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Tilting at Windmills

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June 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE SOPRANOS....I don't get HBO, so I've never seen an episode of The Sopranos. However, sight unseen, I'll say this: if the purpose of a series finale is to get people talking, then the series finale of The Sopranos must be one of the greatest of all time. Sheesh.

I guess it's better than 24/7 Paris Hilton, though.....

Kevin Drum 3:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (86)

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That's it, Drum sleeps with the fishes.

Posted by: Tony on June 12, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

cue 100 people proudly telling the world they've never seen an episode of the Sopranos - which makes them dangerously smart and iconoclastic, or something. the cue 75 to tell us all how The Wire is so much better. then cue another 50 telling the world that they don't even own a TV and that the rest of us are just mindless sheep.

bahhhh.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

At roughly 10:02 last night east coast time, something like 30 million Americans spoke as one: "What's wrong with the TV?"

For that alone, Chase deserves credit.

Posted by: theAmericanist on June 12, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't get HBO, so I've never seen an episode of The Sopranos..."

I bet you haven't heard of renting dvds either eh?

Posted by: supersaurus on June 12, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

My list (in order) of best season finales ever:

1) St. Elsewhere
2) Star Trek: The Next Generation
3) Newhart
4) M*A*S*H
5) Mary Tyler Moore

I haven't totally figured what I think about The Sopranos finale yet, but I will be putting it in my top 5, just because of how much I enjoyed the show itself over the 7+ years it ran.

Posted by: jbk on June 12, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dude. I have spent the duration of the Sopranos living in Europe, Africa, and the Far East, and I've seen the first five seasons I think. Of course maybe it's BECAUSE I've been living abroad that I needed such a New Jersey fix.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 12, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Now I will admit to not being a regular Sopranos viewer and to having not watched the finale. I did see the last scene about 100 times on Countdown last night(Why does that show always run the same video over-and-over during a segment? But I digress.). I have no doubt that The Sopranos was a quality program based on the few times I did see it, however.

I will, however, PROUDLY admit to having never watched an episode of American Idol or Survivor and I do feel smugly superior for that.

Posted by: howie on June 12, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was absolutely brilliant -- the perfect end to one of the greatest works of art ever produced in America.

Though I've had "Don't Stop Believin'" running through my head for two days now....

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Cleek,

The Wire is a better show. However, I have seen every episode of The Sopranos, and I am a big fan.

On the final episode:

Given the constraints of not wanting to burn future, useful, and profitable bridges, I thought there was a good chance that the producers would not provide any definitive ending, and that is what viewers got- a lot of unanswered questions.

When I was watching Sunday night, I was very annoyed at how the finish was handled, but that was a reaction to the high drama the final scene evoked in me. On viewing it again, last night, I do have to credit the show's creator and director, David Chase, for a very artistic and dramatic finish. What did the final blackout mean? Based on the dialogue from earlier scenes discussing what getting whacked would be like, I would have to say that it was the viewers that were whacked at the end. Tony Soprano lives, but will never fully escape the evil he has done.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 12, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

You are not the only one. I have been subvocalizing it for two days now.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 12, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Please.
I haven't seen any episodes.
And you are all ruining the denouement for me.

. o O (What to do?)

. o O (What to do?)

. o O (Hmmm. I know, throw them a red herring!)

Looky everyone!

Paris Hilton is fucking Federer on Catblogging Friday!

Looky! Looky!

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on June 12, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

As one Italian-American once wrote shortly after the series began, ruminating on all of this, words to the effect, "The Corleones are our Kennedys and the Sopranos are our Simpsons."

I don't have cable either but rely on the kindness of friends and dvd's.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 12, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Wire is a better show.

I bow to no one in my love for The Wire, but I wouldn't call it better, just different. While The Wire examines the decline of the America city and is ultimately a show about the working class, The Sopranos is the most brilliant dissection of late 20th/early 21st middle-class suburban noveau riche consumer American life we're ever going to see.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

I saw one episode. I thought the point of the Sopranos was to make it safe for Cheney to say Fuck.

Posted by: tomeck on June 12, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

stefan: "Though I've had 'Don't Stop Believin'' running through my head for two days now ..."

Ouch. My condolences.

I've found that anything by the groups Journey or Boston (i.e., "More Than a Feeling", "Amanda") will do that to me, to the point of general queaziness. Small wonder, given that their collective work product is pretty much the musical equivalent of Cheez-Whiz ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 12, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

I watched it again last night-- I think Tony get whacked.

