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Charley Hunnam, from the television series Sons of Anarchy
Seven years have passed since the end of Sons of Anarchy, one of the most popular shows on television about brotherhood, bikes, and beards. Despite this, it’s hard not to think about it from time to time. While the seven-season run of Kurt Sutter’s FX series may seem like a long time ago, the show had a significant impact on the landscape and doesn’t get nearly as much credit as, say, Breaking Baddo.
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Sons of Anarchy was set in the fictional town of Charming, California, and focused on the antics of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO). VP Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam) began to question the purpose and vision of the club his father had founded before he was even born, which put their sense of family in jeopardy. Jax’s quest for meaning brings him into conflict with his stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), the club president, and leaves him wondering how to be a good man and plotting to find a way out for himself and his family that doesn’t leave everyone tattered and bloody.
You’re probably looking for something similar to Sons of Anarchy to watch now that Mayans M.C., the Sons of Anarchy spin-off, has been renewed for a fourth season (due out in 2022). More macho soaps about the bonds of brotherhood, power dynamics, and criminal organizations, as well as heart-pounding action shows, are all recommended. These are the best shows to watch if you enjoyed Sons of Anarchy.
If you enjoy Justified, here are 11 more shows to check out.
To find out what to watch next, read our list of suggestions. They’re in abundance here! More hand-picked suggestions based on your favorite TV shows are available as well.
The similarities between Heels and Sons of Anarchy go deeper than they appear on the surface. Each show focuses on a specific testosterone-rich area, and both feature father figures who speak in a low, croaky voice and struggle with the expectations placed on their sons. When Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig star in Heels, one of them is a ring heel (a.k.a. the bad guy) and the other is a hero (the good guy), they play brothers who are both wrestlers. When their father passes away, they’re left to run his wrestling promotion company on his behalf. As you might expect, their strained relationship hampers their ability to do so. Melodrama simmers and slowly burns in this film because tough guys questioning their relationship to masculinity will set off all kinds of emotions. -Allison Picurro [Watch on Starz]
Taking inspiration from Sons of Anarchy, Warrior sets its story in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the late 1800s, when rival Chinese gangs fought for control of the criminal underworld in bloody street brawls. There’s more violence in this episode of Sons of Anarchy if you want it. However, the themes of brotherhood, betrayal, and family will be present as well. The brothel madam Ah Toy, played by Olivia Cheng, and the tong leader Mai Ling, played by Dianne Doan, will blow your mind. The show’s machismo extends even to the show’s strong female characters, similar to Sons of Anarchy. Due to the fact that it premiered on Cinemax rather than FX, the first two seasons of Warrior featured plenty of cursing and sex. [HBO Max] Watch this moment in time.
3. Mr. Inbetween
The character of Ray Shoesmith from Mr. Inbetween (created by Scott Ryan) would have been a perfect addition to SAMCRO. Despite his bald head and goatee, the star of FX’s Australian dramedy is willing to engage in physical combat with men twice his size. He also has anger management issues, making him a danger to himself and others. As a result, he’s an excellent hitman, which he uses to serve a local crime lord, but it doesn’t make him an ideal father or boyfriend for his young daughter. The show about a man who realizes his violent life prevents him from having a mistake-free family life is great, however.. Fans of Sons of Anarchy will enjoy Mr. Inbetween, which is filled with brutal violence and dark humor, right down to a crucial plot point in Season 2 involving a local motorcycle gang. The following video can be viewed via Hulu.
4. Mayans M.C.
Are the Mayans M.C., a rival biker gang turned SAMCRO ally, cheating by being included in Sons of Anarchy’s spin-off? Maybe! However, this does not detract from the fact that the show is still deserving of inclusion on this list. Following EZ Reyes (JD Pardo), a Mayan charter prospect, and his fully patched brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas), the series is set a few years after the end of SOA on the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayans M.C. has everything you loved about Sons of Anarchy: macho dudes being macho, exciting chase sequences and shootouts, the making and breaking of deals and alliances, and deep reflections on family and the ways in which the past always catches up to the present to affect the future. Mayans M.C. There are also a few familiar faces from Sons of Anarchy, such as Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) from the Mayans, who have already appeared on the show, as well as some exciting surprises that we won’t reveal now. You can see this on Hulu.
Like Sons of Anarchy, Kingdom is a family drama drenched in testosterone and set in a very specific neighborhood. It follows Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo), a former mixed martial arts champion who now runs a gym where he trains current fighters, including his sons Jay and Nate. The DirecTV/AT&T Audience series debuted on Netflix earlier this summer and is set against the blood- and sweat-soaked backdrop of mixed martial arts (series stand out Jonathan Tucker and Nick Jonas). Even though the show is drenched in testosterone and revolves around a violent sport, it also serves as a rich and thought-provoking drama about the complexities of family life. The rest of the stellar cast, which includes Matt Lauria as Ryan, a former champion boxer recently released from prison, Kiele Sanchez as Lisa, Alvey’s girlfriend and business partner, and Joanna Going as Christina, Alvey’s ex-wife and Nate and Jay’s estranged mother, makes the show a rewarding story about the raw and exhausting battle for glory and the never-ending battle against addiction. It’s a must-see show on television. You can see it on Netflix.
