a few thoughts on The Sopranos

In a complete coincidence, I’ve been rewatching The Sopranos. First time I’ve seen the 6th season and the ending. The recent Chase news item frankly doesn’t interest me.

The final episode is filled with misdirection. I am inclined to believe.. the final sequence is a dream, with the likelihood edging over 50% that it ends with Tony being executed in his sleep. The odds fall under that 50% for life going on much the same as it had been.

AJ was on the verge of going into the military and becoming “Donald Trump’s personal pilot” – before the 100th twist in his decision-making leads him to allegedly start down a path into Hollywood. Meadow was on the verge of becoming a doctor, saving lives, but decides against it to pursue Constitutional Law, specifically noting how much she hates the federal government since she’s operating under the delusion that they’ve been unnecessarily harassing her family for her entire life – so she’s going to become a defense attorney for criminals, spend the rest of her life “defending her father” to the whole world. Carmela is a hypocrite of the first order and Tony is a rabid dog. One shitty family, Made in America. There are plenty of films with detestable characters that we don’t mind watching, and maybe The Sopranos might’ve been a bit more palatable had we not been forced to spend 80+ hours empathizing with those monsters. But it wasn’t written to be palatable, which is probably why its viewership flagged in the later seasons – NOT the 100% gangster power trip after all (more like 65%).

But Sopranos is TV 2.0, and now we’re at TV 4.0. They pitched a pilot “mobster walks into a psychiatrist’s office”, and essentially abandoned that throughline after season 1, indulging heavily in another gangster fable. Chase is talented, sure, but they make this stuff up as they go… and I just don’t get the impression he had a very solid idea of what he was doing. I saw an interview snippet where he says he still isn’t sure if Sopranos is drama or comedy (though it clearly doesn’t have to be “one or the other”).

Also have lots of opinions about the show’s numerous connections to Mad Men.

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