Re: sons of anarchy-sopranos ripoff?

It's not really a ripoff, but obviously it would never exist without The Sopranos. one thing you really need to understand is that Sopranos set the standard for serial dramas from the turn of the millenium onward. almost every television drama is derivative of it in some way. SoA, honestly, is not so much outside of the fact that it follows a gang of criminals. The Sopranos is a series that has a more stable basis around the one character, Tony Soprano, and his balance of family and criminal life. SoA has a couple central characters who are more like TV hero and villain archetypes than real people. also the styles are completely different. Sopranos had more of a deliberate, cinematic approach, while SoA is a fast-moving handheld gangster show.
Taps, lights out, 2200 hours. What's missing? Give up? Television.

Re: sons of anarchy-sopranos ripoff?

I've not watched nearly enough of the Shield to say it with any certainty, but I always saw SoA as more akin to that than the Sopranos. I mean, sure, it's about a criminal organization and that organization is glorified to a certain extent (way more so in SoA than Sopranos, I think), but that's really where I'd say the comparisons end.

The first three seasons were really impressive, very tense and gripping--I went through them in probably 4 or 5 days. The relationship between Jax and Clay has always had so much potential for a big-time pay-off, but I didn't agree with the 4th season. I thought a lot of the action was forced; almost every episode ended with at least one character dying in some contrived hail of bullets. I honestly didn't think I would watch season 5 after suffering through 14 episodes of exchanging nasty glances, followed by a shootout or fist fight (with gratuitous use of the words 'pussy' and 'cocksucker'--I mean, I know it's TV-MA, but c'mon, FX--throughout). Season 5, however, was a completely different beast, much more like the earlier seasons, when the stakes were sky-high each episode and each character that got whacked had more than a perfunctory 2 or 3 lines. After loathing Clay almost as much as any fictional character, he became the most sympathetic one of the bunch: a poor pathetic guy, no wife, no club, hands so bad he can't even ride his bike. I think Pearlman's portrayal of Clay was one of the most compelling characters to watch from the Fall viewing season.
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