Posted by: gfw on June 12, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Kevin Drum blogging about pop culture is like Lindsay Lohan blogging about sobriety.

You just end up annoyed and vaguely afraid you'll get puke on your keyboard.

Now, you try!

"Kevin Drum blogging about pop culture is like ____"

Posted by: cazart on June 12, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii,

Oh, come on! Are you trying to tell me that Open Arms and Oh, Sherry isn't high quality Rock and Roll?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get HBO, so I've never seen an episode of The Sopranos..."

I bet you haven't heard of renting dvds either eh?

I found out about dvd's, rented the Sopranos' first season, watched the first show, and said, "Why is everyone interested in these unpleasant suburbanite thugs?" The worst of all worlds. Never watched any more.

Posted by: David in NY on June 12, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Whose Lindsay Lohan?

USC cheerleader?

Posted by: K. Drum impersonator on June 12, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

If the question is what's better, 'The Sopranos' or 'The Wire,' it's the wrong question. Because the answer is 'Deadwood.'

But the Sopranos finale was excellent. I think the yahoos who hated it are just sore because it took them nine years to realize that their favorite show was over their head.

If you've watched the show with any regularity you know that Tony is just the kind of guy who would play Journey on one of those table-top jukeboxes. I was afraid he was going to go with Heart.

Posted by: Woody Bombay on June 12, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"I thought it was absolutely brilliant -- the perfect end to one of the greatest works of art ever produced in America."
______________________

I absolutely agree with Stefan. An outstanding piece of theater. You could cut the tension with a knife and the irony of it just...ending was simply beautiful. Who needs a final denouement? Cook one up in your head.

Or wait for the motion picture, of course.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 12, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think it would have been artistically more impressive if, at the end, everyone had been run over by a truck.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on June 12, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

You never saw an episode, and now you missed the boat. You poor, poor, neglected soul...

Posted by: Boorring on June 12, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Great character studies in the series, and an unexpected ending--left to the imagination of the viewer. Of course they got wacked. But maybe not!

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 12, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I watched the first three season of the Soprano saga on DVD, and was a fan ever since. It was extremely well written, and acted with extraordinary skill, Edie Falco in particular, although I don't watch much television other than theatrical movies or sports. "Richard III" pertains to a very unpleasant central character, and manages to be fascinating, so I don't think New Jersey gangsters are such unlikely characters to build great fiction around. I've neved seen "The Wire", although I think I'll now give it a try as I did with "The Sopranos".

The other show that I watched more than a couple times in the last 20 years was "Deadwood", which I also thought was extremely well written, especially in it's unique style of dialogue; sort of a quasi-Shakespearian sound. Certainly Deadwood was the most interesting fiction I've seen on T.V. in terms of political economy.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The finale was near-perfect, I think, and anything more in terms of wrapping up loose ends would have been entirely too pat.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

"if the purpose of a series finale is to get people talking, then the series finale of The Sopranos must be one of the greatest of all time. Sheesh."

It's been the great water-cooler show of its era.

Posted by: Petey on June 12, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

"I think the yahoos who hated it are just sore because it took them nine years to realize that their favorite show was over their head."

I'm a yahoo that hated it but not for the reason you state. I hated it because it was quite possibly the most boring episode I'd ever watched. The last five minutes were suspenseful but the rest of the episode was a total yawnfest. Not a great way to end the show at all.

Posted by: John Robins on June 12, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, gosh, John, I thought the last episode might have been the funniest of them all. I laughed out loud several times.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I've neved seen "The Wire", although I think I'll now give it a try as I did with "The Sopranos".

See it. It's absolutely amazing. If, as I said, The Sopranos is about middle-class America then the The Wire is the best depiction of modern day American working-class life and the labor-management struggle ever put on television (especially my beloved second season with the dockworkers plotline).

