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100 TV Shows-#16-The Sopranos

The Sopranos





My father LOVED this show. He passed away in 2002, and during his last few years, The Sopranos was one of the things he loved to talk about. He was a Hudson County boy from Bayonne, so the whole milieu was something he was familiar with. He also loved shows and movies about gangsters, especialy Jewish gangsters in the Meyer Lansky mode, so the Hesh character must have appealed to him a lot. Maybe he related to Tony as a guy with a lot of dreams and lot of disappointments. He just loved the idea of a gangster going to a shrink.

What tends to crack me up about this, is that my father was somewhat prudish when it came to language. If I EVER used a "shit" or "fuck" around the house, I would be told not to talk dirty, so the idea of him sitting and enjoying Tony and the boys and their extremely colorful use of expletives is kind of amusing.

When the show went on, I didn't have HBO or a DVD player, so I didn't start watching till the show was almost over. By that time we did have a DVD player and the Sainted Netflix.

I appreciated the show for great acting and writing, but I don't think I really enjoyed it. I think the balance of dark to humor wasn't a good fit for me and some of it was just too real. Characters like Richie Abrile and Ralphie Cifaretto just make me incredibly uncomfortable, and the ones who didn't scare me mostly annoyed me. Adriana, Christopher, JANICE! Don't even get me started on how much I wanted to smack Janice every single time she was on the screen.

Even characters I found fun to watch or managed to care about would find ways to piss me off, and that sense that something really bad was always just around the corner made the show difficult for me. I don't think there was one character I was able to like unconditionally....MAYBE Silvio, and that's mostly because he never stopped being Little Steven as far as I was concerned.

We made it up to about the middle of season 6, I think. My personal point where I could't go on was the plot about Vito. Once I'd spoiled myself via Wiki on how that was going to end up, I just couldn't go through with it, so when the whole massive hype about the last episode was going on, I was pretty detached from it.

I can't argue that it wasn't a great show that definitely paved the way for other shows that I do/did love, but for me it was never particularly enjoyable. On the other hand it made my father happy and that is very important to me.

And I will say that opening credit sequence is one of the best song/image combos ever.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
chicating
May. 8th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
When I loved it, I loved it, but I still didn't watch all of it. I think I got bored without the Chris/Adriana ship and when all the old guys from the "Class of '85" got sprung at once...who cares? For me, it was the intersection between work and Tony's personal stuff that made it the most special.
karaokegal
May. 8th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
Couldn't stand Chris and Adriana either together or separately. There's something about Michael Imperioli that gives me the creeps. I genuinely doubt his tequila commercials are doing anything to help sales.
chicating
May. 9th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
with a certain kind of man, sure. I'm not sure they're the kind of man I'm into, but they're out there. Jon Hamm can't hold up the patriarchy all by himself.
karaokegal
May. 10th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
It's hard to imagine Michael Imperioli do a part that takes the piss out of himself as much as the one Hamm did on 30 Rock.
chicating
May. 11th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
If he's smart, he will.
Although he's also a writer/director...maybe that's more important yo him now.
proseac1
May. 9th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
I never watched it - didn't get HBO, and when it came on Showcase in reruns I only lasted through part of one episode. The language was just too much for me, somehow. (I couldn't watch Six Feet Under either, for the same reason).

But I adored those opening credits (especially the music), and sometimes while flipping channels I'd stop just to watch/listen to them! I always laughed every time I saw that pig on top of the building - "That's so USA!" I'd think. Whether it is or not, I've no idea, but it seemed that way to me. Most industrialized US cities just seem to look different somehow from Canadian ones; I think it must be the architecture. Those credits really reminded me of Niagara Falls, NY.
karaokegal
May. 10th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
I can't speak for the USA as a whole, but I know New Jersey and they certainly caught that ambience to perfection.
dref22
May. 9th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
Ugh, I still couldn't finish this show either! Spoilers killed it for me.
karaokegal
May. 10th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, if I had gone all the way and then experienced the Vito story unspoiled, along with some of the other plot twists, it might have been seriously traumatic for me.
cookielaura
May. 10th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Considering all the great things I've heard about this show, I'm still kind of surprised that I've never, ever, felt any need to watch it. And I think your description has kind of reassured me that I am OK missing out on it :-)
karaokegal
May. 10th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'd say you're fine. I think it could be more important for the stuff that came afterwards such as Deadwood and Mad Men. Certainly it's a Zeitgeist show, just not one I could really enjoy.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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