On this Day: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Premiered in 2008

by Amy Myers

It’s hard to believe that the best biker gang series premiered 13 years ago today. Back then, we were just meeting Jax and Clay for the first time, learning that the gray area between good and bad is pretty wide. And even though we knew some of the things they did were wrong, we still rooted for the members of the Sons of Anarchy.

The town of Charming, too, rallied behind the Sons. After all, it was them who provided the swift justice in the area, not the police department. Of course, this was a large part of the conflict that we saw as the Charming police fought to take back control of the safety of its citizens.

Beyond a thrilling and heartracing series, the reason why so many fans loved Sons of Anarchy was because it portrayed the delicate balance of personal morality. Once a loved one is in danger, are all bets off? Or do we still follow the rules and risk that person’s safety.

For the Sons, the answer’s pretty clear. Still, the series demonstrates a starkly different picture of reality when the law doesn’t apply to you – so long as you can cover up your crime. The bottom line was always that the Sons of Anarchy took care of each other, no matter what.

Feeling nostalgic? Take a look at one of the first trailers that aired for the series.

Little Known Facts About the ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Most fans of Sons of Anarchy already know that showrunner Kurt Sutter found inspiration for the plot based off of the history of the real biker gang, Hell’s Angels. What was at first a “fun-loving fraternity” turned into an “organized-crime syndicate,” as Sutter explained in a 2008 interview. The show creator wanted to portray how that development unfolded with SAMCRO.

However, not many people know that a more classical story also inspired the set up of the show – unless you’re a Shakespeare expert. In a later interview, as the series quickly gained momentum and popularity, Sutter explained that the show did in fact mimic some parts of the famed play, Hamlet.

It’s pretty clear how the stories line up. In the beginning of the show, the Sons’ original president, John Teller, is murdered by his VP, Clay Morrow, so that the best friend and his queen, Gemma, can take the thrown. Meanwhile, poor Jax plays the part of Hamlet as a boy coming into manhood.

But beyond the set up, Sutter claims that Sons of Anarchy doesn’t have any other similarities to the Shakespearean work. In fact, he told Collider that he cringes “a little bit sometimes when people reference all the Shakespearean overtones.”

Still, he admitted that the English playwright’s somber overtones were the inspiration for parts of the storyline, including Tara’s demise, in which he stated he wanted her death “to feel like straight-up Shakespearean tragedy.”