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Will -- quite funny at parts (especially AJ's scenes). The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood are (were) consistently the funniest shows on television, and I've laughed out loud watching them far more than I ever have at any network sitcom.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Man, I nearly fell out of my chair when A.J. climbed into the dual-exhaust BMW; absolutely hilarious. Maybe it was just me, but I also busted a gut as Meadow explained to Tony her thought process in choosing law over medicine. Gandolfini's facial expression is just priceless; I thought Falco was the best actor on the show, but just by a tiny margin.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

The last five minutes were intense as I became increasingly aware that something would happen,
it was so compelling, yet the juxtaposition of the improving family dynamics (Anthony Jr's recovering status)...made all the more nerve-wracking with how Meadow was having difficulties parking her car. And those creepy guys coming into the restaurant, tough dudes. Then the screen turned grey. I thought--did Comcast fail me? Then the credits came. I thought what an awesome ending to this superb series. If you loved the characters, it was just perfect.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 12, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

How about the look on Edie Falco's face when Tony started telling Anthony Jr.'s psychologist that his mother had a borderline personality disorder and could never be pleased. Like, here we go again. That look was priceless. I laughed too when the kid got into the BMW--it was so unexpected.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 12, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, even if you don't have HBO - "The Sopranos" has been running on syndication (finally) on the A&E Network since January - Wednesday nights (repeated the following Monday).

Posted by: Ed Tracey on June 12, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Kevin, you're fifty years behind the curve on this one. Mad Magazine ran an article in 1957 (or thereabouts) entitled "How to be Cultured." In one of the panels, one character asks the other "Hey didya see Eddie Fischer on the Kraftco Hour last night? Well, didya? Didya?"

To which our cultured character responds, with unconcealed contempt: "Television? . . . Who . . . watches . . . tel . . . e . . . vision?" Nothing says high culture like that.

(BTW, that same article gave us "Giddadahereyawolf" and "Fugeddaboudit," or its near equivalent. But that was the diction of the uncultured. I'm sure Kevin never says either.)

Posted by: Henry on June 12, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't watched a series on a regular basis since the seventh season of The X-Files.

Sorry, but the whole premise of The Supranos sounds boring. Yet another family sitcom, but with bullets.


Yawn...

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on June 12, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yet another family sitcom, but with bullets.

you couldn't be more wrong.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but the whole premise of The Supranos sounds boring. Yet another family sitcom, but with bullets.

You have no idea what you're missing. It's like saying "Sorry, but the whole premise of 'Moby Dick' sounds boring. Yet another working-class milieu, but with harpoons."

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

I made it through the first season on DVD. It all seemed fairly pat to me. If I had more time, I might have pursued it further...but...

I think what turned me off that first season was the "ignored wife confides in priest and falls in love" subplot. Right out of a Lifetime movie. And frankly, I don't think the rest of it was all that original either.

Yeah, it's being shown on A&E, but as with many syndicated shows, in very muddy prints. Why, in the age of digital technology, is that?

Posted by: Noam Sane on June 12, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

It was a compelling series full of plots and sub-plots and this last episode was award-winning.
I used to enjoy the show Six Feet Under--that was a bizarre series. Again, full of great character studies.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 12, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't pay for HBO therefore I don't watch the Sopranos" can not possibly be considered snobbery from a guy who openly blogs about Survivor.

Posted by: Boronx on June 12, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

To thread-jack somewhat, how did any sentinent human being ever come to enjoy watching "24"? I tried to watch it in the second season, and couldn't get past two episodes. To call it dreadful is an insult to dreadfulness.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

I think there's a simple explanation for the chosen ending.

Chase, as a master story teller, must have realized full well that nothing short of killing off Tony Soprano would have been adequate in dramatic impact to the final resolution of the entire series.

But he couldn't pull the trigger. We couldn't and wouldn't choose to pull the trigger, either. The one dramatically correct true resolution was also emotionally, perhaps even artistically, impossible.

He chose this ending because nothing else worked.

Think of it this way: IF Tony had been assassinated in the final seconds in the diner scene, it would have been a perfect in the dramatic logic of the series. Outwardly, the situation seems tranquil. The gang is all here. Then, BANG, Tony is struck down in front of his family, as was his enemy Phil Leotardo in an earlier, companion scene.

But as perfect as the ending would be in the most basic dramatic sense, it would have been horrible and unendurable. It would also conflict with our instinctive expectation that the Soprano family would survive, built up over many years.

Point is, there really WAS no ending that might actually have been shown on screen which would do the full set of dramatic demands real justice. The chosen ending simply reflected that intractable dilemma.

