In some respects, this is more wholly realized than “Sons of Anarchy” was in its early stages, certainly in terms of the central character. Pardo is tough and mysterious, while Edward James Olmos is as usual a welcome addition, here as his supportive dad.
That said, the soapier flourishes — including Sarah Bolger’s role as the aforementioned woman from EZ’s past — play as a bit cliched. The ethnic and cultural trappings, meanwhile, provide a welcome showcase for Hispanic talent, the tradeoff being that this is another series that explores an ethnic group through the prism of criminality and violence, where the business meetings tend to focus on things like “jacking” a shipment from the wrong cartel.
For “Sons” loyalists, Sutter and company have delivered a show that promises to provide similar thrills, immersing them in another quadrant of that ruthless landscape, where corruption is the norm and morality is negotiable.
The producers also serve notice, early and often, that like its predecessor, “Mayans” will push to the serrated edge of what FX will allow. That promises a journey not everyone will be eager to take, but at this point, nobody should be surprised by the nastier twists and turns that come with the territory.
“Mayans M.C.” premieres Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. on FX.