Sons of Anarchy Cast and Dysfunctional Families...

I have been laid up for a few days and have sunk into watching Sons of Anarchy. This is by far the best TV Series that I have watched to date and I highly recommend it. I watched the whole 3 series that was available to me on Netflix over the last 3 days. I started watching the series on Tuesday morning and by Wed. morning at 9:00AM I was still watching and glued to the screen like I was watching the first episode. I relate to this show on many different levels. It was a "God Shot" for me and what I am dealing with right now in my life with my Grandmother committing suicide and a lot of loss etc... I kept thinking when I was watching the end of each season and seeing the end credits the Sutter Ink logo would pop up and I thought to myself that's interesting... A lot of you know I have been into the tattoo industry and culture for a while and my art is all about that - I also have been sober for a while now and I found out tonight that the writer of the series (Kurt Sutter) is possibly a friend of Bill W. too. That is probably another reason why I related to the movie in such a large way, it makes more sense now. It was like he was writing the story of my life in a lot of ways. I will outline below how this television series has affected my life and given me points to ponder about my own life and family. 
My Personal Dysfunctional Family:  Well let’s see I had a Mom that was and is a hippy from the 60s. She told me cool family stories about cutting school and going to the Huntington Beach pier to go surfing with her friends and some celebrities of the day back then. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is the main caricature of the movie and his relationship with his Mom (Gem) is very similar to my relationship with my own mother. We have had a very interesting relationship in that my Mom and Grandmother raised me and they were both very manipulating, loving ladies. My family was a lot like a biker gang or at least when I was 13 years old and started using drugs and alcohol. I remember taking my first shot of Wild Turkey in the front yard with my Mom and her work friends. The burn of that whisky was good to me from day one. Yes, it tasted like shit but it made me feel "normal" and gave me the relief that every addict talks about. I soon got used to the taste and found it very good with a Camel Cigarette. 

I got drunk for my first time on Bartle’s and James and California Coolers, remember I am 40 fucken years old so this was in say 1982ish. I had just received a pool table delivered to the house that morning for my Birthday. My parents bought it for me. We had a lot of fun around that thing and drank and used a lot. Anyway the first night my Moms friend Paula brought me these wine coolers and I snuck some cigs and played pool for hours. I of course got sick and about 2-3 in the morning my Dad woke up and gave me a tall can of Coors to drink fast so that it would take away the hangover. It worked and this was the start of a very drug/drink filled 12+ years for me. My parents didn't mind if I used stuff when I was young and gave me too much freedom as a child. I think a lot of it was my Mom and her addictive/free spirit nature.  I remember my Dad saying and fighting with my Mom a couple of times "you shouldn't let her in the room with the door shut". Ya it is a miracle I didn't get anyone pregnant! My Mom used to say well of you do get her pregnant I would love to raise the child for you anyway. It was almost like she wanted me to get them pregnant so she could get a another child. My Mom is an addict and I guess that is where I get it from. I know now this is not appropriate parenting and that it was not cool. I have to say though I had some real fun and don't regret my childhood; it allowed me to get to a place of desperation much sooner than I think I would have by taking my addiction at a slower pace. I am not feeling sorry for myself just stating some of the dysfunction like every family has. I love my Mom and know that she did the nest she could and I consider my childhood with her very good. My mom loved me a lot and showed me that and I am grateful for. BUT SHE WAS AND IS A SICK person and when you grow up and start to live your own life you have to start looking at your programming growing up. I am looking at it now and am finding out some stuff I would like to change about myself. 

Anyway, Jax in the movie and Gema had a weird relationship. Looking at it on screen and then thinking about my own family (Mom and Grandmother). My Mom was the glue that held the family together and when she got diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer about 15+ years ago and started to take heavy drugs my family exploded into little pieces and I am trying to figure out where I stand in all of this now and what my next family is going to be like or if I will have another one. I have learned that you can't count on "people" be it your own blood or your friends. The only person you can really trust and rely on 100% is God himself and your own personal relationship with him. That is just my opinion at this point in my life. 

The series shows this "Biker Family" this family was in a lot of ways like a lot of regular families and has the same complexities and dysfunctions. I think that is why these kinds of films like the Sopranos or any family related movie is so interesting to me and others. We can relate on some level to the dysfunction and it allows you to say OK, I am not the only one with that shit that happened. I have always believed that the Woman is more powerful in a family setting than the man in a lot of ways.  They turn the head of the ship and Gema in the series really was the glue and she turned the head of the ship in the direction that she wanted and they needed to go in. It is a good display of the positive and negative manipulation that a strong woman can have on a group of men. She would wait till the perfect moment to tell the group something that they needed to hear that would switch things. She would spin her lies and play the family like a fine tuned instrument. My Mom and Grandmother did that with my family and the men in it. I watched this first hand and that is why I guess I relate to this part a lot. 

As part of my grieving process my counselor has stated that it is best to stay in the moment of what I feel when I think of my Grandmother taking the gun to her chest just before she pulled the trigger to kill herself. I have been able to just try to be in the moment of sadness but have not yet been able to think of her in her wheelchair with the gun yet and play that tape though. Even writing this my mind goes somewhere else and I will end that part now as it just gets too hard and disturbing for me. I have learned something about grief and the process in the last few weeks and that is it is fucken exhausting! It is weird how emotions can have such an impact on your physical and emotional health and energy. Just trying to stay in the depression is extremely exhausting for me right now. I find that I can only get the minimal done and then I want to sleep and rest my brain as it and my body are tired. 

