Posted by: Paul | July 4, 2010

The Sopranos

Q. Why doesn’t Hollywood make Mafia movies anymore?
A. The Sopranos has rendered them obsolete.

Non-sporting post today!

The Sopranos totally passed me by when it was originally shown, and I’m having a lot of fun catching up courtesy of a friend who has them all on DVD. Last night we reached the end of series 3, and while the ending of that series itself felt a little anticlimactic, it left enough loose ends to pull you through into series 4 and beyond. Will crazy Gloria show up again? Did Pauly really kill Valery, or is he still out there? Are the fractures beginning to emerge in Tony’s ranks enough to pull the ‘family’ apart, and will the new undercover FBI agent be able to get close enough to Adriana to learn anything they can use? All to be continued, I’m sure.

One thing I really didn’t expect the Sopranos to be when I started watching it was quite so funny. It’s the blackest of humour in places, sure, but it has the kind of character comedy that can only come from getting to know people very well, and all the characters in the Sopranos appear so human, so believable, and so brilliantly drawn that you know instantly how someone will react (or overreact) to some ribbing, or a particular sticky situation. Pauly and Chris being stuck in the woods in ‘Pine Barrens’ was a fine example from series 3, it was like an episode of ‘The Odd Couple’, especially after a few hours in the truck in the snow, and Pauly’s usually immaculately coiffured backcomb (with added silver wings) turned rather more ‘mad scientist’.

Like many people I suspect, I know how the whole series ends – for one particular character anyway, as it was in all the papers when the series drew to a close. I deliberately avoided reading those articles in detail though as I knew one day I would get around to watching it and I didn’t want the experience ruined for me. But we’re halfway now and that I know doesn’t really matter – as it’s a hell of a lot of fun getting there.


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