One of our resident TV nerds, Melissa Miller, has prepared a kickass Sons of Anarchy season 3 DVD review for you SOA fans. If you’re curious about what special features are included, you need to scan your eyes on down and see what she thought about everything from the gag reel to the season finale table read.
It’s September, so it means we are only days away from the start of the Fall season and the premiere of Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy. Before the boys of SAMCRO get out of prison, I suggest you check out the SOA DVD and catch up with what went down last season. There are also a lot of great special features!
Just in case you forgot, at the end of last season, Jax and the boys came back from Belfast where they finally rescued his kidnapped son, Abel. Jax also made a deal with ATF Agent Stahl that would keep his mom out of jail for the murder of Zobel’s daughter and keep SAMCRO’s prison sentence minimal for their gun charges. Jax found out Tara was pregnant. Unser, no longer Chief thanks to Hale, helped SAMCRO kill Jimmy and increasingly troublesome Stahl. The guys also screwed over the Russians. For a day in Charming, it was bloody, but it panned out pretty well. Except, an inkling of future drama: Tara found letters from John Teller to his other babymama, Maureen, which indicated he felt if he died, it would be at the hands of Gemma and Clay.
So now that you are caught up, let’s look at the Sons of Anarchy Season 3 DVD special features.
The Future Begins Now
These are my favorite part of the DVD (however they can also be found on SOA’s Facebook and iPhone/Android app). They are four shorts that take place during the 14 months span the guys are in prison. Before watching season 4, I highly recommend checking these out. I’ve already seen the first few episodes of season 4, and these mini-episodes shed quite a bit of light on the events that happen in them with both the Russians and Tara’s discovery of John’s letters. Also a fun tidbit, Ryan Hurst (who plays Opie) directed two of them- “Payphone” and “Mexican Basketball.” If you are a Jax/Tara fan (who the heck isn’t??) you should definitely watch the one where Jax meets his son, Thomas. To say it is completely adorable is an understatement. Even in those unflattering prison blues, Charlie Hunnam is flipping hot holding that baby boy. (My apologies to our male readers. I’ll try to keep the objectification of Hunnam to a minimum….)
This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s Kurt Sutter and 5 of the writers sitting around a table answering questions Kurt received on Twitter. (By the way – help bring Kurt back to Twitter! He’s fantastic on there, but left because of too much media attention getting him in trouble. If he gets to 66666 followers by the premiere he’ll start again. @sutterink) If you like behind the scenes and getting to know the warped minds that create stories like the ones you see on this series, check it out. I personally love this stuff – I’m a big TV Geek (obviously) and I love hearing these stories. Plus Kurt Sutter is just such a personality it is worth checking out. You also learn a few story arcs that changed which I found interesting, although not always really surprising.
Custom Bike Build
I thought this was just going to be about the bikes on the show, but it is actually about a bike that was built to auction off for a charity – Wounded Warrior Project. The bike they built was a modern interpretation of Bobby’s Harley. My personal knowledge of the inner workings of a motorcycle is limited to anything that I’ve seen on American Chopper back in the day. So, to be honest, a lot of it went over my head. However, for all of you who are really into that, this is probably a fun 15 minute extra. These guys are obviously very good at what they do.They take a lot of time explaining the parts they chose, the decisions they made and how it’s done. Plus, like I said, it was for charity. You can’t go wrong there. Oh – and the bike turned out amazing.
Directing the Finale w/Kurt Sutter
This is just a brief short that takes you into Kurt’s process of how he likes to end each season. Like the Writer’s Roundtable, this is for people who are interested in what it takes to get this show made. I find Kurt Sutter endlessly fascinating, so I enjoyed hearing his thoughts. I think you are all smart enough to know what to expect from this kind of extra!
Table Read of Season Finale (NS)
Remember how about 2 minutes ago I just said that the mini-episodes are my favorite? Total lie. This is my favorite. It’s not often you get to sit and watch something like this. In case you don’t know what a Table Read is – it is the sort of rehearsal they do for a TV show. Before shooting an ep, they sit down at a table and read through the script (as the name would indicate) just to get a feel of the dialogue and story. You also get to hear all the script notes – the movements that are written, the thoughts the characters are supposed to be having. A lot of the show is shown in the corner so you can be reminded of the actual episode. If you have 45 minutes to invest in a special feature – I recommend it.
A gag reel is… just kidding. You know what it is – actors screwing up. Or in the case of one scene, a make-up chic screwing up. I particular like every bit with Katey Segal (Gemma) and Ally Walker (Agent Stahl) because those girls are certainly giggly. And really – isn’t this the extra we always want to see, no matter the DVD?
Each disc has some deleted scenes for the episodes on it. If you have the time, I say watch them. I’ve found that SOA deleted scenes are more interesting than a lot of deleted scenes I’ve watched on other DVDs. Reason being, unlike with movies these were usually cut for time, not for content. If the scene made it to the disc, it means Kurt felt it was worth watching. They don’t always have anything substantial in them, but some offer extra insight into the characters. And more SAMCRO is never a bad thing.
Fox Movie Channel Presents World Premiere: SOA Season 3
This is a short that aired on Fox Movie Channel from the premiere party for Season 3 last year. It’s hosted by Tava Smiley, which I found fun because she used to be on General Hospital. (Bet you didn’t think there would be a GH shout out in this article!) There are some fun interviews, including Charlie speaking with his real accent which is just friggin cute. (Sorry guys, couldn’t resist)
There is commentary on episodes 1 (SO), 10 (Firinne) and 13 (NS). I like to take the time to listen – again, Charlie’s accent! Beyond a swoon-worthy English accent, it’s fun to know what the actors were thinking when they are filming as well hear just how much this group of people really seems to get along.
Overall, I say if you love the guys of SAMCRO, it’s worth checking it out before Season 4 hits the airwaves on Tuesday, September 6th on FX at 10pm.
Big thanks to 20th Century Fox and FX Productions!
Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy was released on DVD/Blu-Ray August 30, 2011
Disclaimer: A DVD was sent for review purposes
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae
Read the Small Screen Scoop TV blog daily for all your SOA goodies. It’s what Gemma would want you to do.