6. The Shield
Kurt Sutter worked on The Shield before creating Sons of Anarchy, so if you haven’t seen Shawn Ryan’s critically acclaimed series about corrupt cops that launched FX’s career, now is the time to check it out. The show centers on the Strike Team, a group of Los Angeles police officers who patrol a dangerous area plagued by gang violence using dubious and sometimes illegal methods. When it comes to morality, the series blurs the lines between right and wrong, making you question your tolerance for the men and women in blue (although the show was critically acclaimed when it aired, it likely reads a bit differently in 2020). Many of the cast members from SOA can be seen in Charming, including Walton Goggins, Kenny Johnson, Michael Chiklis, and Jay Karnes, as well as actresses Ally Walker and Benito Martinez and actor CCH Pounder. You can see this on Hulu.
7. Peaky Blinders
When it comes to storytelling, Peaky Blinders and Sons of Anarchy are alike in that they avoid the bigger-is-better approach and instead focus on more intimate stories about family power struggles and internal conflicts after World War I. The Peaky Blinders, a gang that sews razor blades into their caps and is led by Thomas Shelby (a truly impressive Cillian Murphy), begin as a small Birmingham criminal organization. They eventually break into legitimate business circles to cover up their illegal enterprises, but under Tommy’s leadership, and with his brothers Arthur (Paul Anderson) and John (Joe Cole) by his side, they increase their wealth and power exponentially. It’s not just that the two shows deal with crime and violence; both have strong family matriarchs (Katey Sagal on Sons, and Helen McCrory on Peaky) who make the decisions but aren’t involved in the day-to-day operations of their organizations. They’re similar, but not identical. In addition, Tommy Flanagan appears as the father of Tommy, Arthur, and John in both shows. Check out the video below to see it for yourself.
Numerous parallels can be drawn between Yellowstone and Sons of Anarchy: They both have an obsession with toxic masculinity codes, as well as an outlaw spirit of ruggedness that pits them against the rest of the world. There are women in the family who are tougher than any of the men (Katey Sagal’s Gemma on Sons, and Kelly Reilly’s Beth on Yellowstone), and Charlie Hunnam and Luke Grimes’ whole vibe are all part of that outlaw ethos as well. There’s even a fair amount of duplication among the staff: In Sons of Anarchy, Taylor Sheridan played Deputy Police Chief David Hale. Yellowstone co-creator, writer, executive producer, and director John Linson also worked on Sons of Anarchy. Sons of Anarchy are essential to the existence of Yellowstone in every way. Iain Mathews [Pay attention to the Peacock.]
Outsiders is your four-wheeled Sons of Anarchy if you’re looking for greasy and burly dudes with long hair riding dangerous vehicles. It follows a group of Appalachian hillbillies who want to keep their way of life off-the-grid undisturbed while developers slowly encroach on their land, putting them at odds with the local community and law enforcement. The WGN America series was released in 2016 when the network was producing great, underwatched content. There’s a lot of bloodshed, messed-up relationships, and Opie (played by Ryan Hurst), so it’s got everything fans of Sons of Anarchy loved. Tim Surette, author. You can see this on Hulu.
10. The Punisher
You might want to talk to someone before diving into Netflix and Marvel’s comic book series The Punisher, a two-season show that manages to find the humanity in its angry lead, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), in between bouts of extreme violence. In addition to morality and vigilante justice, the character’s rage and kill-or-be-killed attitude often sparks discussions about the show’s larger themes, such as grief, mental health, veterans affairs, and more. Moreover, if you look past the show’s machismo appeal, there are other similarities. The most striking is that Frank is a former Marine betrayed by one of his brothers, which causes their friendship to fall apart and causes him to second-guess everything he’d previously taken for granted. Check out the video below to see it for yourself.
11. Hell on Wheels
Despite the title, Hell on Wheelsis not a motorcycle show; it’s a Western that takes place during the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and follows the men and women who live in a mobile camp known as Hell on Wheels as they journey across America. Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier and slave owner, sets out to avenge the murder of his family at the beginning of the series, and Common plays Elam, a recently freed slave who works with Bohannon and eventually becomes his ally as their relationship develops on the basis of mutual respect, star Anson Mount, who is bearded. Fans of Sons of Anarchy will recognize many of the themes explored in Hell on Wheels, such as corruption, greed, and the dangers of power. [AMC+ subscribers can see this.]
The best crime show in Italy Gomorrah is often compared to The Wire or The Sopranos because of its focus on organized crime, but it will also appeal to fans of Sons of Anarchy because it is based on journalist Roberto Saviano’s nonfiction book of the same name. Telling the story of a fictional Neapolitan crime syndicate, the series explores themes of power, corruption, and a never-ending cycle of violence that we are all familiar with. However, when the syndicate’s leader is sent to prison, rivals moving into his territory increase the tension, leaving those on the outside to carry the burden of running their family’s business. [TRANSLATED] There are times when the story and violence in Gomorrah’s warring criminal enterprises are darker and more lingering than in Sons of Anarchy, which was a soap opera on wheels and kept the pace high. Despite its depressing tone, the show is exceptionally well-made, and you’ll have a hard time turning away.