Yes, Biker TV fans, the long awaited Sons of Anarchy spin off series: Mayans M.C. is on its way to your living rooms this autumn and it could be even bigger and badder than its predecessor.
Behind the scenes the main players are the same, i.e. Kurt Sutter is the brains behind the project but it is likely to be one that attracts a new kind of audience too. Whilst there was an element of multiculturalism in Sons of Anarchy, it was mainly centered on the white motorcycle club scene, whereas the Mayans M.C. will be centered on the Latino club scene but one can expect some form of crossover or even homage within certain episodes too.
Whilst of course there will be parallels between the two projects, the new series will have its own identity and will be located at a different chapter too. So the look and feel of the episodes will be different and the issues raised within the series will portrayed differently, indeed handled in a new manner.
What the producers must avoid at all costs is merely a rehash of Sons of Anarchy but with Latino Bikers. The former gained fans from around the world and not necessarily from the motorcycle community either. It was well written, hard and fast paced action…although fanciful in the extreme especially from the third series onwards. However, what makes a series successful and will have that crossover appeal to the wider public is if it can gain attention for its human interest pieces and whether it can tap into realities or parallels that can be identified with, both within and outside of the biker community.
Whilst thankfully, it’s not often we see people strolling around in Sons of Anarchy merchandise or fake motorcycle club waistcoats…or ‘cuts’ or ‘vests’ anymore, it would not be a surprise see a similar phenomenon, especially if Mayans M.C. becomes just as popular amongst the masses. However, there is one big stumbling block to that eventuality…that the program will have to overcome to attract broad appeal, and that is the racial divide around the world.
Whilst fictional, the Sons of Anarchy was deemed a realistic portrayal of bikers and motorcycle club culture…albeit an American version and one that stretched the boundaries of artistic licence with the criminal shenanigans. However, within it there were the wholesome family values of white America. Ok, not yours or mine perhaps…but it was weaved within the under garment of the program. This biker and American culture made it alluring to watch for many, the storylines and the acting made it very watchable…and the highs and lows, twists and turns made it the show to come back to season after season.
Mayans M.C. has to find those kinds of ingredients that will have the same effect but it cannot ride on the biker culture train for too long either. The biker tv fans have seen this all before. They may like the familiarity but will soon want something new to digest…and the real life biker club scene or motorcyclists in general will more than likely scoff at any wayward notions of true life representations when it could be anything but that.
As a fan of the original incarnation of the show and more so of the writing, I am looking forward to the new series which took a while to get the green light a couple of years ago now. There will be some familiar faces returning either as regulars or as cameo appearances, but overall there will be a whole new set of actors to get to know, their characters they play and the plot twists that will be thrown in to keep our attention.
Sutter et al has a tall order to fill and especially to win over the biker crowd which slowly but surely started to lose patience with the Sons of Anarchy after a while. I’m sure bikers got sick and tired of regular people thinking anyone who rode a bike or was in a motorcycle club, was anything like those portrayed in the TV show, but as long as there is a nod to reality…and I’m sure that base will be covered by the creator, producers and writers…then all should be swell again. But please leave the merchandising alone on this one…or at least put a government health warning on them to dissuade people trying to pass themselves off as something they’re not…they just look very silly and attract negative attention.
Mayans M.C. is coming…