Mayans Without a Leader Are No Match For a Reaper
Sons of Anarchy VS Mayans; these shows are complete opposites but very similar at the same time. So, the obvious question is, which one is better? Which show will take the viewer on a journey of storytelling and leave them satisfied or devastated when it is all over and done with? It depends how a viewer will analyze the show and what they want out of it. Let’s explain.
Who’s That Rider?
Warning: This may have slight spoilers to Sons of Anarchy and Mayans M.C.
Sons of Anarchy began airing in 2008 on the FX network and was created by Kurt Sutter, who was also an executive producer and head writer for the show. Sutter gained massive success because of the popularity of Sons of Anarchy. His dark and extremely realistic take on how a biker gang would operate in modern times was so real that some people said they had to stop watching because the events within the show hit a little close to home. The popularity of Sons of Anarchy was undeniable, though — it constantly broke records for the broadcasting station with each passing season. Charlie Hunnam, who played the lead role of Jax Teller, finally saw his untimely death. The final episode aired on December 9, 2014, to the shock and sadness of fans everywhere.
Luckily, soon after the finale of Sons of Anarchy, the announcement that the Mayans M.C. would be getting their own spin-off show. The Mayans were introduced to fans back in the early season of Sons of Anarchy and played the role of a rival motorcycle club in California. This new show would follow the Latino-centered group, and Kurt Sutter would be at the helm once again. At least for a little while. Instead of focusing on a single person this time around, the show would focus more on two brothers who are both in the motorcycle gang lifestyle. Mayans M.C. concluded earlier this year on July 19, 2023. Now that both shows have completed and have told their own individual stories, which one is better?
Viva la Mayans M.C.
Let’s start with the Mayans M.C. first. Mayans M.C. captured something that the Sons of Anarchy had in the beginning but lost; that feeling of family ties within the club. Of course, Jax was born into the club life, with his mom and stepdad running the club, but his relationship with his mom never showed that close bond of family. Instead, it presented more of how the life can come between those family bonds. The Mayans M.C. showed how family is put up above all else. This could be because of the Latin roots that all Mayan members have and that the main story of the show is centered around two brothers, Ezekiel and Angel Reyes. This family bond within the show is a breath of fresh air in the series and something that Son of Anarchy really lacked. This emphasis on family is demonstrated time and time again within Mayans M.C., like when Ezekiel puts himself in fatal danger just so his older brother can stay out of harm’s way.
Another thing that Mayans M.C. had over Sons of Anarchy was the multiple layers of storytelling. The plot was based in a small town near the border of Mexico and California. This allowed the writers to make some of the story in Mexico and other parts in California. There were so many different elements within the world of Mayans M.C. like the Galindo cartel, other M.C.s, and even local authority problems. Sons of Anarchy had problems and characters from different walks of life, but it always gravitated back to how those characters would interrupt the live of Jax Teller.
Sons of Anarchy was the pioneer in that gritty and truthful storytelling on the television screen. Before Mayans M.C. could be born, it was Sons of Anarchy that paved the way. Something that fans always loved was the characters within Sons of Anarchy (or SAMCRO). Kurt Sutter had such a way of making the audience invested in the characters that viewers would be devastated when their favorite character would die. The death of Opie Winston, one of Jax Teller’s best friends, sent shockwaves throughout the fan community. His death is one of the hardest to watch, because Sutter made fans believe maybe he would have a happy ending, but sadly it was not meant to be. This form of storytelling is also present within Mayans M.C., but it lacks a certain element compared to Sons of Anarchy. This could be because Kurt Sutter left after the first season of Mayans to pursue other projects.
Something that Sons of Anarchy clearly has over Mayans M.C. is Charlie Hunnam, otherwise known as everybody’s favorite tortured bad boy, Jackson “Jax” Teller. Hunnam’s performance throughout Sons of Anarchy is nothing less than astonishing to watch. He clearly devoted so much to his craft, and watching him trying to pick his life up after the death of his wife but also being filled with rage was an amazing performance. There are honestly numerous preferences from Hunnam that live on in the minds of fans. The scene when Jax walks into his house and finds his wife dead still sends shivers up the spine and can bring a viewer to tears.
Which is Better?
So, here’s the thousand-year question; which show is better? Honestly, it depends on what the viewer is looking for. Obviously, if a viewer is trying to understand the whole story of Mayans M.C., they need to watch Sons of Anarchy first. However, if a viewer wants a show dipped in Latin culture and focused on the bonds of family and brotherhood, then Mayans M.C. is for them. If they would rather watch a story about a man trying to find his way and fighting his demons, himself being one of those demons, until he can’t do it anymore, then Sons of Anarchy is your guy. Both shows are incredible, with storytelling that will have a viewer on the edge of their seats. Both Mayans M.C. and Sons of Anarchy can be found on Hulu.
Mayans M.C. (2018-2023) Official FX Trailer