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Posts Tagged ‘FX’

Sutter-5It happened again…

I’m talking about Kurt Sutter’s rant (again) about another Emmy snub for his critically acclaimed, astounding work of genius that is currently running fifteen or twenty times a week on FX Cable Network—Sons of Anarchy.

There were 13 episodes in Season 6 if you were keeping score.

We all know this is just a TV show, just like we all understand politicians who get in front of the camera and talk about jobs, the economic recovery, healthcare, the illegals crossing the border, etc., are just a TV show too.

For me, “Sons” lost its way a long time ago.  As the show gained notoriety, Sutter’s dark writing and extreme dramatic license became more about shock and awe moments than genuine storyline.  Even with a blog Sutter shout-out, I changed the channel, quit watching, stopped criticizing and moved on.

It’s now in its final season.  As a working blogger hack, it hardly matters what I think.  Of course, Sons of Anarchy is not made for me.  It’s made for an audience that spends its (jobless?) days on Facebook, or tweeting and surfing the web buying things on credit.

Frankly I could care less about the Emmys.  If we’re being intellectually honest, the Emmys are not and have never been a valid qualifier of talent.  Mr. Sutter clearly has talent and his share of loyal fans who believe he’s a genius, but why claim to be suffering from a syndrome named after a mediocre daytime soap actress (Lucci Effect)?

For my valuable entertainment time, Breaking Bad was just a vastly superior show.  Sons always had the potential and talent (in front of and behind the cameras), but seemed willing to settle for less (gratuitous and gruesome violence for ratings) rather than strive for the best.

Photo courtesy of Kurt Sutter and Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

There is now the Sons Of Anarchy collection of die-cast motorcycles.

Back in December, Maisto announced they worked closely with 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson to bring fans of the show 1:18 scale die-cast versions of the SOA motorcycles in association with the TV show characters: Jax, Clay, Opie and JT – the SOA Motorcycle Collection.

Not only can you now dress and ride like SOA outlaws, thanks to a flurry of licensing deals that includes everything from actual motorcycles at Bartel’s H-D to hats, games, stationary, jewelry, calendars, stickers, wall graphics and more.   Now while sitting in your work cube thinking about the winter cold you can have your very own die-cast outlaw motorcycle to stare at and think about how you can’t wait to ride in warmer weather!

The Maisto brand name was registered in 1990 by May Cheong, a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing die cast replicas for over 40 years.  They have over 11,000 employees worldwide, and manufacturing facilities covering more than 2 Million square feet.

Sons Of Anarchy merchandise sales have grown 70% year-to-year since 2010.  This is not a U.S. only concept as the TV show is a hit in U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands.  And with the TV show committed through a seventh season merchandise sales will only increase.

Previous SOA/H-D license deals blog post HERE.

Photo courtesy of Maisto, 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Who does Kurt Sutter (writer/creator of Sons of Anarchy) go to for guidance?  Who understands how that game is really played?

It’s not your best friend. They’ll tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to know.  It’s likely a business colleague. One who might not even truly be a friend. Who’s a bit more than an acquaintance. Who knows the parameters. Who will help you out.  Some will want payback because that’s the game they play. They’ll help you out so you’ll help them out, when they need it.  Others do it out of the goodness of their heart.

Those with wisdom have experience and in the end you’ll need their advice, or you’re lost.

I question where Mr. Sutter looked for guidance, on the Season 5 premier because it beamed us directly into the aftermath of an over-the-top hedonistic tryst that was quickly followed-up with shock-and-awe violence that would horrify any popcorn eating audience into dazed disbelief.

Battered Barbies

Really Mr. Sutter?  REALLY.

You can’t quantify wisdom because it’s not something you put on the wall, it’s something you gain, through insight.

Yeah, I get starting a new TV season off with some controversy, but did anyone else think the shock mongering (dismemberment and immolation) went too far?  Was that necessary or needed?  Has the show truly come down to keeping the buzz fresh with “shock-till-you-drop” antics for horror M/C fans?

What’s next?  A scene where Jax’s kids are playing with abused and “Battered Barbies”… Sure it’s a kids toy, but why not freak out people in a negative way for TV ratings?!

And always on the lookout to appeal to women riders and the opportunity to associate with dirty cops, domestic violence and retaliation killings, Harley-Davidson announced a new contest for fans of the show.  SOA enthusiasts are invited to visit HERE through November 19, 2012 and leave feedback on which actor of Sons of Anarchy they would like to ride with, where they would like to ride and which activities they would do at that destination.

I wonder if the contest will include a visit to Nero Padilla’s (Jimmy Smits) modern day business?

Photo courtesy of FX and Battered Barbie courtesy of Women’s Resource Center

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles

I called this back in 2009 with a post called Bottling Ideas.  UPDATE: Actually now that I’ve re-scanned the blog it was even earlier with a post in 2008 called Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle HERE.

