The Sopranos Discussion/Appreciation Thread

GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
I'm 60% he gets shot and 40% he lives. There are certainly clues to suggest he gets shot. However, we do not actually see him get shot. One thing is certain. His arc is over. His character is dead, whether he physically dies or not. Great art leaves room for interpretation otherwise its just propaganda.
 

Jesu Juva

Pigeon
I'm 60% he gets shot and 40% he lives. There are certainly clues to suggest he gets shot. However, we do not actually see him get shot. One thing is certain. His arc is over. His character is dead, whether he physically dies or not. Great art leaves room for interpretation otherwise its just propaganda.
The greatest spin would be that: Tony does not get killed. Tony does not get arrested. Everything goes on as usual.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
The greatest spin would be that: Tony does not get killed. Tony does not get arrested. Everything goes on as usual.
I agree with this. One hand, the blackout would serve an accurate depiction of him getting shot in the back of the head. On the other, Tony will not change. He cannot overwrite his destiny by the power of his free will. Everything goes on the same and all of his flirtations with changing were all a big nothing and there is nothing more to see.

Notice in the last episode that he is complaining to a therapist about his mother, he is right back to where he started in the first episode. His father, Johnny Boy, was the one he really hated for setting him down the life and the resentment he had for Livia was because she did not protect him from the life Johnny Boy destined for him.
 

Jesu Juva

Pigeon
I agree with this. One hand, the blackout would serve an accurate depiction of him getting shot in the back of the head. On the other, Tony will not change. He cannot overwrite his destiny by the power of his free will. Everything goes on the same and all of his flirtations with changing were all a big nothing and there is nothing more to see.

Notice in the last episode that he is complaining to a therapist about his mother, he is right back to where he started in the first episode. His father, Johnny Boy, was the one he really hated for setting him down the life and the resentment he had for Livia was because she did not protect him from the life Johnny Boy destined for him.
God, you really managed to turn this into a theological matter. Everybody thinks, Tony got killed. A few think, he did not. I believe, in the head of David Chase, Tony just continued to live his life.
 
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Lights

Woodpecker
the debate of whether or not the ending makes sense or what the intentions of the creator were are pretty irrelevant if you ask me...

one's interpretation of the scene is just as valid as the creator's intention, if he even had just one, who can say? but one's own interpretation is just as valid, nevertheless...

once something is created, it becomes its own entity and there is no hard line as to what something "means". meaning is created and can change. analysis is a creation in and of itself and creates meaning on its own where there did not seem to be before...

i like the sopranos because it is postmodern and set in new jersey, where I'm from. i feel like people place undue importance on the ending because there seems to be no clear explanation for it. there is far more interesting content in the show as far as im concerned..

people here seem to need a clear, binary explanation for things ... a left brain trait when creativity is obviously right brain dominant (less "neat" or linear or whatever...)

in my opinion the sopranos is a postmodern masterpiece, a long american novel on a screen. ive seen the entire seriese twice, and, it may be the best show i;ve ever seen. i like mafia related things too

one good thing is the ending sparks a healthy and lively discussion , which is nice and peope have interesting inputs about it
 
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GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
God, you really managed to turn this into a theological matter. Everybody thinks, Tony got killed. A few think, he did not. I believe, in the head of David Chase, Tony just continued to live his life.

Warning: Language


Tony is both at once: the innocent son who was corrupted by his father and the father who is corrupting his son.

When Tony kills Christopher, he is consciously killing his surrogate son and subconsciously killing Johnny Boy.

There is a throwaway conversation in The Many Saints of Newark between a black bookie and a black nurse. They are speaking in terms of gambling but it pertains to existentialism. The bookie was saying that "its all random"/ libertarian free will. The nurse said that he "doesn't understand fate."/ determinism.
 
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Jesu Juva

Pigeon
Warning: Language


Tony is both at once: the innocent son who was corrupted by his father and the father who is corrupting his son.

