About a month ago, I mentioned in a blog entry that Nick and I don’t have TV. Let me correct myself. We have a TV, two in fact. However we don’t pay any sort of cable bill or have rabbit ears to get the basic 13 channels. When we turn the TV on to TV mode, it’s black and white fuzz no matter what channel we change it to. Instead we use our Roku box to watch shows and movies through Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. We’ve found this to be a huge savings. I find we watch a lot less television this way and we can watch a whole season (or multiple seasons) of a show within a few weeks. We don’t have to wait a week for the next episode to come out. The major drawback to watching shows over Netflix or and to some degree Amazon Instant Video is that we are usually a season behind all of our friends who have cable, so we dodge conversations about the latest happenings of whichever show we are hooked on.
Running low on our favorite shows on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, I was grateful to come across a blog post over at Ten Things I Like- Ten Things I Like: Must Watch Series. I found four shows on that post and ran over to our TV to load them in our Netflix Instant Queue. That evening, I gave Nick the choice of which of the four we should start watching and he picked Sons of Anarchy.
We started to watch the pilot episode and I wasn’t sure if I would like the show. It was super intense. So graphic and intense that I thought the show must normally be on HBO or Showtime or some other premium cable network. But to my surprise, it’s actually on FX. (Which makes me think that there is more leniency as to what can be shown on regular television these days. I guess a lot has changed in the last 2 years!). Anyway, I was a little gun-shy (literally) from the first episode, but we continued to watch and I can’t get enough.
If you’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy, the basic plot revolves the motorcycle club, Sons of Anarchy also known as SAMCRO, that illegally traffics guns. The club vice president and main character, Jackson, struggles with the original intent of the club and the direction it is currently going in. There is great character development and although I want to hate some of the members of SAMCRO, I can’t help but really like them because of their complexities. The storyline is so gripping that I don’t think I could wait an entire week to see the next episode if we had cable. Nick and I normally only watch one episode of a show a night, but we’ve been so transfixed on the storyline that we’ve watched three episodes of Sons of Anarchy in a row, several nights a week. That says a lot! It’s like television crack, you just need a little more to get your fix.
And so I don’t go totally astray from my blog intent (which I’ve done a lot of lately), it all ties nicely back to Urban Planning as we see the relationships unravel between the law and the outlaws in the small town of Charming, CA. The lines quickly get blurred as to what is right and wrong and from an urban planning perspective, it makes me wonder who really has to power of shaping our cities and towns. (Oh Professor Roy Strickland, you would be so proud of my analysis of a great television show and how it relates to urban planning and urban design!) Update- Another urban planning topic I forgot to mention which fits nicely into my analysis: In season two, eminent domain is mentioned several times… Oh yeah, urban planning issue in mainstream television!
We just finished the last of the first two seasons last night and I was thrilled to find out that seasons three and four are available (to pay for) on Amazon Instant Video! We will definitely be continuing on with this series. We are HOOKED! Thanks Ten Things I Like for the recommendation! Oh, and if any of you were wondering what SAMCRO stands for, its Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original. (Nick and I had to look that up on Wikipedia. If it was obviously stated in the show, we somehow missed it.)
Do any of you out there reading this have great Netflix TV show recommendations that you are hooked on? We are always looking to add to our instant queue!