The Sopranos Discussion/Appreciation Thread

WARNING: MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS


I recently re-watched the first few seasons of The Sopranos and it hit me like a ton of bricks: this show was absolutely incredible.

The subtleties, the conversations, the atmosphere and the realistic portrayal of the mob....I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

What are some of your favorite moments, action scenes, episodes?

Which characters do you identify with the most?

What did you think about the ending?

The discussion doesnt have to be limited to these questions. Bring up whatever you want.

I'll start with a few thoughts of my own.

I think Richie Aprile was the scariest motherfucker in the series.

The beef between Johnny Sack and Ralphie over the Ginny joke was my favorite plot line in the show.
 

scorpion

Hummingbird
Gold Member
I greatly enjoyed The Sopranos but haven't re-watched any episodes since the finale aired years ago. Has it really held up that well? Does it still clearly stand above some of the great shows of the past few years (i.e. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards)?

I guess I'm wondering: was it truly that great? Or did we just think it was that great because it was the first really well-done show of its kind?
 

Dusty

Peacock
Gold Member
Funny you should start this thread. The Sopranos is my favorite show and I watched it back in the day in real time. I just started watching again from the beginning. Fucking brilliant. It's great watching it again with Red Pill knowledge. Tony is a total charismatic alpha.

In my blue pill days I used to think it was unrealistic that T was smashing so many hot bitches because he isn't exactly a looker. Now I think it is totally believable that a sociopathic and charismatic guy like Tony would be smashing all these hot bitches.

The show is great on so many levels- I especially love the humor. In one of the episodes I just watched, one of Tony's enemies called Christopher a "retard." Tony says "Whoa, what if Jerry Lewis was walking by?" The other guy says "The Jerry Lewis telethon is for Muscular Dystrophy." Tony says "Oh yeah, what about fuck-face-itus, they find a cure for that?"

In another episode Big Pussy and Paulie break down a guys door because he stole a car. The guy thought they were cops and demanded to have a lawyer present. Big Pussy puts his glock in his mouth and says "I got fuckin' Johnnie Cochran right here for you!"

Re-watching the pilot, which I believe was filmed in 1997, James Gandolfini looked so young - it kind of broke my heart a little how time flies. I believe the rest of season one was filmed in 1999.

I love looking at the late 1990s cars and fashions too.
 

Dusty

Peacock
Gold Member
scorpion said:
I greatly enjoyed The Sopranos but haven't re-watched any episodes since the finale aired years ago. Has it really held up that well? Does it still clearly stand above some of the great shows of the past few years (i.e. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards)?

I guess I'm wondering: was it truly that great? Or did we just think it was that great because it was the first really well-done show of its kind?

I think those shows look a little slicker, but so far I'm still liking my re-watch of Sopranos.

It's interesting how TV shows have overtaken movies for quality. I think it all started with the Sopranos (Oz and Six Feet Under were pretty good too, but not as good as Sopranos).

Kevin Spacey of House of Cards said that. That top actors want to be in tv shows now instead of movies, because that's where the quality is.
 

TheSlayer

Pelican
scorpion said:
I greatly enjoyed The Sopranos but haven't re-watched any episodes since the finale aired years ago. Has it really held up that well? Does it still clearly stand above some of the great shows of the past few years (i.e. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards)?

I guess I'm wondering: was it truly that great? Or did we just think it was that great because it was the first really well-done show of its kind?

For me the show has held up incredibly well. I will watch random episodes of the show here and there. I don't know about you but it is one of my GOAT shows along with Breaking Bad and The Wire.

David Chase said after the finale of the show aired that he couldn't tell why so many people wanted Tony to live but members of this forum can understand and see his charisma, his 'alpha' thinking and behavior, his relationship with Carmela where he doesn't act like a bitch unlike 99% of the male leads in shows and movies.

Watching Sopranos also appreciates you the acting of James Gandolfini. All in all, the many societal themes in the show really make the show.
 

