There’s a Reason AMC Put “The Son” on Saturdays — It’s a Boring, Miserable Historical Drama

Photo Credit: AMC

The Son Series Premiere Plot Summary:

A cattle rancher (Pierce Brosnan) who desperately wants in on the oil game, must battle his enemies, financial crisis, and familial issues in South Texas.

With a busy weekend ahead of me I decided to make sure I had AMC’s new Western epic The Son DVR-ed ahead of time. I scrolled through my channel guide to Sunday, and I was surprised to see the show was not airing on Sunday night. So I went online and found the premiere was airing on Saturday instead.

That’s when I realized The Son was going to be absolutely terrible.

Unless your show is called Better Call Saul, anytime AMC doesn’t air a series during its vaunted Sunday night line-up, it’s a safe bet this series a bust. Now, you might be thinking “How would this series fit in on a Sunday when Fear the Walking Dead and Into the Badlands will be the channel’s one-two punch in the coming weeks?” (Seriously, is anyone watching Fear the Walking Dead at this point?) Or maybe you’re thinking that AMC is just trying to branch out its original programming, and make Saturday night their night too. 

No, The Son is on Saturday because it’s absolutely terrible.

The Western is a plodding, predictable, and tired historical drama. AMC hasn’t had the best run of luck with historical dramas — both Turn: Washington’s Spies, and Hell on Wheels have/were relegated to off nights, and produced unremarkable seasons.

This series, however, is exponentially worse. It’s essentially Dallas set in the Wild West: there’s the unpredictable, power mad father, the brothers who will soon be at odds, the women they secretly love (who will cause major problems in their lives), political machinations, and just for kicks, commentary on race relations. Outside of the race commentary (which is terribly crowbarred in), we’ve all seen this scenario before.

The show’s glacial pace, and extreme predictability (you literally can figure out one character’s entire arc in 30 seconds) make the two-hour premiere painful to watch. The lone bright spot is Brosnan, who delivers a bullishly charismatic take on a tired character.

Overall, The Son has the potential to be a strong series, but it’s first two episodes give us a little hope that the potential will be capitalized on.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites