Monday, June 11, 2007

Tony, Paulie, and Meadow


**SPOILER ALERT**

Is there any series finale that measures up to the series itself? I would argue that last night's final episode of The Sopranos did just that.

Just as The Godfather novel/movies were as much about the World War II post-immigrant generation as they were about the Mafia, the HBO series dealt with everyday experiences of baby boomers in the context of a crime family. The lead characters in The Sopranos were probably meant to be a little older than the actors who portrayed them (what couple named their daughter "Meadow" in 1982?), as the show explored what lives were like for fortysomethings in the 1990s -- from getting your kid into college to putting a parent into a home.

Using the Mafia to talk about real-life problems did not set The Sopranos apart. What made the series unique was how skillfully it was done. Last night's finale was a fitting example of such skill. Too busy to cook, the family meets for dinner at a family-favorite 50s diner. As with almost every show, it proceeded both on the level of a family show and an organized crime drama. As they rave about the onion rings, the audience is eyeballing every restaurant patron as a possible assassin or FBI agent. For a moment, the audience experiences what life must be like for a wiseguy. We were looking over our shoulders for the cops and rivals.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Derek said...

I have never seen an episode of the Sopranos. I heard it is supposed to be pretty good though.

June 12, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

In addition, I will add that i have read about this last-episode controversy. I think i would like the ending. It's pretty clear to me that Tony is now dead.

June 13, 2007 1:43 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

Other shows besides The Sopranos of which I am aware exist but have never seen a single episode:

Partridge Family
Saved by the Bell
Friends
Seinfeld
CSI
ER
Survivor
American Idol
Lost
Gray's Anatomy
South Park
Desperate Housewives
The O.C.
Sex and the City
Beverly Hills 90210
NYPD Blue
My Name is Earl

however, I am a big fan of:

Good Times
Sanford and Son
Brady Bunch
The Office (I've seen these on DVD)

June 13, 2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Gilles said...

The Sopranos was little more than a crack additction. I should have quit years ago - after seasons 1 & 2 when the highs were so high...

But then in season 3 the concept Swanny talks about - telling an awful story of a crumbling family sprinkled in with a few sweet crumbs of gang land activity - took over.

I should have stopped watching, but it was the only place to get my gangland violence fix. As the seasons passed, the writers and producers got more sophomoric and esoteric, the highs weren't as high or often, and the lows were god awful. So of course the show ends on a pitiful low and the only sugar in the finally (Billy Bats Buying the Shoebox) rings terribly hollow.

Good riddance.

June 17, 2007 2:23 PM  

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