Posted by: frankly0 on June 12, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Count me with the "You never hear the one that gets you" faction. I think that logically Tony gets whacked in that last instant* and that artistically David Chase did it exactly right (frankly0 puts it well). And Kevin: rent da fuckin' DVDs, beginning wid season 1. Yuh won't regret it.

*John Updike: "We do, after all, survive every moment, except the last." — Woody Allen: "I'm not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens."

Posted by: Rand Careaga on June 12, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think what turned me off that first season was the "ignored wife confides in priest and falls in love" subplot. Right out of a Lifetime movie. And frankly, I don't think the rest of it was all that original either.

Plot? Who cares? Art isn't about what happens, it's about how the artist depicts what happens. "Madame Bovary" and "Anna Karenina" have the same basic "ignored wife falls in love with unsuitable man" plot, and yet they're great works of art.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Whether Tony Soprano died is largely dependent on how large a check New Line Cinema is willing to write out to Chase and Gandolfini in four years.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

I hate waiting two years for the DVDs. Let's hope they speed this one up considerably.

Posted by: shortstop on June 12, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

If one were to try to interpret the director's intent as Tony being murdered, then I think the very final frame would have been Meadow coming through the door. With Tony's face being the final frame, we are, at the very least, left to make up any ending we wish. I for one like to think of them sitting down to dinner peacefully, and not because I think Tony doesn't deserve to die.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 12, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

Like Stefan, I would encourage you to rent the DVDs for The Wire. The show is incredibly well written. Probably the best written serial drama of all time. It intelligently addresses all of the issues related to the problems of American inner cities. It is just simply brilliant story telling.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 12, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

The notion of Tony Soprano undergoing endless torment at the thought of imminent indictment, his no-good son, his ubermaterialistic wife, his now-corrupt-as-her-father daughter, his indescribable sister, his not-too-bright other Family, etc.,, is more interesting than the notion of Tony Soprano getting whacked.

I personally hope that Chase and Co. can be enticed into a theatrical release in four or five years, assuming a decent script is written. Having Tony just getting released from prison, with Carmella earning decent, although not tremendous money from her real estate business, with A.J. on the precipice of failing in some sort of a career, Meadow practicing law, and some ambitious gangsters like maybe Walden none-too-thrilled to see Tony back, might make for some interesting character interplay. Hell, maybe Melfi could be in need of some billable hours, allowing her to compromise her tenuous ethics......

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

"At roughly 10:02 last night east coast time, something like 30 million Americans spoke as one: "What's wrong with the TV?"

Funny, that thought never occurred to me. The episode was due to end any second. I was about ready to have a heart attack when Tony got his brains blown out. The echo on the final moment of the soundtrack was quite clear.

Frankly, anybody who thought that their TV went out at that moment should check their wallets and never go online. I mean, there are people waiting to take advantage of slow-witted rubes like that.

Posted by: There, I Said It on June 12, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thought that their cable went out at that moment is a moron.

There, I said it.

Posted by: Tony's Dead on June 12, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

"I personally hope that Chase and Co. can be enticed into a theatrical release in four or five years"

Can't you simply entertain yourself by playing the video game? Or reading a Sopranos comic book?

Geebus, I love the show too but get a freaking life.

Posted by: There I Said It on June 12, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Geebus, I didn't know that saying one would enjoy a movie produced from a good a script in four or five years was indicative of needing a life. Geebus, endeavor to avoid being an asshole.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: do yourself a favor and get Netflix. I signed up mainly to watch The Wire (a show about which the blogoshpere has been positively orgasmic of late). If you spring for a medium size subscription (say, in the $16-$18 range) it'll be the equivalent of having HBO, plus a bunch of other cable networks, for a lot less money (Netflix has many thousands of movie AND television titles). The Sopranos is definitely worth checking out. I'd do so if I were you before too much time passes. The first season ('99, I think) will still seem fairly contemporary and non-dated, but this won't be the case forever. And you simply MUST try Six Feet Under, a series I'd give a slight edge to over either The Sopranos or The Wire.

Posted by: Jasper on June 12, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

"you know, i'm 3 weeks old, my world view spans no further than the walls of these intestines and i still find six feet under pretentious."

Posted by: Family Guy on June 12, 2007 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you must be really insular and elitist and out of it not to at least have made the attempt to WATCH ONE EPISODE. That's very lame.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 13, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Kevin, your such a tool for not watching a single episode of my favorite TV show.