I am allowing myself to smoke right now (a couple cigars a day) Not a great choice but one that I need to go inside of myself and start to deal with this shit right now. See the only way I can feel close to my Mom and Grandmother is to smoke. The counselor asked me what would you be doing right now if your Grandmother was sitting in that chair? I told her the only way I can look at her or imagine her there is to smoke. I know it sounds fucken CRAZY but it is the truth for me right now. I will allow myself to continue this grieving process and I will allow myself to smoke even though it hurts me to deal with some of this shit right now. I am allowing it because I want to number one and number two I miss my family. Ok maybe number one is number two I don't know but I need a smoke right now. I will not say to myself that I will smoke for ever just for now I am allowing it. My Mother and Grandmother and Darlene a close family friend all smoked heavily. I just learned after my screaming match with Mom last week that Darlene had recently passed away from CPD (smoking). She smoked 3 packs of Winston's a day for a long fucken time. I loved her very much and you can add her to the list to grieve this week... Not fun stuff. Anyway, I remember my Mom and Grandmother saying to me when I tried to quite one of the thousands of times I have tried. Please smoke we like you so much better. Actually it was after I was diagnosed with first stages of emphysema about 8 years ago. They could be very mean and selfish woman and they could be very loving as well. I could understand though too I was an asshole every time I quite. Just like Gema in the series, she was a loving Mother there was no question about that and the family was all about love but in a fucked up way. I guess in the end it is just people doing the best we can do.        

Kurt Sutter

Charlie Hunnam

Sons of Anarchy Music
You can get the music at Amazon

Cast and Crew
Charlie Hunnam has captured the attention of audiences and critics in both the United Kingdom and Hollywood with his versatility, talent and charisma.
Following this season on Sons of Anarchy, Charlie will star in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. The film will come out in summer 2013. During his last hiatus, Hunnam starred in Jordan Roberts’ Frankie Go Boom, alongside Chris O’Dowd, Lizzie Caplan and Ron Perlman. Charlie also starred in Matthew Chapman’s The Ledge alongside Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, and Terrence Howard last year. Before that, Hunnam appeared with Elijah Wood in the independent film Green Street Hooligansabout the violent world of soccer hooliganism. He then starred opposite Clive Owen in Alfonso Cuaron’s apocalyptic drama Children of Men.
Hunnam made his big screen debut in the Paramount thriller Abandon and continued to gain attention for his performance in the title role of the big screen adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Nicholas Nickelby, which received a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Picture. He next appeared as “Bosie” in the Miramax feature Cold Mountain for director Anthony Minghella based on the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier.
On the small screen, Hunnam received audience and critical acclaim for his role in the hit British drama, Queer as Folkand the FOX series Undeclared for Judd Apatow early on in his career.
In addition to his acting talents, Hunnam completed his first screenplay entitledVLAD. This project is set up at Summit Entertainment with Eric Feig and Plan B producing, and Anthony Mandler set to direct.

A versatile actress, Katey Sagal has entertained audiences in a variety of dramatic and comedic roles throughout her career. 
Sagal gained national attention for her role as the outrageous ‘Peg Bundy’ in the ground-breaking, highly-rated and long-running series Married with Children, for which she earned three Golden Globe® and two American Comedy Award nominations.
Currently, Sagal stars on the FX dramaSons of Anarchy, for which she won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama. SOA is a gritty, one-hour drama about a notorious outlaw motorcycle club in California that fights to protect their small town from drug dealers and local corporate developers.  Sagal plays ‘Gemma,’ the maternal matriarch of the club.
Prior to her success on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal starred in the ABC series8 Simple Rules…, alongside the late John Ritter and continues to be the voice of ‘Leela,’ a beautiful one-eyed alien, in the Comedy Central animated seriesFuturama.  Sagal has had roles in the independent films I’m Reed Fish and the tele-film 3 Wise Guys.   She has also appeared as ‘Helen’ on the ABC television phenomenon Lost and ‘Nancy Gilroy’ on FX’s The Shield.
Ron Perlman’s (Hellboy) creative collaboration with Guillermo del Toro began with the director’s first film,Cronos, in 1993. The actor and director reunited nine years later for Blade 2. In 2004, Del Toro achieved a long-standing goal and cast Perlman as the title character in Hellboy. Perlman reprised the role in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which grossed over $160 million worldwide at the box office.
The award-winning actor has built an intriguing body of work in film, television, and theater over nearly three decades. With a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, he began his professional stage career in his native New York, delving into the works of contemporaries like Pinter and Beckett as well as the classics of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Ibsen, and Chekhov.  He made two recent trips back to Broadway in A Few Good Men and Bus Stop.
His film career began in 1981 with a lead role in French director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s award-winning Quest for Fire. Perlman received a nomination for Canada’s Genie Award for his portrayal of the caveman ‘Amoukar.’  Five years later, Annaud cast him in the role of the hunchback ‘Salvatore’ in the screen adaptation of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.
Perlman’s work with French directors continued with a starring role in Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s award winning City of Lost Children, which was nominated for the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1995 and for Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards, along with a return collaboration with Annaud inEnemy At The Gates opposite Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Jeunet also cast him as ‘Johner’, opposite Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder, in his 1997 Alien: Resurrection

See more of the cast on the Sons of Anarchy Website.