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 spiked.com, 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."