When Tony kills Christopher, he is consciously killing his surrogate son and subconsciously Johnny Boy.
That is the genius. The average viewer thinks, Tony got whacked. The freudian calvinist (to caricature other viewers) has his thoughts. I tend to believe, Chase fools all of us. Probably, it is somehting...oh Lord...I don't know. The show is so good and the ending is perfect.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
I believe that the show is complete and that it uses symbols and codes to carry the story forward.

Here is a good, long read linking Johnny Boy to Christopher.

The climax of the show would seem to be the episode Kennedy and Heidi.

The youtube channel won't let me link the video but YouTube search a video titled: Super Bowl Sensational Stories The Heidi Game NFL

There are strong parallels between that game and the Sopranos finale as noted in the previous link.
 
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GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
The fact that this is still a debatable subject is great for the brand... But retarded.
It's not retarded because it was by design that the ending be left ambiguous. Sort of like a rorschach test. People are going to see what they want to see when the truth is more nuanced than that. The fact that this is still debated is a sign that the show is a masterful work of art. It would be better to say it is still interpreted. I don't know of any other TV show that has a similar immortal quality.

I do lean on the side of him getting shot and have noticed something in the final scene. When he walks into Holstens, there is a shot that seems as if he is seeing himself out of the body sitting down already. When Christopher mentions meeting his dad in Hell, Dickie says that they whack him the same way they did in life every night after leaving an Irish pub. It is possible that Tony is already dead when the scene begins and he is now consigned to watching himself get shot in front of his family forever.

people here seem to need a clear, binary explanation for things ... a left brain trait when creativity is obviously right brain dominant (less "neat" or linear or whatever...)
This is very well said. Too many people are approaching the show with a modern political mind-set; black or white, left or right, red or blue etc. Good art and life are more nuanced than that.
 

Jesu Juva

Pigeon
It's not retarded because it was by design that the ending be left ambiguous. Sort of like a rorschach test. People are going to see what they want to see when the truth is more nuanced than that. The fact that this is still debated is a sign that the show is a masterful work of art. It would be better to say it is still interpreted. I don't know of any other TV show that has a similar immortal quality.

I do lean on the side of him getting shot and have noticed something in the final scene. When he walks into Holstens, there is a shot that seems as if he is seeing himself out of the body sitting down already. When Christopher mentions meeting his dad in Hell, Dickie says that they whack him the same way they did in life every night after leaving an Irish pub. It is possible that Tony is already dead when the scene begins and he is now consigned to watching himself get shot in front of his family forever.


This is very well said. Too many people are approaching the show with a modern political mind-set; black or white, left or right, red or blue etc. Good art and life are more nuanced than that.
That would be genius. The good thing is that all possible endings are true. But him experiencing his own death again and again, that is something I did not consider yet. That is the best ending.
 

Goldin Boy

Pelican
Overall I liked it a lot but it has the same problem with pretty much every other tv show - too many pointless side plots that go nowhere. Honestly the whole show seemed comprised of these from start to finish and it made me wonder what the hell was the point of them all? For instance what was the purpose of the gay character who fled to another city and was the spotlight of several episodes - did that add anything to the main arc of Tony Soprano and his family? No, it didn't.

[snip]
Tony gave the ok for Carlo to whack Vito for being gay. Phil Leotardo was disgusted by Vito being gay he killed him before Carlo could. Tony felt this undermined his authority(which it did)

Fat Dom Gamiello from NY taunted Silvo and Carlo over the death of Vito so the two of them killed him. NY isn't happy about this.

Those two death set into the motion the war between the DiMeo and Lupertazzi families which left Tony's two most trusted guys Bobby and Silvio out of commission. Between that, the situation with Hesh, his killing of Chrissy, the writers were setting it up to show that Season Six was the end of Tony: He was beset by enemies, his most useful people were dead or otherwise alienated and the walls were closing in on him.

