is expecting his shipment of weapons to protect the heroin shipment moving into Charming in the coming days.
Jax is later called to the hospital where his estranged wife, Wendy who he has left despite her being pregnant with his child because of her methamphetamine addiction. After Wendy is found unconscious in her home, Jax is called to the hospital where he is told the baby has a number of defects and will be born by C-section ten weeks prematurely. Distraught at the potential loss of his son after he is given just a 20 percent chance of survival by doctors, Jax leaves the hospital without knowing whether his child, Abel lived or died.
Eventually, Jax visits Wendy and is told she faces fetal abuse charges which will come into effect when she is released from the hospital. Wendy is scared her stash of drugs at her home will lead to the police sending her to jail and taking away her son. Jax agrees to clean her apartment and dispose of any drugs he finds but finds his mother has already made her way to Wendy's home to complete these tasks.
As the gun running part of the work of the "Sons of Anarchy" is under threat from the new direction being explored by Jax, Clay is unhappy and fears he will lose his livelihood if the warehouse is not rebuilt. Clay's wife begins to question the motives of Jax and tells her husband he must fight to keep the gang at the top of those operating in Charming. The Battle with the Mayans seems to only be one the "Sons of Anarchy" are facing in the coming days as the release of a white supremacist from jail provides more problems. The Nordics are a gang of drug dealers headed by Ernest Darby who the "Sons of Anarchy" fear will flood Charming with methamphetamine if they are given the slightest chance to enter the city. Jax is determined to change the ways of the gang despite the battles he is facing at many different levels and his personal problems.
Showrunner Karl Sutter has been working in TV since the early 21st-century after achieving his MFA in Performance and Directing from Northern Illinois University in 1997. Sutter drew his first acclaim for writing episodes of the FX drama, "The Shield," and going on to become an important figure in the development of the show. By the fourth season of "The Shield," Sutter had become a supervising producer and would executive produce season six.
English actor, Charlie Hunnam moved from the role of character actor to leading man with his performance in "Sons of Anarchy." Hunnam had been acting in various TV and film productions throughout the 21st-century including "Nicholas Nickleby" in 2002 and the U.K. version of "Queer as Folk." Since appearing in "Sons of Anarchy" as Jax, Hunnam has moved into film work with a lead role in the Guy Ritchie directed, "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword."
Kurt Sutter's wife, Katey Sagal appears in the show as Jax's mother Gemma, a role which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2011. Sagal comes from a Hollywood family and found her first breaks in acting in the mid-1980s when she won a role on the show, "Mary" starring Mary Tyler Moore. Before "Sons of Anarchy," Sagal had appeared largely in U.S. sitcoms and found her most famous role of Peggy Bundy in "Married... With Children" after impressing the producers by arriving dressed as the character complete with red wig to her audition.
Kurt Sutter took on many roles with "Sons of Anarchy" including those of writer, director, and showrunner. The show was filmed in Northern California with a large number of sets created at the Occidental Studios site. BY season two, the show had taken on an international flavor with storylines taking the characters to Northern Ireland. Despite the importance of the nation of Northern Ireland to the show, only a second unit was dispatched to the region to produce exterior shots for the show. Kurt Sutter directs the majority of shows and used his time on "The Shield" to create a group of trusted directors, including Stephen Kay and Billy Gierhart. Seven seasons of "Sons of Anarchy" were produced between 2008 and 2014 with the show bringing the story of the "Sons of Anarchy" to a close with the series finale written and directed by Sutter himself.
The opening season of "Sons of Anarchy" drew positive reviews from professional critics and resulted in an average score of 68 on Metacritic. The majority of professional critics praised the work of Katey Segal on the show and hoped the show would continue to grow in forthcoming seasons. Season two saw a jump in the success of the show in terms of critical response and the average number of viewers with an increase of more than 1.5 million to 3.67 million.
Over the course of the initial run of "Sons of Anarchy" a number of spinoffs and prequels were mooted, including one detailing the birth of the gang during the Vietnam War. None of these came to fruition apart from a comic book and novel series. Eventually, a spinoff was created focusing on the Mexican-American gang, the Mayans called "Mayans M.C." which debuted in 2018 on FX.
As with most shows, "Sons of Anarchy" went through a number of cast changes before finally making it to the screen. However, Katey Sagal was always the first choice of her husband, Kurt Sutter to play the part of Gemma, but the actress worried the role would prove too much for many of her fans who had come to see her as a popular sitcom star. Appearing as the National President of the "Sons of Anarchy" seems to have rubbed off on Ron Perlman after he decided to run for U.S. President in 2020 before dropping out in 2019 to endorse Kamala Harris.