One Story

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In Foster's How To Read Literature Like A Professor he often speaks of there being 'one story' and all of the literature, poetry, film, music etc. is all part of it and often builds off of previous installments.  He often also draws parallels to previous works which are often the inspiration for a 'new and original' story.  Sometimes these can be a very basic element of the plot and other times it is a blatant reworking.  Very rarely in my experience do these reworkings ever really strike a chord or recieve any note worthy acclaim; something truly special has to be done to "breathe new life" into the story especially if it is a classic or a very well-known story; which it usually is. 

That being said; I have found a new reworking of a classic story that has truly impressed me and not just for its interesting take on a classic but also for it simply being a terrific work all its own.  This work that I speak of is Sons of Anarchy.  To put it very, very simply its Hamlet on motorcycles. In it Hamlet is not a prince in Denmark but Jax Teller, the young vice-president of an outlaw motorcycle club in California.  Gertrude, or Gemma Teller-Morrow is a fierce matriarch hell-bent on protecting her son in this violent chaotic world.  Ophelia is now Opie Winston a life-long friend of Jax and long time member and enforcer of the club.  And King Claudius is now Clay Morrow (masterfully played by Ron Perlman) the short-tempered, ultra violent president of the club, Jax's step father, and "brother" to Jax's late father John Teller who communicates with his troubled son from beyond the grave through an old collection of memoirs he wrote in his youth before his untimely, and mysterious death.....Jax of course is oblivious to the circumstances surrounding his father's demise and so is any fan who never read Hamlet for that matter.  The parallels are all there, its a terrific reimagining I highly recommend it for anyone who loves Shakespeare or biker gang dramas hahaha.  Though I should mention it is not 100% loyal to the storyline of Hamlet, some things have been added and some omitted (o and its incredibly violent and some pretty coarse language so be forewarned) but all in all I'd say its worth it. So for anyone who is interested it airs Tuesdays at 10 on FX. 

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