The Sopranos

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  • "Cut to Black" was brilliant, but, only the one time - live, that night.
  • some interesting discussion on the ending from Sepinwall/Seitz's new book:

    https://news.avclub.com/david-chase-originally-had-a-death-scene-in-mind-for-1831583889
  • edited January 2019

    Bill Simmons was talking about doing some sort of binge-watch re-watch podcast (the way they did Harry Potter and Game of Thrones).  So, it's possible that could be on the horizon. 

    russkelly
  • I haven't watched this show in 12 years, do the therapy scenes hold up? They bored me watching it when I was 18 but I was a stupid little shit. I remember a lot of complaining about them in general during the shows run, do they stand out at all on rewatches? I want to go through the show again with a different perspective but the way I remember parts of the series dragging has kept me from pulling the trigger.
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited January 2019
    I haven't watched this show in 12 years, do the therapy scenes hold up? They bored me watching it when I was 18 but I was a stupid little shit. I remember a lot of complaining about them in general during the shows run, do they stand out at all on rewatches? I want to go through the show again with a different perspective but the way I remember parts of the series dragging has kept me from pulling the trigger.
    They definitely hold up for me, Lorraine Bracco and James Gandolfini do such an amazing job of playing off of each other. Especially since we only occasionally get glimpses of Dr. Melfi's life outside of the office - so the scenes have to do so much for her character development in a limited setting, and it really succeeds at that.

    I was also pretty young the first go-around so I understand the sentiment of them being a "momentum killer" - but really they are the most important part of the show, and are a showcase for the writers on the show.
    bizmarkiefader
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    edited January 2019
    I haven't watched this show in 12 years, do the therapy scenes hold up? They bored me watching it when I was 18 but I was a stupid little shit. I remember a lot of complaining about them in general during the shows run, do they stand out at all on rewatches? I want to go through the show again with a different perspective but the way I remember parts of the series dragging has kept me from pulling the trigger.
    Yeah, they hold up. They make the show. 20 years ago, I was a dumb kid that just wanted to see guys get whacked. As a marginally more mature person, I can see the show now for what it truly is. Chase himself said that this is a psychology show.
  • kuman07kuman07 Kansas City
    This is the first show I remember like actually really watching. I mean I grew up watching Simpsons and South Park as a kid but that is a different kind of watching. I started watching Sopranos I think my sophomore year of high school and it was the first show I remember watching religiously. I started watching in the middle of the series, I think season 4 maybe so it was the first show I binge watched too. It was the show that brought me my love for television and will always be one of my all time favorites.
    russkelly
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I ordered the Sepinwall book and it’s supposed to be delivered today. Which is apt considering it’s the 20th anniversary today. I understand the people who got annoyed with the therapy stuff. But I can’t relate at all. That’s the meat and depth of the show (not the only depth of the show). And at times the therapy is meant to be stale. But that's fairly obvious and purposeful. I just can’t quite get how people who got into a show whose very first scene was a therapy scene and very clearly about a mobster dealing with psychiatry could be thrown off by a show dealing with the psychiatry of a mobster. 
    MrX
  • Strangely enough I just finished a rewatch. It’s my favorite series of all time and it looks fantastic on Blu-Ray. There is a podcast that I listen(ed) to called “No F*ckckin’ Ziti.” The podcasters are ridiculous, and laugh at their own jokes a lot, but I sort of love that. They also repeat the same jokes, where you start to get annoyed, but then it miraculously circles around and becomes more funny than it initially was. What you should know is they irritatingly made it to the end of the Season 6a, and haven’t made anymore since mid-April. I hope they eventually come back and polish that thing off.
    100% recommend No Fuckin’ Ziti...great podcast “low-key greatest podcast” lol
    russkellyGarthgou81
  • Kind of a dead topic, but what am I gonna do, start a new one? I spent the last month or so rewatching the show and I'm gonna think my thoughts here for you.

    I'm about two episodes away from finishing a rewatch.  I saw this show once in it's entirety years back and it was never really one of my favorites.  Frankly, I don't think it lives up to the praise it gets, and the rewatch confirms that.  In fact, the biggest surprise, for me, is that I've actually kept with it all the way through.  It's an oddly compelling show, I have to give it that.  Among a lot of memorable and stellar episodes, the one that really stands out as the jawdropper is definitely "University."

    It's hard to review the series in it's entirety, but generally speaking I think everything about it is inconsistent, in particular the quality of plotting and arc of character development.  Some characters like AJ are just pointlessly meandering and seem to go from sudden, unestablished spurts of development to backtracking that character growth entirely. 

