Why Mayans MC is different from Sons of Anarchy and the strength of its vision

Mayans MC may be the most ambitious new series coming to FX this fall, and it certainly also feels like expectations are stratospheric for it. This is the long-awaited official follow-up to Sons of Anarchy by creator Kurt Sutter, a man who understands how to steep a story with dark characters, violence, and also little moments of hope scattered in the midst of bloodshed. He’s a remarkable storyteller, but in this chapter he is not alone.

While discussing this show over the weekend while at the ATX Television Festival, Sutter conceded that as a man who grew up in New Jersey with a very different culture, he didn’t necessarily feel like the right representative for the entire Latinx community. This is a show that is examining the state of a motorcycle club close to the California / Mexico border and many men and women who have suffered under a wide array of socio-political pressures along with trouble with the law. With much of this in mind, Sutter brought in Elgin James to be co-creator for the project, someone who understands culturally these people and can also relate to their struggle.

Speaking to the audience (per Deadline), James did his part to describe how the formation of such a gang as the Mayans MC can come together — and also why there is such a strong sense of unity among them:

“You internalize [feelings of being diminished and forgotten] and you want a family and want to be seen. A gang is a group of f—ed up people looking for a family… and you inflict your damage on the world.”

This is why many members of the Mayans MC throughout the first season may be willing to fight or even die for each other, as there is a cognizance that they may be all one another has. They are grasping for whatever element of humanity that they can and this family, messed-up as it may be, could end up becoming the closest thing that they have to this.

As for Sutter, he reiterated that he is not just setting out to create a new version of Sons of Anarchy with this series, opting instead to come up with something that has its own energy and style:

“My job is to transition the mythology from Sons and honor that … We want to acknowledge where we came from and those fans and balance that with a show that’s original and different and doesn’t feel like a Latino version of Sons of Anarchy.

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