Posted by: Boronx on June 13, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

If you're David Chase, and you want to show that life goes on for the Soprano family, don't you fade to black at the end? I think the quick cut to black was a pretty clear sign that Tony got shot. Tony spent the entire last season tied up in existential knots. He largely came away with the impression that nothing really matters. I think it follows perfectly that when he's killed, the screen -- and the series -- disappear into nothingness. On repeat viewings, the diner scene was much less sinister than it appeared at first glance. But I'm still pretty convinced that Members Only Jacket guy was tasked with identifying Tony; he'd have left the diner if Tony wasn't there, but instead he went to the bathroom to avoid the gunfire of the two young black men who came in after him.

I love how some people think the show was a copout. That couldn't be more wrong. Ambiguity and Copout are two separate things...

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack on June 13, 2007 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

David in NY writes:

The worst of all worlds. Never watched any more.

The Sopranos is vastly overrated. I'm not a regular viewer - I skimmed through many of the episodes on the HBO On-Demand thing (I *always* skim through the psychologist sessions.. that was amusing for about 30 seconds, not 5 minutes for every episode..), and watched the finale, which was one big pile of garbage. The whole angle of the show is, Mob Family deals with Regular Life - look! the son is depressed! See how the Mob father deals with it! It's a side you've never seen before! This is mildly amusing for about two episodes, and the rest is just filler.. if there wasn't any of the language, sex, and violence(that is, if it started on broadcast TV), I bet half the audience turns away after two episodes..

Posted by: Andy on June 13, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Dr Morpheous:
Yet another family sitcom, but with bullets.

cleek:
you couldn't be more wrong.


Nope, Dr. Morpheous couldn't be more right. I'm glad I have Lost to look forward to.

Posted by: Andy on June 13, 2007 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Of the HBO shows, I would put Rome and Deadwood above Sopranos.

Posted by: Andy on June 13, 2007 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

I work for a newspaper with about 500 employees in Nebraska and I didn't here one person talking about The Sopranos. I did read a lot on the internet though. It seems the HBO marketing arm has connections with the media. I did hear a number of conversations about Paris Hilton, though.

Posted by: Tom on June 13, 2007 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

Terrific ending by David Chase - No tidy bows.

Chase said it best in an interview with a columnist from the Star-Ledger - When asked about the meaning of the ending, he replied, "It's all in there".

As for HBO, they are certainly having a problem with projects - Keep wanting to begin new ones, but, they have let others, either die on the vine as they did with Carnivale, or have cut them off, such as Rome and Deadwood. So the new Surfer one, although well written, will save them???

Even thought the Feds might follow the daughter through the door for a glorious Perp walk - But, no "It's a long way to Tipperary" with Tony turning out the lights ala Mary or Barney Miller.

Thank you, David Chase, for the great run and ending.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 13, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

For those of you that can't believe there are people who didn't bother to watch the Sopranos, well, I'm one of them, but I know how you feel - I feel the same way about Arrested Development.

Posted by: Ted on June 13, 2007 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just glad the cat didn't get whacked.

Posted by: Johnny on June 13, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

If you are talking about "people" talking remember there are those who have NO LIFE outside of their tv "families"...and if you are talking about our illustrious media remember they have to fill 24/7 worth of time and that is WHY many "people" don't have a real life! It's one thing to enjoy good television programming (when you can find it)...it's another to make it YOUR LIFE!!! Course I'm writing this while waiting for the puglets to take their nap and I have the DISGUSTINGLY STUPID (but high on himself) Lionel on AAR cause we paid for the darn Sirius radio...DUH!!! I could be cleaning....

Posted by: Dancer on June 13, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Dancer,

It is hoped that you were able to miss Lionel and Lars Larson, the Rush wannabe of Portland, Oregon hate radio, yukking it up yesterday on C-Span - Talking about how much they enjoyed each other's company on a trip to Isreal.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 13, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The screen flashes black
the credits roll in red
The TV mobster dead.

Posted by: the fake fake al on June 13, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

If Mr. Chase is as intelligent as his series seems to indicate he will let his "It's all in there" statement stand for all the explanation folks need. You don't know WHY the Mona Lisa is smiling either...this way, unlike the idiot pundits in our media (and other venues)who think they can EXPLAIN everything, people can take the meaning/ending they want. That's what true "art" provides to those who participate...the ability to react as it makes sense to you. TIME'S UP...the puglets are sleeping...SHHHHHH

Posted by: Dancer on June 13, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

THANKS, ttp, I did miss it...I miss him whenever I have ANY better option...his screed about Bindy Erwin is beyond belief...and there are people who actually find him funny...so much for that "perception" thing...isn't freedom WONDERFUL!!!