    Tony's the same.  I defy someone to articulate the arc of his character.  It would look like a squiggly line.  Maybe that's the point, that's life, etc.  Whatever, I just think it's poor writing.  In the last season, he's a gambling addict.  He never was before, but he just is now.  Ok.  The therapy scenes with Dr. Melfi are frequently laughable and by about the third or fourth season they clearly add nothing to the show.  She's a great character when we get to see her outside of that setting, but by the last couple seasons, we don't get any of that.  It's such a waste of a good character. 

    And there are a lot of great characters on this show, with delightful stuff like Carmine Jr's stilted phrasing and Ro's everything.  There's a lot of stuff I love, like Paulie's estrangement and reconciliation with his mother.  It's good that the show diverges from the mob stuff to the more human moments the audience can relate to.  But then there's other subplots like Jr's encounter with the violent young psych patient.  What the fuck is the point of any of that and why do we spend so much time on it? 

    I'm being very critical, but I really think it's deserved.  This show doesn't hold up to the stuff that came after, or sometimes simultaneous, to it.  The last point I want to make is that, in general, the thing that turns me off the most about this show is the mean-spiritedness behind it a lot of the time.  It's hard to explain, but the way that vulnerable people, whether they be victims of mob violence or homeless people or drug addicts or anyone else, are often treated with such a casual lack of empathy or outright as comedic fodder is kind of gross.  I compare it to something like The Wire, and it's just a really stark difference in terms of the empathy that's evident in the writing.

    I'm glad I rewatched the show.  It's not bad or I wouldn't have watched it through, but I'm obviously not a huge fan.  Fight me!

    DeeCretanBull
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Oh, here we go. This is gonna be the new Lost. 
    CapeGabeCretanBullken hale
  • To me, I haven't done a full series rewatch, I think ever, but what I remember watching it in the moment was it was just hit or miss with episodes as the series kept going.  One week, I would love the episode and then the next I would think that this was just a waste.  The ending I think I've come around on but they did mess up but not at least leaving the HBO logo or something on the screen as I really did think my cable went out and had to call my mother to see if something happened with hers.  I just really wonder what would have happened if Nany Marchand hadn't died in real life.  I think she nailed playing Livia and who knows what they have her character do if she was alive.  To me, the first 2 seasons of the Sopranos are great.
    ken hale
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    I only watched when originally aired oh so long ago. I’d be down for a rewatch and discussion of the episodes. 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Oh man....I’m totally writing a longer post tomorrow. But couldn’t disagree more. 
    OpusWho
  • so here's my thing...Upon a much later review I saw the consensus was that it went off the rails in season 4 and I was literally gobsmacked. You're going to tell me that a TV season with "Whoever Did This", "The Strong, Silent Type" & "Whitecaps" is going off the rails?? FOR SHAME...I think the real dip doesn't come until 6a...Season 2-4 are my favorite, This show is so weird watching now. I still think Gandolfini & Falco set a standard thats hard to compare...Hamm, Cranston, Coon, & King...maybe. Those performances can never be denied. It was at a really weird time...The shift for network television to this. Its crazy that networks televisions last chance against the new order could only be Martin  Sheen in the White House. I was not a WW fan while it was airing...You still couldn't have a long-overarching plot over many seasons. I have grown to REALLY appreciate the Kevin Finnerty stuff especially in light of The Leftovers. 

    anyway...maybe more unintelligible rant in future...its late. Im tired. lol

    PS-Music on the Sopranos was always amazing...Annie Lennox everywhere!
  • Oh man....I’m totally writing a longer post tomorrow. But couldn’t disagree more. 
    I look forward to reading your thoughts! I hope my snarkiness wasn't too mean-spirited :)
  • edited December 2019
    OpusWho said:
    I still think Gandolfini & Falco set a standard thats hard to compare...Hamm, Cranston, Coon, & King...maybe. Those performances can never be denied.

    anyway...maybe more unintelligible rant in future...its late. Im tired. lol

    PS-Music on the Sopranos was always amazing...Annie Lennox everywhere!
    SPOILERS BELOW (OBVIOUSLY?)

    Definitely agree on the music choices.  Solid throughout.  And I'd be happy to read your further thoughts.  I just spent a shitload of time watching this show, and nobody else cares, so, I'd love a good discussion, lol. Regarding Gandolfini and Falco, I agree that their performances are remarkable - you clearly understand the internal motivation behind every emotional outburst, explosive fight, or silent look.  It's to the actors' and writers' credit that those scenes are so powerful.  What I have a problem with is the overall arc of their characters over the course of the series.  Like Carmella.  She actually leaves Tony, insulted that he tries to buy her over with trinkets despite his flagrant indiscretions.  I want to see where that character goes!  And then she just goes back to him and makes him buy her a spec house.  And for the rest of the series it's like they just reset her character to season 1 and she never changes again.  WTF?  Honestly, a lot of the characters have the same issue in the last few seasons.
    OpusWho
  • Just finished yesterday with my first view ever over the last 3 months.
    Loved it, for me it easily holds up to todays standards.