WanderingSoul

Crow
Gold Member
Dusty said:
scorpion said:
I greatly enjoyed The Sopranos but haven't re-watched any episodes since the finale aired years ago. Has it really held up that well? Does it still clearly stand above some of the great shows of the past few years (i.e. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards)?

I guess I'm wondering: was it truly that great? Or did we just think it was that great because it was the first really well-done show of its kind?

I think those shows look a little slicker, but so far I'm still liking my re-watch of Sopranos.

It's interesting how TV shows have overtaken movies for quality. I think it all started with the Sopranos (Oz and Six Feet Under were pretty good too, but not as good as Sopranos).

Kevin Spacey of House of Cards said that. That top actors want to be in tv shows now instead of movies, because that's where the quality is.

I don't care to watch movies that much anymore. A good series is just so much better to watch.
 

Big Country

Robin
Gold Member
The episode where Tony and Paulie off Pussy is one of my favourites, so raw.

HBO, AMC and Netflix now have the best shows because they give the writers the most freedom to follow through on a story line without catering to certain demographics. Mainstream movies are just done by committee now, which ruins it and turns it into mass market, lowest-common-denominator garbage.
 
scorpion said:
I greatly enjoyed The Sopranos but haven't re-watched any episodes since the finale aired years ago. Has it really held up that well? Does it still clearly stand above some of the great shows of the past few years (i.e. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, House of Cards)?

I guess I'm wondering: was it truly that great? Or did we just think it was that great because it was the first really well-done show of its kind?

Scorpion, my answer is an unequivocal YES. There are so many layers of complexity in the show, not to mention the acting is phenomenal.

I think what separates The Sopranos from the rest of the pack is the writing, though. It was extremely sharp and subtle.

Here's the scene after Tony's cousin causes problems with the New York mob. Unbelievable acting. I'm also surprised you put Breaking Bad in the same category. I don't think it even comes close.

 

Dusty

Peacock
Gold Member
DJ-Matt said:
David Chase wrote a large chunk of the Rockford Files episodes FWIW.

Oh yeah?

In an early episode T takes his cunt mother to a nursing home. The old foggies are sitting around watching the Rockford Files. You can hear the theme song.
 

Lucky

Pelican
Gold Member
Cunnilinguist said:
Here's the scene after Tony's cousin causes problems with the New York mob. Unbelievable acting. I'm also surprised you put Breaking Bad in the same category. I don't think it even comes close.


Great scene there.

Phil asks Tony if he's ever had a relative die in his arms. Johnny Sack says maybe they can kill one of Tony's other relatives if they can't find Tony's cousin, gesturing towards Chris. Chris acts outraged and Tony tries to calm the situation. In the final season Tony kills Chris by suffocating him (Chris died in his arms).

Tony killed his nephew, his niece-in-law, his best friend, and his cousin. I know he's a badass, but really when you think about it, David Chase (with the immense talent of James Gandolfini) is a genius for getting us to root for such a monster.

I love The Sopranos. I've watched every episode three times, some more. The dream sequences, Tony's crises of conscience and his descent into darkness are so well done. The show captures the zeitgeist of the America of the late-nineties and 2000s era, all of the generational conflicts between parents and family. If I could watch only one show the rest of my life, it would be this one.
 

MY DETROIT PLAYAS

Ostrich
Gold Member
The way the show weaved Tony's everyday suburban existence with his mob life was seamless & when someone got clipped you could rarely telegraph it

Favorite Characters: Besides Tony was Christopher - he was a ryder

Funniest EP: When Artie gets schemed and goes after the guy and gets his ass handed to him

Sidenote: Would totally fuck the shit out of Adriana & Meadow
 
best show ever still to this day.

the pilot on the other hand, totally campy and they went a complete different direction. in the pilot carmela is brandishing a machine gun!

tony's separation from carmela and the acting in those episodes especially by edie falco was the peak for me.
 

456

Kingfisher
Favorite show by far.

