In light of the death of James Gandolfini, I wanted to take this time to write how much I enjoyed HBO drama, The Sopranos. To begin, let me say that I am a huge fan of dramas. Back in the day, I wouldn’t miss an episode of Hill Street Blues or L.A. Law. Later on, it was Law and Order and E.R. Lately, I have drifted to the cable dramas, albeit rather late in the game. I watched The Sopranos when it first came on HBO, because I am a huge fan of Mafia-inspired dramas and movies, plus it took place in New Jersey, so what could be better. However, between getting married, having children and having a love/hate relationship with premium channels, The Sopranos and I parted ways. A couple of years ago, after the huge hoopla over the series finale was over and done with, I sat down and watched the seasons that I missed.
What a remarkably awesome show. Actors, writing, character arcs….it still renders its impact to this day.
The Sopranos is a thinking person’s show. The writing is excellent, no one is a good guy and there are only small satisfactions along the way. Don’t expect this show expecting the good guys to win or the bad guys to get their comeuppance. It ain’t happening here.
Even the FBI, usually the people on the white horses that come in and save the day, are painted in dubious colors. They are responsible for a few deaths and beatings on the show, that’s for sure.
It is definitely a male-oriented show. You delve so deeply into Tony Soprano’s psyche that you know for sure this is not someone you want anywhere near you or your family. The rest of his cohorts and the women who hang around them….there were times when you might have shed a tear, but when you elevate yourself from the spell of their highly insulated world, you can’t feel sorry for them…they chose this life, right?
Though you may feel that these people selected their own fates and must pay the consequences, the show still somehow makes you feel for them, shed a tear for them and silently urge them not to turn their back on that guy in the Members Only jacket.
But what sold the show wasn’t just the good writing, the well-written characters (and the awesome actors that portrayed them) , it was James Gandolfini and his character’s troubled relationship with his mother that permeated his very being, that kept you tuning in, despite months between seasons.
Thank you, Mr. Gandolfini and Mr. David Chase for providing us with such an excellent character study within the “walls” of the New Jersey mob scene. The Sopranos is a show that can be watched and rewatched again – every time I watch an episode, I see new things. That’s very rare.