    One of my favourite sequences:



  •   And I'd be happy to read your further thoughts.  I just spent a shitload of time watching this show, and nobody else cares, so, I'd love a good discussion, lol. 
    lol...name a topic or episode and I can do a page easily! Just rando thoughts and I sputter. On Whitecaps...The next day everyone was "what they got divorced? No one died"...yeah man...Divorce...schmucks.
    ken hale
  • "Sopranos is just meh by today's standards?"

    ReniFreddySchlupp
  • Well, Paulie, at least, holds up by any standards, I'll give you that :)
  • I'm thinking I might do a rewatch. I dunno. I only get about an hour of TV a night. Nothing else really going on right now though. Any good podcasts to recommend? If BM had one, it'd be a no-brainer. Alas. 

    Just read a comment above that said "No Fuckin Ziti" is a good one. Guess I'll check that out if I do this. 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    shakabry said:
    I'm thinking I might do a rewatch. I dunno. I only get about an hour of TV a night. Nothing else really going on right now though. Any good podcasts to recommend? If BM had one, it'd be a no-brainer. Alas. 

    Just read a comment above that said "No Fuckin Ziti" is a good one. Guess I'll check that out if I do this. 
    No Fuckin' Ziti consistently cracks me up. They are goofy and laugh at their own jokes, but I find it endearing. Michael Imperioli (Christufuh) and Steve Shirripa (Bobby) started one recently called Talking Sopranos. I haven't listened, but I don't tend to like hearing actors wax nonstop about their stuff. It might very well be great. 

    This is probably the best television show of all time, in my opinion. 
    shakabry
  • For the Soprano fans you may want to check out the latest JRE podcast(Joe Rogan) episode 1493
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited January 28
    Just listened to ARon praise the first 2 seasons of The Sopranos on OTC - he finally succumbed to it! Excited to hear his thoughts on season 3, I recall it being strong, with episodes like Pine Barrens and University. Plus it's the season that Joey Pants joins the cast. Gonna be hard to resist watching along as well ...
    GiovanniEine Frau
  • The Richie/Janice resolution is still one of my favorite WTF series of events in the show.  Tony's reaction is priceless too.
    Eine Frau
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I really wish Aron would let me be a guest on one of his episodes. I used to be a moderator on a Sopranos message board. 

    Season 3 is definitely one of the highlights of the series. What a lot of people forget about this show (and a technique that is largely not used these days), they merge serialized story-telling with one-off storytelling. You will have an episode which tells a couple smaller stories with ancillary characters (AJ's nihilism, Chris's drug addiction, etc) and link it in to Tony's struggle to be a good mob boss and father figure to both AJ & Chris while also merging it into the larger structure of the season. You may never hear about AJ's nihilism again, but it makes for an entertaining hour which also propels Tony's narrative further into other episodes. 

    Each season also seems to have a narrative structure that focuses on Tony's conflict in some way, shape, or form. Plenty of other conflict arise, of course, but the first seems to really focus on Tony as a son to Livia. While the second is Tony's struggle as a gangster. The third is Tony's struggle as a father, etc, etc. 

    It also did the dream-like stories in ways that were palatable for audiences. They weren't quite as incomprehensible as Lynch's stuff. But still weird enough in tone that it didn't feel false like many movies or TV shows attempt to portray. 

    I just love this show more than I can explain. It sort of hurt my heart to hear Aron or Jim in a long-forgotten podcast talk about how Sopranos was just meh. So I am thrilled that he is going back and revisiting. It is an amazing show. It has aged in some ways, but in others you can see it completely forming what TV has now become. 

    The offer is out there Aron!
    FreddyMrXGiovanniEine FrauBrooklynMD
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    mharmless said:
    The Richie/Janice resolution is still one of my favorite WTF series of events in the show.  Tony's reaction is priceless too.
    This was a great example of what the show did countless times. They'd come up with a resolution which completely worked and made sense with the characters, but that we see coming. Sometimes it was a more obvious solution than this one, but the writers were just experts at zigging when you'd expect them to zag. 
    Eine FrauBrooklynMD
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    i need to get on the re-watch train as i'm long overdue. esp before this..

    FreddyEine FrauGiovanni
  • Count me in on the 'I should do a rewatch' train. All of this talk about it got me interested again. Wonder if I could catch up before the next off the clock? 
    FreddyEine Frau
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