The first Mayans M.C. reviews are in, and it appears Sons of Anarchy fans have a lot to look forward to.
Several outlets have already published their reviews of the FX drama's first two episodes, which are the only two already made available to press. The overall read is good, with some caveats, of course.
The biggest drawing point for the biker drama seems to be its familiarity. Critics point out that Mayans M.C. capitalizes on the strengths of Sons of Anarchy while giving fans a new set of characters and stories to take in.
"Watching the club deal with new crises and internal politics has a loose, comfortable charm that never really goes away," Variety's Zack Handlen writes. "Bro jokes and camaraderie punctuated by shocking violence has long been Sutter’s stock in trade, and the individual members of the ensemble are well cast into familiar archetypes, their value as a unit immediately clear."
Entertainment Weekly's Kristen Baldwin writes, "Both shows bear creator Kurt Sutter’s penchant for graphic violence and gratuitously shirtless studs. But Mayans already feels like a new, albeit comfortably familiar, entity. ... Mayans benefits from the richness of its source material, and for Sons fans it’ll fit like a well-worn kutte."
However, the show is not getting complete acclaim, with some pointing out that the series must grow to do more than just appeal to SoA fans.
"So Mayans is an easy watch for anyone who misses Sons’ particular mix of broad humor, big emotions, and sudden bursts of gunplay. But the show doesn’t yet have much to offer beyond nostalgia and old charms," Handlen writes. "As a central figure, Pardo slots easily into the Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) role of swagger and pained expressions, but the actor has yet to prove whether he has the charisma to ground the series."
One aspect that was touched on by multiple critics was the show's handling of female characters. Variety's review suggested the show needs a breakout figure like Sons' Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal) to balance the male-and-female scales, and EW's write-up notes that the featured love-triangle plot that could appeal to women but is too forced to work.
"The least interesting thread so far is the love triangle: Miguel is married to EZ’s ex, Emily (Sarah Bolger), which feels more like a “something for the ladies” network mandate than an organic part of the story," Baldwin writes.
"The show is also disappointingly dude-heavy," Handlen writes. "Of the handful of women introduced in these two episodes, only one gets more to do than worry on the sidelines. ... The lack of anyone even remotely positioned to follow in [Gemma's] footsteps–is keenly felt."
Despite these gripes, it appears Mayans M.C. is starting out on strong footing and has ample time to grow into something more that a simple Sons of Anarchy spinoff.
“Sons” fans will view this as a similar ride, only in a different gear. Where the potholes and speedbumps exist remains to be seen," Sioux City Journal's Bruce R. Miller writes. "For now, though, the road is open. Mayans M.C. appears to be on track and ready for a long, long ride."
Mayans M.C. premieres Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. ET
Photo Credit: FX / James Minchin