Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
TV
Byrne Robotics > TV << Prev Page of 12 Next >>
Topic: Meeting THE SOPRANOS Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Benny Hasa
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 January 2011
Posts: 716
Posted: 06 August 2018 at 10:56pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This is the one series that gets 
better with every season.

---------

Will have to disagree with that statement.  First season is the hands down best, followed by the second season.  Third season has its moments and the best episode of the series, but not quite on par with the first two. 

Season 4 was a step down, while season 5 started moving things back in the right direction. 6A was almost a complete mess and the worst season, while 6B once again moved things in the right direction, but nowhere near the pinnacle of the first two seasons. 

Despite that, I still think this is the best TV show EVER, and even though I've watched through it nearly 5-6 times, I get the urge to watch it again. 

I think it would be hard to argue that this is a show that gets better with each season due to numerous elements, but if you're game I would like to hear why you think it gets better with each season. 


Edited by Benny Hasa on 06 August 2018 at 10:57pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15735
Posted: 07 August 2018 at 12:04am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Despite that, I still think this is the best TV show EVER, and even though I've watched through it nearly 5-6 times, I get the urge to watch it again. 
+++++++

I still vote BREAKING BAD, but I have yet to watch THE WIRE, and obviously haven’t finished THE SOPRANOS! 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Marc M. Woolman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 April 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2029
Posted: 07 August 2018 at 2:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I'd strongly disagree. I find the
earliest seasons woth Tony's mom and
Big Pussy to be the weakest, by far,
and yet still excellent.
The last especially, (both parts) is a
masterpiece in television drama.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Benny Hasa
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 January 2011
Posts: 716
Posted: 07 August 2018 at 10:21pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I'd strongly disagree. I find the 
earliest seasons woth Tony's mom and 
Big Pussy to be the weakest, by far, 
and yet still excellent.
The last especially, (both parts) is a 
masterpiece in television drama.

---------

Care to explain your rationale? I'm just curious as to your thought process as season 6A was met with a lot of distain (and still is) amongst Sopranos fans, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that the back end of the series was better than the front half. (Until now at least)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Benny Hasa
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 January 2011
Posts: 716
Posted: 07 August 2018 at 10:24pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I still vote BREAKING BAD, but I have yet to watch THE WIRE, and obviously haven’t finished THE SOPRANOS! 

--------

BREAKING BAD is really solid all the way through.  While there were times the SOPRANOS felt weak, that feeling never happened with BREAKING BAD.  However, I still find the Sopranos more re-watchable and entertaining in the long run, which is why it's my favorite show. 

THE WIRE is a fantastic show, and one of the most realistic. It's very well made, but a bit too depressing for me.  I watched it once, loved it, but have never felt the desire to go back. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15735
Posted: 16 August 2018 at 10:41pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“Proshai, Livushka”.


I know a visual effects shot when I see one. I’d read that Nancy Marchand had died during the show’s run. The purpose of this episode became immediately clear to me in the scene where Tony visits Livia. It was a clever and necessary thing for them to do by using digital compositing, stock footage, and a body double to give Livia a final scene before writing her out of the show. 

Marchand’s death very clearly threw a wrench into the plans that David Chase and the other writers had developed. You can see her getting frailer and frailer, thoughout the second season. Very sad. So, this episode is both damage control and...well...filler. We do get a lot of good moments though, as well as the introduction of Joey Pants(!) to the series.

The best stuff is the Tony/Janice material. Janice remains as absurd as ever, from her chicken-shack job (and her young, coworker fiancée), to her golddigging for her mother’s vintage records at the funeral, to her “feelings circle”. Tony’s reactions to her nonsense are always priceless, and Gandolfini doesn’t disappoint.

There’s also a brilliant, spooky, blink-and-you’ll miss it cameo by Big Pussy, which seems appropriate, given the context.

The climax is the best sequence in the episode, as everyone airs their feelings about Livia and the funeral, with Carmella hilariously serving as the sarcastic voice of reason.


A necessary episode, but not an unpleasant one. The unpleasant, real-world circumstances do hang over it like a cloud, though.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2267
Posted: 17 August 2018 at 1:12pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I disagree about the necessity of Livia's digital zombification. The producers may have wanted to wring more narrative elegance out of the Livia's departure by killing her off on their own terms, but part of death's power is how it unexpectedly robs survivors of closure, and I don't think what the show came up with was more powerful than her sudden absence would have been. 

The closure the show achieved by having James Gandolfini recite dialogue at a post-it note at best demonstrated his heroic faculty with sight lines, and not much else, since by the very nature of the digital assembly, he could only repeat or expand on previous moments he'd built with Marchand. Moreover, cutting together a performance from digital scraps dishonored Nancy Marchand's own craft. 

The wake was frickin great, though. 
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Vinny Valenti
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6805
Posted: 18 August 2018 at 4:20pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Greg, now you've caught up to where I actually started watching the show in real time. Several perceptions were warped as a result. Throughout season 3 and most of the others, there's no explicit acknowledgement that Carmella and the kids know that their father is actually a mob boss (as well as a murderer) - so I was watching the show under the assumption that they don't know, and that made me sympathetic towards them. I believe between season 3 and 4 I caught up with Seasons 1+2, where it's explicit that they all know damn well what he does (given the attempts on his and Christopher's life, 'College', etc) - and that completely changed my opinion of them. They actually knew that Tony lives a life of crime and murder - and they really don't care. After that realization, I found it nearly impossible feel anything for them.