Posted by: Dancer on June 13, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

kev- rent the first two seasons. they are truly sublime...

Posted by: travy on June 13, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the ending, but it sounded very similiar in premise to the ending of a John Sayles movie. (I won't spoil the ending by identifying the movie.) It was a controversial ending with many critics viewing it as a way to avoid tying up the story in a nice neat package. I thought it reflected the real world where life isn't packaged neatly in consumable bits.

Posted by: objective dem on June 13, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Joys await you. Get down to the video store and start renting "The Sopranos". Early seasons are especially wonderful (they started using too many dreams in the later ones, at least IMHO). And it will take you until the DVDs of the last season are available to watch all the episodes, so start soon. ANd I'm speaking as a person who last turned on actual TV sometime during last July's Tour de France.

Posted by: jhill on June 13, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I personally think the Larry Sanders Show was the best thing ever on HBO, but comedy just doesn't get the respect of drama.

The Wire, Deadwood, Rome ... all worth the piddling monthly cost even if the Sopranos weren't occasionally on too.

I was slightly miffed at the ending, but enjoy the ambiguity in hindsight.

What has really miffed me about HBO, however, is letting Deadwood go without tying up its very dramatic story line. When ARE we supposed to expect those two movies we were promised?

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 13, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

objective dem,

I don't think there is anything wrong with letting readers know the John Sayles film was Limbo. I actually thought of that movie the split second after Sunday night's finale. Not my favorite movie directed by Sayles, but then I have never seen a movie of his that wasn't good.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 13, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, sorry about the acrid remark I made. I just saw the oblique comparison to "Paris Hilton 24/7" and I went berserk.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 13, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Tony getting whacked theory doesn't make any sense. He made peace with the Brooklyn outfit, had their blessing to take care of Phil and negotiated a settlement for Janice. No one else had a beef with Tony so why would he need to be whacked?

Posted by: Matt on June 13, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

>>>>cue 100 people proudly telling the world they've never seen an episode of the Sopranos - which makes them dangerously smart and iconoclastic, or something. the cue 75 to tell us all how The Wire is so much better. then cue another 50 telling the world that they don't even own a TV and that the rest of us are just mindless sheep.

bahhhh.

Hilarious! I agree. I actually haven't seen the Sopranos either, but I'm mystified at those who congratulate themselves for it. Sadly, Kevin is kinda given to this sort of self-back-patting. If, as I do, you otherwise enjoy his political musings, I recommend ignoring his "oh ain't I the one?!" posts.

He can make it tough, though.

Posted by: Lindy on June 13, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, even I with my shitty TV which only gets six channels has seen a couple of episodes over the years at other people's houses. James Gandolfini makes the show, every one rises to his level.

Posted by: Summer Tart on June 13, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree that you had to be an idiot to think something went wrong and the cable failed.
Anyone expecting a grey screen? When the credits rolled, you knew you were fooled.
It was awesome.

You posters are brutal.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 13, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just glad the show is over. I am so fucking sick of hearing about it.

Posted by: mencken on June 13, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Of the HBO shows, I would put Rome and Deadwood above Sopranos."

One principle difference between the shows is that the Sopranos casts Italian-Americans to depict Italian-Americans, whereas Rome casts a bunch of limeys to depict Italians.

As an Anglophobic Italian-American, I really don't understand the idiocy of having pasty-white, effeminate Brits depict the society that is, literally, the grandaddy of latin machismo. My girlfriend is trying to get me to watch the Tudors, but what's with this skinny brunette guy who is supposed to be a portly red-head all about?

Oh, and has anyone noticed the irony of Kevin's passive aloofness here?

Dude, you've blogged about Survivor and 24, shows that are notible for being more stupidity-inducing than last week's episode of Flavor of Love: Charm School.

Posted by: * on June 14, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"you've blogged about Survivor and 24"

And 24 is perhaps the most crudely and nakedly fascist television show ever to grace our screens - a willing (and admittedly so) accomplice to the Bush administration

Posted by: Robert S. on June 22, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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