"Sons of Anarchy" returns
Its steel-strong performances -- by leads Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal and Ron Perlman, but also by a large cast of utterly believable supporting actors -- make the show relatable even to viewers who've never contemplated biker life. "Sons of Anarchy" does family drama, darkly.
Not surprisingly, the show gets good feedback from its most critical audience -- bikers.
"My experience is that the feedback has been generally very positive," said Kurt Sutter, creator and executive producer, during the Summer TV Tour in Hollywood. "I have friends that are in the life, and I really keep the lines of communication open. I know it’s a drama and we take a lot of liberties with how these guys live their lives, but my experience is that they embrace that.
"They consider it their soap opera, and I do keep the lines of communication so that it remains homage and not exploitation, because I never want to cross that line where they feel like you were exploiting their lives."
Sutter added that he gets handed glossy head shots from potential cast members when he attends biker events. Cast members get similar attention.
"I went to get my daughter her driver’s license," Sagal said. "I was at the DMV and (a) guy asked me to sign his parole card, the back of his parole officer’s card. He said he’d watched us in prison and he was really excited to meet me.
"(There was) also that story where a guy had Charlie and I both write our names on him, and he walked away and came back 15 minutes later and had them tattooed, these huge names, on his body. It was kind of interesting."