Did Kennedy and Heidi damage your emotional investment in or connection to Tony?

Total votes: 0

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#42
I see I'm the only one thus far who chose choice D: "None of the above."

Let me explain.

It's simple, really. I lost all emotional ties with the show years ago. I think season 4 and season 5 were by and large awful. Gradually the intriguing anti-hero Tony Soprano, who sought counseling for panic attacks and ultimately "depression," became a psychotic goon without any redeeming affects. And as the show wore on and got more and more tired, I, the viewer, felt like I was getting my nose rubbed in it--as if it were a collective F-you from David Chase to the folks like me who once had some emotional investment in Tony.

Despite the "asshole bully" he is now, Tony was once a sympathetic character... he was charming, a tough guy, actually did care about people on true emotional levels (remember his buddy from high school in season 2 who Tony repeatedly tried to steer away from gambling, only to finally acquiesce once the guy had badgered him so much? Then think of how Chrissy reacted to the same scenario with JT Dolan... like the sociopathic predator Tony ultimately became, Chris revealed that was who he was all along when he nurtured his friend's downfall and got him in his debt). Tony also, arguably, felt remorse for whacking Pussy, as revealed in the flashback Christmas episode of season 3.

For seasons now this Tony has been dead, and in his place is this stereotyped violent thug who I have no emotional regard to and care about as I would horror movie cannon fodder--as in I want to see him die, and I want to see him die hard.

What is interesting about this downfall is it's a proximity bomb. Carmella is as disgusting as Tony is. She's the ultimate enabler, addicted to her lifestyle and the goods Tony constantly provides her, and she really doesn't care about anything aside from her lifestyle anymore. Personally, I'd love to see her go too, and I'd love to see her go down hard.

Reasons for these gradual yet very drastic character shifts? I can only speculate. But I think David Chase is disgusted by us--his fan base. He wants to stick it to us, see how long people can care about these revolting characters. I remember an interview once with Edie Falco and she was talking about how many women write to her telling her how much they admire her, and she was simply shocked as she felt her character was disgusting... and this was back in season 4, IIRC.

While I've enjoyed the majority of the episodes of season 6B, I've found a number of them to be absurd and stupid crap... Tony suddenly is a degenerate gambler? He goes out to the desert and gets high on peyote? Hell, why didn't David Chase save the Vito gay turn for a final episode, but apply it to the main man himself... Tony!

Finally, one thing I'd like to add for the record, is that I felt Tony was totally justified in killing Ade. I could never stand that whiny obnoxious character and it simply boggles my mind why anyone could possibly like her. She got way too much screen time, she was never a decent actress, and her informant story line went on waaaay too long to culminate in its very predictable end. The Chrissy side of the story was much more interesting and ultimately was a key factor in his demise at Tony's hands.

Whatever light, whatever glimmer of conflict within the villainous protagonist that is Tony, went out long ago. What we have now is just a reanimated corpse of an unredeemable, boring, and static thug... a Cleaver, if you will.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#43
I know I am bumping the thread but I want to respond to lordroads post. I don't think Tony's personality suddenly changed during season 4 and 5. In season 4 for example he still despised Ralph for well being Ralph. The brutal murder of Tracee etc.. Burning down the horse stable was the final straw. And I had to agree with Tony on that. Sure its "Just" a horse, or shes "just" a whore as Ralph so often said, but come on, what kind of prick does that? I think Tony still did have some sort of compassion during season 4 and 5. Its just that more pressure was put on him ("lack" of money in season 4, divorced in season 5). Particularly the divorce, Tony doesn't like to be called out on the bad he has done. It might seem that Tony was a "nicer" guy in the early seasons. Maybe thats because we still hadn't really seen what he was fully capable of? Or maybe he seemed to be against people worse then him in the earlier seasons.
But honestly Tony might appear charming and what not , but come on. In the fourth episode we saw him brutally choke a man to death while bringing his daughter around to colleges. I don't think his personality dramatically changed, I don't think it ever changed. He had always battled with himself on the things he had done. Kennedy and Heidi marked the point that he didn't care anymore about the bad he did, because whats the point? Who gives a shit? "I get it!" Although I think it was a sort of "I get it" but " I don't get it" sort of moment.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#44
I voted "None of the above" as well.

When the episode originally aired I was an undergrad and the apartment I lived in had free HBO. At the time TV didn't have much of a place in my life, and in general I've only ever cared about a handful of movies or TV shows. But the Sopranos got me to make room to watch every week even though I hadn't really followed the show until then. Usually I'd watch with the volume turned down while I did homework. The flipping of the Escalade made me look up, but the aftermath caused me to drop what I was doing and give the screen my undivided attention. My adrenaline began flowing and the thought "Holy shit, he's killing Christopher" flashed in my mind. I couldn't make up my mind if it was a mercy killing, revenge, or something else. But right then I was hooked: as in I was "invested" in Tony's fate and I realized I had been missing out on an American epic.

