TV Junkie: 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale Begins Tonight; Nick Kroll Show Is Tonight

Tonight begins the two part season finale of FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (see preview above). This season ends in a very different way, stylistically, from last season. While I enjoyed last season quite a bit, despite my feelings that SAMCRO spent a little too much time in Ireland, showrunner/creator Kurt Sutter beautifully brought everyone back home, in every meaning of the word, with a finale that transcended the details of the season with a laser beam focus on the theme that the motorcycle club is a family, albeit a criminal one. The end of last season swept the palate clean, allowing the viewers to reflect on what had happened and what it meant, with no expectations being set for what was to come. This time Kurt Sutter is providing us with a lot of details and setups for what promises to be a crazy and convoluted season in 2012. Some of the setups you become privy to will drive you nuts thinking about having to wait another 9 months to re-engage with the show.

While whetting our appetite might be a smart move by Kurt Sutter and FX it feels less artistic than what we've seen in the past. That's ok because Sutter has excelled at creating a show on his terms that is wildly engaging and critically acclaimed. Sutter is an outspoken guy which is a treat because it provides us with some insight into his creative process and the trials and tribulations that a showrunner goes through in Hollywood. I echo his frustration with "critics" who write recaps which you won't see here on the TV Junkie, despite the fact that those stupid things have the potential to generate a lot of page views.

It's amazing to see how someone who professes to be a fan of a show can turn on it within a single episode - the only person who has a big picture view of what will happen within a series and why is the showrunner and that's Kurt Sutter for "Sons of Anarchy". Getting stuck on a plot detail or a storyline doesn't mean you have more knowledge or awareness than the writers or creator. The chances of what irks you in an episode being something significant to the plot or a character's development is unlikely. If you connect with the characters or are drawn in by the writing, stick with it. If there's a major change in the writing staff or showrunner, that's when a show can turn for the worse, and that's not ever going to happen with "Sons of Anarchy." As this season wraps up, let's once again hope that "The Establishment" takes official notice of the show and honors it in 2012, Katey Sagal's much-deserved Golden Globe in 2011 notwithstanding. Thank you Kurt and Company for another great season.
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Thanks again to Jonathan Ames and HBO for bringing us another great season of "Bored To Death" which ended last night. For some background on the season finale, check out the video at the end of this post. HBO: please bring this show back next year!
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A reminder that Nick Kroll of "The League" is having his awesome show at the Largo tonight featuring Bill Burr who just sold out Carnegie Hall at the New York Comedy Festival a couple weeks ago, the (in)famous Margaret Cho, and comedy genius Maria Bamford of "Adventure Time" and about a million other things (read our interview with her or listen to our podcast with her). [Note: If you miss Burr tonight, he will be headlining at the Brea Improv Thursday through Sunday, December 8-11.]
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The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: "New Girl," "Raising Hope," "Sons of Anarchy," "Chelsea Lately," "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson"

9:0pm New Girl Fox - Bells Jess is jealous when Winston joins her handbell quartet and instantly becomes a natural; Nick and Schmidt have different ideas on how to fix the toilet.

9:00pm Live at the Ford KCET - The Angel City Jazz Festival—Global Jam This year's Global Jam is a celebration of jazz's wide cultural diversity with the Tigran Quintet.

9:00pm Mysteries at the Museum Travel - Outlaw Shoes; Astrochimp; Message in a Bottle Don examines the shoes of a famous Wild West tale, a miniature spacesuit and an ancient scroll discovered in a bottle.

9:30pm Raising Hope Fox - Bro-gurt When an invention convention comes to town, the family pitches ideas to Andrew Dice Clay that include unusually flavored yogurts and a baby mop.

10:00pm Sons of Anarchy FX - To Be, Part 1 Jax is confronted with a challenge that threatens his family and his club.

10:00pm Covert Affairs USA - What's the Frequency Kenneth An MI6 operative attempts to recruit Annie, thinking she is a Smithsonian employee.

10:00pm Chopped Food - Yakety Yak, Yak, Yak Sardines, rice cakes and unusual fruit in the appetizer basket; yak and dried shrimp in the entree round.

11:00pm Chelsea Lately E! - Comic Mo Mandel; comic Sarah Colonna; TV personality Ross Mathews.

11:00pm The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Comedy Central - Interview guest Betty White

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actress Kathy Bates; actor Jay Mohr; Switchfoot performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Author Shaquille O'Neal; actress Julia Jones; David Guetta and Usher perform.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Author Michael Connelly; comic Margaret Cho; actor Tom Lennon as the voice of Geoff.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actor Jesse Eisenberg; The Dodos and Neko Case perform.