Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter reveals what Hollywood folks really think on his personal blog
I'm already a huge fan of his masterwork outlaw biker drama for FX, Sons of Anarchy. And I got his wife Katey Sagal to tell me how she felt about him writing a rape scene for her in the very first episode of his show's second season.
But now I'm really genuflecting to Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. Because he is not only kicking some network TV behind in the ratings for his explicitly gutsy show, he's also kicking behind on his explicit personal blog, SutterInk.
Check out this line about why network TV shows are terrible: "I have a director friend, let’s call him… CJ, who says the job of a network executive is to turn everything to s---.(dashes mine) They hire you to stop them from doing that. Unfortunately, the s----turners are winning. Nowadays it’s all about formula. You get rights, attach a hot writer, develop it into the f---ing ground until it’s so middle-of-the-road it has no point-of-view, then attach a waning movie star, throw tens of millions in promotion at it and hope that no one notices that it’s the same old crap repackaged. But folks always do. In recovery, the “definition of insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Primetime is an active asylum."
When a Sons episode on FX beat a Tuesday episode of The Jay Leno Show in the ratings last week, Sutter wrote a blog post explaining why is wasn't Leno's fault (which I'm not sure I totally agree with): "Leno's an artist looking for a good gig like the rest of us. The truth is, NBC should have NEVER bumped him out of the 11:30 spot. No one bumped out Carson. Why Jay? His ratings were solid, he had a loyal following and he was constantly doing what he could to keep his show fresh -- dude is one of the hardest working cats in town. And it's obvious Conan's "younger" humor works way better in the later hour. The bigger concern is the potential dangerous trend that NBC is setting by putting Jay in the 10 pm spot...To succeed in dramas you need employees who are intelligent, patient and creatively nurturing. Instead of fixing their system, NBC is creating a new one. An easier one. A cheaper one. One that doesn't demand talent. One that can be run by suit-monkeys and accountants."
And now he's uncorked this great tale of an emotional network executive confronting him on the street about his blog posts: "Too many talented people in this town are content collecting a big f---ing paycheck, hooking their f---ing collar to the leash and getting in the f---ing tow-line. People care less and less about originality. I see it happening all the time. Writers and directors whom I respect, taking big juicy overall deals, getting turned into machines churning out s--- they wouldn't have even watched five years prior. I get it, we all want the brass f---ing ring, but at what cost? So what if I ruffle a few feathers, if I get one person thinking, questioning the system, then maybe I've said something worthwhile."
That's why Sons of Anarchy is one of the coolest shows on TV -- and probably why Sutter won't get the Emmy awards he so richly deserves for making it a reality.
I just hope he keeps up the blogging.