A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mayans M.C. is a spin-off of the popular biker series Sons of Anarchy. It contains lots of brutal violence, ranging from shooting deaths to torture scenes, including bloody amputations of body parts SOA is known for. Cursing is frequent, and illegal drug processing and distribution is shown. Sexual references are audible.
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What's the story?
The Sons of Anarchy spin-off MAYANS M.C. follows a new prospect for the (fictitious) Santo Padre Chapter of the Mayans Motorcycle Club on the California-Mexico border. It's been over two years since the Sons lost Jax Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam), and Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes (played by J.D. Pardo) is now out of jail and looking to join the Club in order to bring down Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino) and the Galindo drug cartel, who are responsible for destroying his family's life. The brilliant, former Stanford University student is eager to prove himself, but his older brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas), a full patch member of the Mayans M.C., does his best to mentor and protect him, much to the reassurance of their father (Edward James Olmos). EZ soon finds himself participating in criminal activities with other full patches, including Johnny "El Coco" Cruz (Richard Cabral), their club's vice president, Che "Taza" Romero (Raoul Trujillo), Secretary Michael "Riz" Ariza (Antonio Jaramillo), and the chapter president, Obispo "Bishop" Losa (Michael Irby). As he navigates his way deeper into this world, he discovers that all is not what it seems, and that their enemies aren't as clear-cut as he thought. Also complicating things is his past romance with childhood sweetheart Emily Thomas (Sarah Bolger).
Is it any good?
Like its parent series, this gritty and violent drama features stories about a complicated and predictably unforgiving world of the illegal drug trade along the California-Mexico border. But EZ's search for revenge is really a story about a man who has the gifts and the desire to rise above this criminal life, but whose dreams are ultimately crushed when he's incapable of escaping it. As a result, while the antics of the Mayans M.C. are self-serving and brutal, it's almost easy to excuse them, and forgive EZ for his part.
There's no doubt that most Sons of Anarchy fans will be drawn to the series, despite the fact that it has a pronouncedly different vibe thanks to the political and cultural picture it paints of Latinos and the drug trade. But while it's meant to offer a fictionalized version of gangster life on the border, Mayans M.C. also serves to perpetuate common (and tiresome) stereotypes about Mexican Americans. Nonetheless, if you like this sort of show, it is entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons drug and gangster-themed dramas like Mayans M.C. are so popular. Do these series glorify gang violence? The drug trade? How is the audience supposed to feel about the characters?
Many stories in film and television revolve around revenge. Is revenge ever a good motivator for doing anything, even in the criminal world?
For kids who love drama
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