The cable drama is currently flourishing as the most celebrated genre on television, with intelligent plotting, richly drawn characters, and Emmy worthy performances. Most of them, however, are too real to engage in tons of pulpy action. For example, the TV community cast a mean side-eye to Homeland's recent, albeit brief, inoffensive shootout, remarking that outbursts of gun-play like that were best left in the past with pseudo-companion series 24.

Thankfully, Sons of Anarchy presented itself as a pulp fiction drama from the outset. As such gets to have its cake and eat it too, with one ridiculously enjoyable set-piece after another, like the time the Sons rescued Tig (Kim Coates) by backing a flatbed truck into a motel room, with guns blazing. The complex relationships and themes are explored in between weekly doses of motorcycle chases, shootouts, and/or explosions—sometimes all three at the same damn time.