On second/third watchings, I strove to pay close attention to all of the business chatter, which is sometimes very quiet in the mix and easy to miss. Often times those moments of dialogue explain later events that, upon first watching, one might not realize the backstory had already set up. Hearing the actual business rules, deal negotiations, "arbitration", and the like, was quite enjoyable.

Tony as poon slayer definitely resonated much more heavily this time around, as he's clearly got the jerkboy charisma and DGAF down pat.

I loved watching it with a girlfriend and seeing how she reacted to various things -- she scored major points when siding against Carm and Ade in certain situations where a typical girl would vote Team Girl.

I saw a thread somewhere (lost link) of "subtle moments in the Sopranos" that went on for 60 pages, filled with amazing details, observations, and cross-season references. Here's to hoping this thread grows that dense. I may just have to re-re-re-watch.
 

Papaya

Peacock
Gold Member
Great show and totally ground breaking. It's like someone said one day "Hey wait a minute, this is fucking cable...We can do and say any-fucking-thing! Paved the way for all the great shows that have followed it.

One of my favorite scenes






".
 

Meadowlark

Hummingbird
Gold Member
sopranos-v2.jpg


http://willmckinley.wordpress.com/2...ord-files-episode-that-inspired-the-sopranos/

A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets.

Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.

Chase signed on to James Garner’s hugely popular NBC series in 1976 and remained until its premature conclusion midway through the sixth season in 1980, writing and/or producing nearly two-dozen shows. And Rockford’s penultimate installment was actually a backdoor pilot for what would have been a Chase-produced spin-off about New Jersey mobsters—nearly two decades before The Sopranos premiered on HBO.

Broadcast on December 14, 1979, “Just a Coupla Guys” is the story of a pair of loveable losers trying to make names for themselves. Because they’re from the Garden State, that means one thing: They gotta get mobbed up. Eugene Conigliaro (Greg Antonacci) is the stylish but malapropism-inclined brains (sort of) of the duo, and Mickey Long (Gene Davis) is the dumb but genial brawn. The mostly useless pair of wiseguy wannabes operates from the back room of a deli—you might even call it a pork shop—in Newark, owned by Eugene’s hot-tempered Uncle Beppy (Simon Oakland, who played Tony Vincenzo on the Chase-penned Kolchak: the Night Stalker in 1974-75).

What does L.A.-based private eye Jim Rockford have to do with this? Not much, but since his name’s in the title, he has to show up.
Rockford flies to Newark at the request of a retired mob boss’ daughter (Lisa Bowman) only to have his rental car and luggage stolen upon arrival. This leaves the storytelling spotlight open for Eugene and Mickey, who can be seen as younger prototypes of Paulie (Tony Sirico) and Silvio (Steven Van Zandt), two of The Sopranos’ more memorable characters. But the similarities between Chase’s failed NBC pilot and his HBO series (which ran for six seasons and 86 episodes) don’t end there.

In “Just a Coupla Guys,” Tony the mob boss (Antony Ponzini) is a doting father who also happens to be a killer. Anthony Jr. (Doug Toby) is a good kid acting up to get his dad’s attention. Jean (Jennifer Rhodes) is the long-suffering mob wife, trapped in a suburban mansion. And Mr. Lombard (Gilbert Green), is an aging former boss who may or may not have lost his marbles. There’s even a Catholic priest (Arch Johnson), although he’s nowhere near as attractive as Father Phil, the clergyman who caught Carmela Soprano’s eye.

The shared character types between the two stories are striking, though not surprising, considering Chase was a Jersey boy who grew up watching classic gangster films. Unfortunately, the “Coupla Guys” he cast are (or at least, were), to put it mildly, not particularly engaging screen presences, a fact that’s painfully obvious when they share scenes with the charismatic Garner, who died this month at age 86. And, while The Sopranos managed to balance light comedy with occasionally horrific violence, “Just a Coupla Guys” is dopey and contrived, meandering through 50 minutes like an endless sitcom with no punch lines. I kept waiting for the show to be rescued by a laugh track, which was not uncommon in hour-long dramedies of the era, like The Love Boat and Eight is Enough.