I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy (SOA)“, and a new deal with Harley-Davidson for custom motorcycles made by 20th Century Fox Consumer Products as part of a flurry of licensing deals for SOA that includes clothing, leather jackets, hats, t-shirts, games, calendars, stationary and much more.

Thanks to Bartels’ Harley-Davidson the bike maker will produce 100 limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles that will retail for about $25,000 each at Harley dealers this fall.   Now TV viewers can further tap into the motorcycle club fantasy… who doesn’t want to pretend to be a ‘clubber’ and ride a faux outlaw biker motorcycle, right?

I can’t think of another TV show that cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is a taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product for the rebellious and the dispossessed.  If ever there was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador it would be Kurt Sutter’s (@sutterink), Son’s of Anarchy!

SOA is about to enter its fifth season, and is now the most-watched show in its history among total viewers 18-49. The most recent season the show averaged 5.5 million viewers per episode. It was also the number three DVD release among TV shows in 2011.  And after growing online merchandise sales for FX’s top-rated show about 70 percent year-to-year since 2010, Fox is shifting to brick and mortar retailers like Spencer Gifts, Transworld/FYE and Hastings.

I wouldn’t be honest if I failed to mention that this feels like a disaster for any person who rides to a rally thinking they’ll have instant club admiration.  However, it could be shrewd marketing of misbehavior and we’ll see a formal offering from the motor company every year!  Any of the “noise” generated in the press and blogosphere helps in terms of show profile, helps H-D reinforce how the middle finger of rebellion built the brand.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but he does deserve a big shout-out for remaining true to the setting in the TV show without becoming stereotypical.  We know it’s hard work compared to the Laffing Devils crap the Discovery Channel is trying to pass off as good TV.

Here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the years: OMG New Media Darlings; Men of MayhemBikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of LifeBottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 IdeasWorking The SOA Trail

Photo courtesy of SOA and RatRodStudios.com.

All Right Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Eric Bischoff Web Site

You might be interested to know that if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, we wouldn’t have The Devils Ridea parody TV show about an outlaw motorcycle club that is produced for the Discovery Channel by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment.

Yeah, I did it.  I just connected the dots of Lex Luger, Ric Flair, “Hollywood Huckster” and the Giant… to a semi-glorified American motorcycle TV show.  It’s a long read, but click HERE for the details.  I’ve previously laughed at the Devils HERE.

It turns out that Eric Bischoff, one of the Executive Producers of The Devils Ride along with Jason Hervey, was instrumental in redefining the WCW wrestling landscape with clowns, midgets and other outlandish characters and has now applied his wrestlemania ‘magic’ to a TV show about the world of motorcycle clubs and the sometimes simple-minded members of San Diego’s — The Laffing Devils (LDMC).

Clearly with today’s lowest common denominator of TV viewers we face a real crisis in mainstream society’s media preferences.  The measurement bar was on the floor, but everyone wants it lowered!  Just when you think it’s become increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public the Discovery Channel announced this week that the Laffing Devils is officially a hit after only six episodes and it has been renewed for a second “season.”  Is it futile to hope that none of the original cast members return?!  For Discovery Channel, David Pritikin is Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

David Pritikin – Discovery Channel Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

As the competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce The Discovery Channel has repeatedly stated that the television show is about a “real” club.  They even brought in the real and apparently retired Hells Angel Rusty Coones.  Coones is the former President of the Orange County (California) charter of the Hells Angels.  Back in June 1999 he was arrested on federal drug charges and sentenced to eight years in prison. One of his defenders with an 8-minute attention span limit was celebrity bike builder Jesse James who married Sandra Bullock, then divorced, but in his spare time somehow made some Hollywood business connections. After he got out of prison Coones with the help of James connections made some show business connections, too.

So for viewers who need to be spoon-fed credibility, one episode of The Devils Ride featured Coones sending a group of Laffing Devils to repossess a bike for him in Las Vegas. It’s unconfirmed, but one could speculate that Coones was compensated for his appearance.  With a lot of free time in prison Coones continued to play the guitar and also began writing songs. He now plays lead guitar for a heavy metal group named Attika7 and is an owner at Illusion Motorsports.

No-one is better at pandering to an outlaw image or their bad tendencies than Kurt Sutter, so the Attika7 songs have been placed in episodes of the Sons of Anarchy (SOA) TV show.  Meanwhile Coones appeared in a second episode to play with his band in the Laffing Devils’ new club house where they all seem to smoke expensive cigars while sipping expensive glasses of wine.

Thank you Discovery Channel you complete me!