And on that note, the way Joey Pants showed up in this episode, it was as if he was a cast member all along - so I was so confused that he was neither seen nor referenced during the first 2 seasons. That made no sense to me.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15735
Posted: 18 August 2018 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yeah, Carmella and the kids’ non-reactions to Tony’s business life are a part of the show’s moral fabric (or lack thereof). Again, I find myself drawing comparisons to BREAKING BAD, where the supporting characters’ eventual reactions to Walt’s life of crime (ranging from rage to horror to denial) are a vital part of the show. In particular, Skyler finding herself trapped and married to a monster, and desperately trying to protect her kids from the horrors and dangers that Walt has brought into their lives. BB is a story about a man selfishly turning to evil to satisfy his power-lust, and the resulting havoc and devastation it brings to his family, who want nothing to do with any of it.

THE SOPRANOS, on the other hand, depicts a world where mob life is par for the course for a mob wife (and kids). That’s just the world they live in. It’s a generational thing, and everyone in that orbit is used to the life. Carmella is clearly enamored with the wealth and comfort Tony’s life brings, and the kids A) Have known and loved their father for their entire lives; B) Aren’t really aware of the particulars of Tony’s criminal activities. 

THE SOPRANOS features an open secret that everyone is basically okay with, whereas BREAKING BAD features a major paradigm shift and transformative experience which completely destroys a once-happy family. Two brilliant—yet very different—explorations of similar subject matter. The key difference is that Tony Soprano is able to be introspective and doubt himself (hence the therapy), whereas Walter White lies and justifies his increasingly-monstrous actions until almost the very end.

The key component which anchors THE SOPRANOS and makes these (morally) horrible characters likable is the charm and humor of the actors. On some subliminal level, we know it’s all just pretend, and so allow the actors to charm us and tell us this story. Gandolfini lets us see the charm and vulnerability of Tony Soprano, and both he and Edie Falco have an inherent likability.

BB is also similar in that way, with Bryan Cranston finding just the right balance between the Jekyll and Hyde halves of Walter White. Not enough charm to necessarily keep us rooting for Walt, but enough to keep us engaged and wanting to see how his story ends...and whether or not he gets his comeuppance.


Anyway, I didn’t find Joey Pants’ introduction to be particularly intrusive. Just another associate who we haven’t seen, ‘till now. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15735
Posted: 29 August 2018 at 10:57pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

“Fortunate Son”.

A dense episode with a lot of moving parts, particularly (and appropriately) involving fathers and sons. Christopher comes back into the spotlight for pretty much the first time since he was shot, back in the second season. Of course, Chris is essentially Tony’s surrogate son, but their relationship is strained due to Chris’ impulsiveness and immaturity. Meanwhile, Tony’s actual son, AJ, is also frustrating him with his lack of enthusiasm in in football and his desire to not go to college.

And then there’s Jackie Aprile, Jr., who clearly doesn’t have the spine for mob life. Tony wisely wants to keep him out of the business, but of course Chris enlists Jackie as getaway car driver for his desperate robbery of the benefit concert. Not exactly the sort of high crimes one would expect from a made man, but it’s fitting that Chris’ crash course in the realities of being made would be humbling rather than empowering. A fun touch: The first time we see Chris after he’s made, he appears to be driving a brand-new car.

The bulk of the comedy in this episode comes from the oddest of odd couples: Janice and Svetlana. Janice’s golddigging and scheming know no limits, and her theft of Svetlana’s prosthetic leg is both pathetic and hilarious.

The whole bit with Tony’s flashback/repressed memory is very interesting, and drives home the generational theme of the show, as does AJ’s fainting spell in the final scene. The mob life, the mob code, and the violence of the mob is a generational cycle. I saw the opening ceremony of Chris getting the summons to be made almost as a parody of a job promotion-type scene in any other sort of drama. Tony, Chris, and the others are locked into their habits, codes, and violent acts because it’s what they know. It’s what they’ve been taught. The violence of Johnny Soprano begat the violence of Tony Soprano. And, on some level, it almost seems like Tony’s inner child still can’t quite accept the life that he’s living. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Petter Myhr Ness
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 02 July 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 3112
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 12:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The violence of Johnny Soprano begat the violence of Tony Soprano. And, on some level, it almost seems like Tony’s inner child still can’t quite accept the life that he’s living. 
--

I agree, and I feel that it's one of Tony's few redeemable qualities. He realises that he's caught in this life, but he does his best to steer the younger generation away from it. He certainly doesn't want AJ to see him the way he saw Johnny, knowing the impact it would have. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15735
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Exactly, Petter. Even his nasty, racist attempts to keep Meadow away from Noah seem to have their basis in his occasionally working with Black criminals who “don’t want my son with their daughters, just like I don’t want their sons with mine”. Casual racism aside, it almost comes off like Tony not wanting to risk any chance of violence involving his kids, because violence is the only life he knows.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 12 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login