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The Sopranos

My wife and I share everything and one of my favourites is our love for great television.  I grew up cherishing the cinema.  Unfortunately my wife finds them pricey and over-crowded; so we’ve settled on the small screen.  From renting Lost disc-by-disc, to watching Mad Men week-after-week we’ve enjoyed dozens of programs together, (in full or up to the current episode).  Yet, we’ve only loved a few, and one of those few is The Sopranos.

The Sopranos.

To those of you who have had the pleasure I feel we share a bond.  That bond is familial in nature, because that’s what The Sopranos are: an inseparable family, (with a dash of depravity).

What else can be said about The Sopranos?  Articles, thesis papers, and analysis of all types have been dedicated to what has been called “the greatest series of all time.” Instead of dissecting the plot or even, (*SPOLIER ALERT*) the black screen finale, I want discuss its focus on humanity.

The show centers on Tony Soprano and his biological/crime families.  Throughout the six seasons family members come and go but Tony was the constant.  He was the viewer’s immutable figure no matter what transpired. Love him or hate him he was the sun in the series’ solar system.  Yet, he’s a dark fellow, oft times forcing us to shake our heads in disgust.  His boat was named the “Stugots” for god’s sake!  But let us not forget he was a caring man who often did what he did out of love.

I think Tony’s character contained all that is typical in humanity. Sure his emotions were more magnified than our own, but like our own they came from the heart.  If he was hungry he indulged, if he lusted he took what he wanted, and when he felt threatened he reacted in kind.  Is this not the same spirit that constructs us all?

Throughout the series the character who interpreted Tony’s humanity was Dr. Jennifer Melfi. She served as the omnipotent narrator, guiding us through what no one else knew about Tony. We learned how deeply his decisions affected him.  We realized what a childhood such as his could do to a person. Tony, in essence, was a good man with bad morals. He tried his best to do right by those around him.  Unfortunately that’s never been an easy thing to do for anybody.

Herein lays the series’ greatest strength: shining a light on how hard it is to be a good person.  Whether through fault of their own or otherwise characters like Chris, Paulie, Sil, Carmela and Adrianna were forced to make tough decisions in the line of fire.  The beauty of that was the more they messed up the more endearing they became. Perfect characters are fine and dandy but flawed ones remind us of ourselves.

Light-hearted programs such as Friends and Seinfeld were the exceptions in a television era filled with programs we watched “because we had nothing better to do.” The Sopranos was daring enough to reflect a mirror back onto society and the people in it; forcing us to take a look.

I truly recommend this series to everyone who has not watched it in full. If programs like True Blood and Dexter are like a strong drink than The Sopranos is like a fine wine… it only gets better with age.

Thank you for joining me on TubeTalk.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Great job, great show! My father watched this episode by episode over the year, but I didn’t start watching until right after the finale aired. I still have yet to see that self-same finale. I loved the final season in loathing what Tony had become. The man taught me one thing, I may be a piece of shit, but I ‘d rather be that then whatever Tony would be considered. 

    Anyways great write-up!

    • Anonymous

      Love that your dad was into it!

      Tony became a man that I really think he was trying to escape at the beginning of the series a la The Godfather.  He made some decisions I was truly upset with but at the same time I could see why he made them IE Chris.

      This will live on as one of the best and you need to finish the last few episodes!

  • Sharlene Gerontzos

    Amazing series and my favorite part you summed up perfectly and eloquently: “Perfect characters are fine and dandy but flawed ones remind us of ourselves.” While I can’t directly relate to any of the characters (my life is far more pleasantly vanilla,” I could relate to the fact that they were just humans, doing what they knew, trying as best they could, and more often than not, failing to live up to the high moral standards of a “normal” society. Truly a captivating series both gritty and intelligent.

    • Anonymous

      While it was heavy and a bit much while we were eating dinner (not as bad as Spartacus) I can tell we really enjoyed it by how much conversation we had about it.

      This is one of the shows that others are held to, thats for sure.

      And yes, the characters were quite flawed but I truly empathized with them on an episode by episode basis

  • Chris Elliott

    Amazing piece dude. You have it completely right about Tony. The man wants to do good things, he’s just so caught up in his inner turmoil that he has no way out. My favorite series of all time, and you did it more than justice. Applause. 

    • Anonymous

      I didnt know you were so fond of the series!  I really enjoyed going through it episode after episode as opposed to week after week.  It really added to the drama of it.

      Thanks for reading man!

  • Big 7-4 ✡

    Great Breakdown

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