Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Sopranos

A friend of mine was lamenting the other day about how the Sopranos had lost its luster, that it wasn't going anywhere, that all of its plots were cyclical, and I had to partially agree. But then I read an exegesis of the show from the English perspective on, and it pointed out to me all the reasons I still love the Sopranos. One of its great insights was this:

But the fact that things are never quite what they seem with The Sopranos is always one of the programme’s towering strengths. A friend of mine, the green-baiting tourism lecturer and writer Peter Smith, makes the point that everything you need to know about The Sopranos is contained in the show’s evocative, opening credits. The rolling shots of Manhattan’s awe-inspiring skyline give way to Soprano’s journey past smoke-belching industrial plants towards ‘down state’ New Jersey. Far from being the ‘King of New York’, in reality Soprano is simply a small-time hood out in the sticks lacking any real social power or clout. The programme might play on Mafia iconography, but only to put the bravado and machismo into some kind of true perspective. Again, things are never quite what they seem in The Sopranos.

If you haven't seen season 6, don't read the article. If you have, click here. It restores (or reaffirms) your faith in what the article calls "still the greatest show on earth."

1 comment:

MC said...


Good link, it has forced me to reconsider Season 6, and I agree with the article-I was a bit diasappointed by some aspects Season 5, but parts of Season 6 have dawn me in again. Perhaps I am hard on The Sopranos because it has been so consitantly well-crafted that my expectations are high. But, I think a lackluster Sopranos episode is still better than 80% of what is on TV these days.

However, I still standby my comments concerning the predictability of certain story arcs involving Chris and Carmela-they're too cyclic. Earlier thsi year, I posted a blog post on the Vito "Live Free Or Die" episode, which I thought was interesting and thought provoking even if that story arc ended predictably. I didn't like the coma episodes. The article did point out one of the reasons I keep watching, the AJ story arc. It has drawn me in that storyline, and I am really invested in it and want to see what is going to happen even though I already have a pretty good idea of where it is going to lead.