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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > TV > Sons Of Anarchy – Season One (2008/Fox Blu-ray)

Sons Of Anarchy – Season One (2008/Fox Blu-ray)


Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B+



FX Network manages to once again deliver another stellar series with Sons of Anarchy: Season One.   The series is everything a television show should be as it is creative, captivating, edgy, well cast, and visually stunning.  For a series that is slyly concealed under a thick layer of grit and grime manages to be oddly graceful  as it tells the tale of a motorcycle gang (or “club”) that lives by their own rules to survive in the chaotic world that has been thrust upon them.  FX has for a long while now housed some of the greatest television series to ever be on TV.


Clever, clever, clever!  With a cast like Ron Pearlman, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff and many more brilliant talents how could you go wrong?  It seems just as one great series ends on FX there is another to fill its place.  In 2008, Sons of Anarchy seemed to spring up out of no where to offer television viewers a series like they have never seen before.  It was dark, edgy, and above all else extremely entertaining.  In Charming, California Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club reigns supreme and they are a force to reckon with.  Ron Pearlman is amazing as Clay Morrow the club’s (gang’s) president, but his wife Gemma (Katey Sagal) is seemingly even more powerful; not surprisingly as she is the club’s founding member’s widow.  Clay and Gemma run a legitimate auto shop and do their best to keep the small California town the same way; legitimate and always within their grasp.  The only problem with trying to be legitimate is that the rest of the world doesn’t always see eye to eye with your dreams.  The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, in order to maintain power and the status-quo, takes part in “less than legal” activities as they run an illegal gun-sales ring that gives them adequate funds to preserve their lifestyle and grease the palms of slimy politicians.  The club seems to be an ever changing entity as it is pulled in a million directions at any given time.  Whereas the rest of the club sees their sketchy activities as essential to survival, Gemma’s son Jackson “Jax” Teller (played by the brilliant Charlie Hunnam) wishes to depart from the dark path his brethren have taken.  As Jax looks to take the higher road, it looks as though everyone else looks to stand in his way.  If bikers, police chiefs and ATF Agents weren’t enough to stop Jax; there always seems to be one more problem on the horizon, each more dangerous than the last.


The series is wonderfully delivered, rivaling the even the best HBO or Showtime series.  With an astonishing cast, an unbelievable crew of writers who deliver again and again and an uncanny ability to make even the scum of the earth seem captivating Sons of Anarchy will be any viewers’ new guilty pleasure.  So put on your helmet and kick it into gear as Sons of Anarchy: Season One will deliver an experience unlike any other; with each passing episode you will be pulled even deeper into the odd and alluring evils that is this brilliant series.


Sons of Anarchy: Season One has an amazing technical presentation as the picture and sound are superb.  The picture on this Blu-ray is presented in a 1080p 1.78 X 1 AVC @ 23 MBPS transfer that is well done in every way.  The series is shot in High Definition, which gives it a running start on its DVD/Blu-ray competitors.  The image fantastically pops off the screen with outstanding flesh tones, vivid and bold colors, solid blacks and an overall quality that smoothly frames and details the image with ease.  No flaw or skin imperfection escapes the Blu-ray transfer; if a character has a pimple you will see it here.  With all this praise there are also some imperfections that should be noted.  The image does at time have compression issues as well as a degree of digital noise with the occasional pixilation issue; it is far from distracting, but is clearly noticeable from time to time throughout the season.  Overall, the image is not perfect but can be called one of the better TV on Blu-rays that has been released to date.  The sound is presented in a Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround Sound track that embodies each and every episode.  Whereas in most television releases the dialogue will come solely from the front Sons of Anarchy: Season One manages to shine as it uses a more diverse speaker range to place the viewer in the midst of the action.  The bass booms and rumbles as the motorcycles speed by and the soundtrack engulfs each scene with its creative and captivating use of hard rock.  Ambient noises are heard throughout as no sound is too small for this DTS track to pick up; it is as if you are right there with the gang.  Overall, it is a great soundtrack.


The extras include a lineup of diverse features that viewers more than happily to dive into.  The bonus features include Audio Commentaries, a featurette entitled “The Making of Sons of Anarchy: Season One,” a second featurette entitled “The Ink” that explores the creation of the fictional club and the design process behind their many tattoos, a third featurette entitled “The Bikes” that as the title suggests gives the viewer an upfront look at the series Harleys’ and their special modifications, a fourth featurette that gives a detailed account (as well as some audition tapes) of the series characters and the actors that were chosen to portray them in “Casting of Sons of Anarchy,” a hilarious Gag Reel, and finally some Deleted Scenes that are nice to see, but do not add much to the experience.


I would never want to be part of a club that wouldn’t have me as a member, but Sons of Anarchy: Season One is just too good to pass up (especially on Blu-ray).  As one of the best series on television today Sons of Anarchy once again proves that FX Network is no stranger to astounding viewers with unique brand of creativity and quality.  Like the brotherhood be ready to live, ride and die for this series.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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