Clearly it’s all about this symbol —  $$$ — because the old fashion stuff like ethics, morals and honor are way down on the list for a TV producer.  It’s interesting to note that the trademark registration for “Sinister Mob Syndicate MC” was filed by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC of 1754 14th Street in Santa Monica on May 18, 2012. That application listed Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn, the founder of the Laffing Devils as the last listed owner of the mark. However, that application was withdrawn and re-filed on May 24, 2012 without Mr. Quinn’s name.  I smell a new round of t-shirts and hoodies for the very lucrative stupid-person market.

Photo’s courtesy of Eric Bischoff web site and Twitter

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Happy New Years!

Now that the champagne toasts are made and the ball dropped, it’s time to start thinking ahead:  What’s your riding resolution for this year?  Will you ride your motorcycle more often to work?  Take that epic journey or stay close to home?  Will you buy a new ride or enhance the existing one?

Before going forward let’s take a quick look back.

Over the years I’ve posted the occasional summary of the more popular and least liked stories from the past 12 months.  It’s not my “helper-monkey”, but the good folks at WordPress.com state their rankings algorithm is based on how many people read a particular article.  The average is the sum of views divided by the number of days and its gets even more complex if you are the sort of person who likes to verify computations.  I don’t.

The final tallies can be a little mystifying, to be honest.

Are readers giving a “thumbs-up” because they liked the content of the article or just the topic itself?  I don’t find these summaries a really useful exercise because some of the better written articles (IMHO) will sometimes have the fewest views.  It’s the old adage that writing about or reposting the nip slips, exposed undies and ever-presence dysfunction from the celebrity train wrecks for the whole world to see will bring a whole lot more views if that’s your goal.  But, if nothing else, the summary does provide a snapshot of what struck in my readers’ collective fancy during the past year.

In 2011, I posted 88 new articles (about 7 per month).  That brought the total archive on this blog up to just over 800 posts.  I uploaded 165 pictures (or about 3 per week).  The busiest day was September 25th (during the Vagos and HAMC shooting in Reno) with 1,120 views on an article I posted in 2008 (HERE).  Clearly the social behavior and the attraction of the events in Reno was a big draw, but I’m mystified why the more current article (HERE) had fewer views?  Maybe it’s a SEO thing.  I also want to provide a shout-out to the large number of UK viewers who consistently visit the blog.

Here are the 2011 most viewed highlights:

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Flying Colors in Oregon
OCC Family Feud Ends
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Are New Media Darlings
Vagos MC Meeting In Grants Pass
Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle
Harley-Davidson’s SwitchBack
Vintage Motorcycles – Honda CB750
Harley Engine History
“Green Nation” Busts On Saint Patrick’s Day
No Angel
The Day Laughlin River Run Changed
Men Of Mayhem
A “Legend Bell” Full of Mystery
Harley Snubbed In Benjamin Button Movie
Operation Black Rain Nets Oregon Mongols

I enjoyed this past year—and I hope you have, too.  If I’ve done my “job” right as editor of this blog, then your visits will have helped make your motorcycle hobby a bit more meaningful.  Hopefully you’ve become closer to your motorcycle and grown your relationship with friends that you’ve met on the road.

Happy 2012!

Photo’s courtesy of WordPress.com and Northwest Harley Blog.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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H-D Liberation Video

Last night, Harley-Davidson launched the next version of their No Cages campaign during the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) on FX.

The advertising spot, called “Liberation“, adds to the limited portfolio of creative developed as part of the motor companies crowd sourcing strategy, introduced last year.

Sons of Anarchy Cast

Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer stated: “This latest effort builds upon our momentum as the on-road motorcycles market share leader in the U.S., as well as our leadership in sales to young adults, women, Hispanics and African-Americans and the growth we’ve made in international markets.”  He went on to say… “this process has helped to liberate the creativity of our most passionate of fans.”

Like previous No Cages creative, crowd-sourcing partner Victors & Spoils shared the Harley-Davidson creative brief broadly online, and the best idea was further developed and the creator rewarded. In the Liberation case, the idea came from 30-year-old film maker and visual content creator Benjamin Swan of Sioux Falls, SD, who believes that collaboration breeds creation.

And speaking of Sons of Anarchy and last night’s premier for the 4th season. Below are eight video clips from the new season that you might want to check out whether you tuned-in last night or not.

Season Preview
SOA is back for an all new season HERE.

Sneak Peek
Watch an exclusive scene from the all new season of Sons of Anarchy HERE.

Bike Mechanic
Check out the bikes from Sons of Anarchy HERE.

Production Design
Go behind the scenes of SOA and get an inside look into the show’s set and production design HERE.

Make Up
The bruises of SOA tell a story. Go behind the scenes and see how the show creates the gruesome makeup effects HERE.

Wardrobe
Go behind the scenes of the biker style of SOA HERE.

Charlie’s Prison Haircut
Go behind the scenes and find out why “Jax” cut his hair for season 4 HERE.

Hiatus
Take an inside look into what the cast does in between seasons HERE.

Photos courtesy of H-D Facebook and FX/SOA.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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