I've been watching Sons of Anarchy almost since the beginning. It's a loud, crass, casually misogynistic, violent show, and I really loved it. Despite the casual misogyny, there were good female characters on display, even if the men around them sometimes treated them like crap. There seemed to be a heart at the core, a moral center of sorts, even if it was a crude, bloody heart. From the beginning, it's straddled a line for me between what's watchable and what isn't. Occasionally the show could be a little more exploitative than I liked, but it always seemed to have a point to it. And since some of the exploitation came at the expense of showing off Charlie Hunnam's excellent tushie, I figured it all balanced out somewhat.
But recently it's just been dragging on me. I've been putting off watching the week's episode, partly because I'm getting tired of it and partly because F/X has decided to fellate Kurt Sutter by letting him have regular 90-minute episodes that just DRAG and have no reason to be extra-long. And this week I actually may have hit the breaking point. A subplot so demoralizing and above all, embarrassing, that I don't know how much longer I can watch. And by embarrassing, I mean the fact that these fine actors had to act out this scene and someone actually wrote the scene in the first place, it's just sad.
Basically, Gemma has gone to visit Clay in prison, a nominative conjugal visit, even though the only point of the meeting is for Clay to pass information to Gemma (for which service the guards accept $500, I think). Once the information has been passed, and Gemma is about to take her leave, the guards decide they want the conjugal to actually take place so they can watch. (Clay and Gemma are still legally married but they're estranged, and well, it's complicated. Basically, there's no way on Earth Gemma wants to fuck Clay.) And yeah, that's icky. But I still could have lived with it had Clay beat them up, or Gemma, or something, anything so the scene didn't take place. But it did. They cut away, so we didn't actually have to see the ickiness, but it still happened. And why? There seems no narrative purpose to this at all. It's not like there's a dearth of plot to this show. I don't usually think Sutter does things just to shock and be "badass" but this really crossed the line for me. And I'm not a prude. I just don't see any reason to have this humiliating scene on this show. I actually fast-forwarded through it, and I never do that.
I almost gave up on this show last season and then was glad I didn't because it got interesting, but this may be it for me.