Today I've seen the whole series a couple of times and am a fan of the show who arrived to the party late. But my initial take on "Kennedy and Heidi" is basically unchanged. I admit it's a horrifying scene and I think it was definitely meant to test the audience's loyalty. But it was almost a foregone conclusion that Tony and Christopher were headed for a breaking point and that it would possibly erupt in fatal violence. And, aside from the patricide angle mentioned in these threads, the bad blood between these two was to that point. Tony "lost" Christopher and it hurt too much for him to keep caring about Christopher, who had made it clear he resented the hell out of Tony.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#45
Tony's murder of Chris and his subsequent actions/reactions shocked me and made me take a long, considered and still partially unresolved re-examination of how I viewed Tony's character. It certainly upset me and caused severe conflict in my regard of him. I'd have to say it altered my opinion of him, damaged it to an extent, but did not reduce my emotional investment, interest or engagemnt in what would happen next. And I still "rooted" for the best possible outcomes for Tony.

This is one of the best thread topics and commentaries that I've found here!:icon_biggrin:

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#46
Billyv wrote:Tony's murder of Chris and his subsequent actions/reactions shocked me and made me take a long, considered and still partially unresolved re-examination of how I viewed Tony's character. It certainly upset me and caused severe conflict in my regard of him. I'd have to say it altered my opinion of him, damaged it to an extent, but did not reduce my emotional investment, interest or engagemnt in what would happen next. And I still "rooted" for the best possible outcomes for Tony.

This is one of the best thread topics and commentaries that I've found here!:icon_biggrin:


Since I always at least skim new posts, I saw this one and had to look back at the starting post to remember exactly what I wrote, although I still recall very clearly the feeling of emotional alienation that K & H caused for me in the immediate aftermath.

I would say that persisted all the way through the end of the show and a bit beyond. But as I began to put more and more credence in the theory that was just developing for me as the result of K & H regarding WHY Tony really killed Christopher and felt so jubilant afterwards, my feelings changed. I never felt again about Tony exactly what I had before, but I was more resignedly compassionate towards him, more accepting of even his ostensibly unremorseful murder of his nephew, and more accepting of the fate Chase dictated for him (and, derivatively, for those of us viewers that felt particular investment in Tony finding some real pscho-spiritual growth by series end). So the perspective and feelings I shared in this thread were not ultimate. Those are expressed in the Vicarious Patricide thread I finally formalized nearly two years after the finale and that still represents my best understanding of what this show, as a whole, was "about".
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#47
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Since I always at least skim new posts, I saw this one and had to look back at the starting post to remember exactly what I wrote, although I still recall very clearly the feeling of emotional alienation that K & H caused for me in the immediate aftermath.

I would say that persisted all the way through the end of the show and a bit beyond. But as I began to put more and more credence in the theory that was just developing for me as the result of K & H regarding WHY Tony really killed Christopher and felt so jubilant afterwards, my feelings changed. I never felt again about Tony exactly what I had before, but I was more resignedly compassionate towards him, more accepting of even his ostensibly unremorseful murder of his nephew, and more accepting of the fate Chase dictated for him (and, derivatively, for those of us viewers that felt particular investment in Tony finding some real pscho-spiritual growth by series end). So the perspective and feelings I shared in this thread were not ultimate. Those are expressed in the Vicarious Patricide thread I finally formalized nearly two years after the finale and that still represents my best understanding of what this show, as a whole, was "about".


Hi, Fly
Enjoyed your comment and updated reflections.
I also appreciate and applaud the Vicarious Patricide thread and other comprehensive discussions of theme, interpretation and perspective.

Wonderfully placed in the "individual episodes" forum, I found this particular thread quite interesting as "initial reactions" to this crucial, shocking story twist. Despite the preceding deterioration (gambling, strained relations with Hesh, Pauly) and other on-going, obvious reprehensible and questionable behaviors of Tony, this event forced most of us to immediately and deeply re-evaluate our regard of him. Though the murders of Ade and Tony B can be argued as more egregious or less-justifiable, this apex, teetering on the point-of-no return, had much more impact with its impulsive, spontaneous nature, and, of course, the prominent relationship between Tony and Chris, with
Tony's subsequent reactions and attitude more jarring and unsettling then the act itself.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#48
Billyv wrote:Hi, Fly
Enjoyed your comment and updated reflections.
I also appreciate and applaud the Vicarious Patricide thread and other comprehensive discussions of theme, interpretation and perspective.

Wonderfully placed in the "individual episodes" forum, I found this particular thread quite interesting as "initial reactions" to this crucial, shocking story twist. Despite the preceding deterioration (gambling, strained relations with Hesh, Pauly) and other on-going, obvious reprehensible and questionable behaviors of Tony, this event forced most of us to immediately and deeply re-evaluate our regard of him. Though the murders of Ade and Tony B can be argued as more egregious or less-justifiable, this apex, teetering on the point-of-no return, had much more impact with its impulsive, spontaneous nature, and, of course, the prominent relationship between Tony and Chris, with
Tony's subsequent reactions and attitude more jarring and unsettling then the act itself.


WOW. Very well-said and described my initial reaction to the episode to a T.

I hate to admit it, but I really never saw Tony for the son-of-a-bitch that he is until I saw this episode.

Now I've seen the entire series several times since it has ended; and I watch it with a different regard to Tony than when I used to watch the show when it was current.

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