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Veteran Drama Series May Be TV's Most Violent Program LA Times

A drama series is attracting attention for its level of violence -- especially for its season finale, which aired this week. Tuesday’s fifth-season finale of the FX drama "Sons of Anarchy" became the show's highest-rated finale ever, but also raised questions about the level of violence on the show, writes Greg Braxton in the Los Angeles Times.

"While longtime fans expressed enthusiasm over the numerous twists, turns and betrayals in the episode, some also noted that the level of graphic, horrific violence reached new heights this season, rivaling Martin Scorsese movies or other critically acclaimed series such as 'Breaking Bad' and 'Boardwalk Empire,'" he writes.

Braxton adds that while "The Walking Dead" is "more relentlessly violent" than "Sons of Anarchy," "much of the gory carnage is linked to the battle with flesh-eating zombies." He points out that "Sons of Anarchy" is "set in a more realistic violent world filled with a range of criminals."

Creator Kurt Sutter acknowledged that the show was more graphic this season, but said it was needed to show the effect that the bloodshed had on its characters.

"We really wanted to turn the heat up on Jax and show the point of view of a very dangerous existence," Sutter said. "For me it was about shining a light on the very dangerous nature of the world. Nothing was done to shock, but we turned up the level of violence to expose him to all those things that I knew would influence his ability to make a decision."