Here's an interesting theory that Jackie Jr from season 3 is behind all the event that culminated from S3 to S6:
 

Nonpareil

Pelican
Gold Member
The Sopranos is my favorite show, I've probably watched it 8-10 times, it's by far the richest character study ever put on TV, a drama that's funnier than 98% of comedies and it gets better on rewatches.

I tried to get into the podcast but couldn't, because Michael Imperioli is a pseudo-intellectual wank and Steve Schirippa is a room-temperature IQ oaf.

The movie was heavy-handed shlock ('babies know things from the other side!') and 'look at us and this reference we just made!'

Three 'your sister's ****' from Junior, not even close to his best line. It was so jammed with quotes and scenarios from the show that anyone who didn't watch the show would say 'what the hell are they talking about?'

They assemble an A-list cast and give them nothing to do. Complete waste of Vera Farmiga and Corey Stoll.

Michael Gandolfini was good as young Tony but let's not act like he had to show even a fraction of the range his fawtha did.

Alessandro Nivola was great, could probably have hung with the original cast.

There was too much unnecessary stuff crammed in.

The Italian mistress? Unnecessary.
Ray Liotta? Unnecessary.
The race angle? I'm aware that in 2021 if you don't have X amount of minorities in your film you don't get funded, but unnecessary.
'Tony iz so smart!!!', unnecessary.

I wouldn't have even made it a movie - I'd have made 2-3 'anthology' seasons like True Detective, one in the 60's of Johnny Boy and Junior coming up, the 70's of teenage Tony and his crew and the late 80's of Tony taking the reins after his father dies.

Again, I'm aware it's 2021 and the people don't want complex, interesting characters, instead preferring tepid after-school specials like Ted Lasso, woke garbage like the Morning Show and this week's latest offering from Marvel like Wandavision, but HBO would probably back a dump truck full of money in front of David Chase's house if he did that.
 
too many pointless side plots that go nowhere. Honestly the whole show seemed comprised of these from start to finish and it made me wonder what the hell was the point of them all? For instance what was the purpose of the gay character who fled to another city and was the spotlight of several episodes - did that add anything to the main arc of Tony Soprano and his family? No, it didn't.

Its purpose was to parallel (and thereby give depth to) Tony's interwoven theme of "what if? / different life". Just like the Kevin Finnerty alternative reality coma dream. Upon my latest rewatch I felt like most of the Vito Escapes subplot must have to be a dream sequence, because it is too over the top (everyone in town is either a gay ripped fireman or a gay erudite antique dealer).

Complex works of art (especially movies, novels, music, and dance) don't just use subplots as counterpoint or to advance the main plot. They use them as pacing or rhythm disruptors, or even more as parallel supportive nuances.

For a crude example, imagine a movie about an abusive alcoholic who destroys his health, career, and family with his drinking. You could have a subplot of a guy who is super upright and always sacrifices for everyone else, but is really high strung as a result. Contrast.

Then you could have a guy who enjoys a drink from time to time but it never gets on top of him. Another contrast.

But you could also have a subplot where the alcoholic's son won't give up his teddy bear even though he is advanced in age. Close up on bear. Cut to close up on vodka bottle. Parallel.

You don't "need" the son's subplot to be in the movie. It is fairly harmless compared to the alcoholic dad. But it deepens the main plot because you are approaching addiction and lack of self-control from a different angle.

A final point I'd make is that the modern American view of entertainment is that narrative must always be driven driven driven.

That suffers from two major problems:

1. The more you hit the same note, the less effect it has.
2. Emotional and intellectual transcendence seems to come from, in part, variance.

When you have the canvas of a tv show, with so many hours, you'd be surprised how much MORE you feel an extremely bad or good thing that happens to any given character once you've lived with that character through neutral things (like their morning routine, eating food, walking, etc).

I have a whole theory about "duration" as a major effect in works of art, but I won't bore you. Suffice to say that spending some time with a character in a non-intense manner will only serve to make the intense moments more felt.
 
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