Ironically, Antonacci and Long had first appeared together a season earlier on Rockford, as harder-edged versions of the same characters. In “The Jersey Bounce,” also written by Chase, Eugene and Mickey are drug dealers who move in next door to Jim’s dad Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.), kill a guy, and frame Rockford for the crime—a fact which the P.I. conveniently forgets when he meets them again on the other side of the country in “Just a Coupla Guys.”

Sopranos DNA also runs through “The Jersey Bounce,” with a reference to Carmela, a bald guy named Artie, meta conversations about movie gangsters, and a character who says, “Bada-bing.” Antonacci, a native of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, is more of a stereotypical cugine in the earlier episode, and far more menacing; he both wears a wife beater and beats his wife (actually his girlfriend, who’s played by Doney Oatman, better known as Felix’s daughter Edna on ABC’s The Odd Couple). A year later, Chase and series creator Stephen J. Cannell gave Antonacci a perm and a sweater vest, and forgot that Long’s character had been introduced cutting lines of coke. Sadly, the end result is like lukewarm ziti. Daily Variety called it “amateurish tedium” and NBC passed on the series, which is probably for the best.

To be clear: No network would ever have allowed David Chase to do anything remotely resembling The Sopranos on primetime television in 1980. But Hill Street Blues was only a year away, and St. Elsewhere, too, and with them (and others) came a new wave of primetime realism. If Chase had chosen to keep the lead characters in “Just a Coupla Guys” more anti-heroic, who knows what might have happened.

Best of all, the story has a happy ending. An older, wiser Chase gave us the The Sopranos in 1999, kicking off what is now widely considered to be The Second Golden Age of Television. And, nearly three decades after “Just a Coupla Guys,” Chase cast Greg Antonacci again—in The Sopranos. The then-60-year-old actor played Phil Leotardo’s underboss Butch “The Little Guy” DeConcini, the rival mobster who cuts the deal with Tony that saves his life in the series’ final episode. Considering that (SPOILER ALERT!) Phil meets his maker in the finale, it’s likely that Butch became the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family.

It may have taken him thirty years, but Eugene Conigliaro ended up on top after all.
 

Lucky

Pelican
Gold Member
456 said:
I saw a thread somewhere (lost link) of "subtle moments in the Sopranos" that went on for 60 pages, filled with amazing details, observations, and cross-season references. Here's to hoping this thread grows that dense. I may just have to re-re-re-watch.

After seeing your post I found this link here:

http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?t=2503

This dude (it has to be a dude, no chick would ever do this) wrote an amazingly detailed analysis of The Sopranos called "Tony's Vicarious Patricide" where he explores Tony's psyche and relationship with his son, nephew, and father. Using all of the details of the show, including revelations from sessions with Dr. Melfi, he weaves an elaborate thesis.

In case my other post didn't make it clear, I'm a huge Sopranos fan.

An excerpt:

"When 11 year-old Tony approached his father that evening with an obvious mix of fear and awe, his dad scolded him for disobeying orders to stay in the car but immediately expressed pride in Tony's stoic and "manly" reaction to the brutality ("most boys your age would have run like a little girl"). He then defended the violence because Satriale was a degenerate gambler that owed him money and because "that's how [he] put food on the table". “Never gamble, Anthony.” He said it twice during the lecture and then closed with, “A man honors his debts."

Johnny’s explicit message was exacerbated moments later with a much subtler one, when Tony noticed Livia's unusually good mood and receptivity to Johnny's sexual innuendo as she tended the same meat that Satriale offered in part payment of the obligation that cost him a pinky. Tony tells Melfi that Livia always seemed in the best moods when she took delivery of meat from Satriale's and vegetables from another vendor (who also presumably owed Johnny money). In other words, she seemed most pleased in life when she was receiving the direct fruits of Johnny's criminal acts. For a son who would spend much of his life on a futile quest to please his mother and try to win her affection, this was the worst possible thing for him to witness."
 
Top