Character Development

#1
Chase is phenomenal in this area in my opinion and last night's episode was a great example of why. Since the early seasons I think people have been arguing about what this show really is at it's core. Is it a show about organized crime (exemplified by the italian mob aspect)? Is it a show about the human condition from a Freudian perspective (exemplified by the therapy scenes)? Is it simply a show about a family man (shown by the comparison and contrast of Tony's two families)?

I think it's about all of these things. But, more than anything, I think this show lives and dies by the development of deep, complex characters and their interactions. THat is, it's a character driven show.

The reason why scenes like where Bobby gets clipped are so emotional (IMO anyway) is that his character has been so well-developed that we, as fans, have become emotionally invested in him over the years. Same thing with Sil, Tony, Johnny Sac, Chris, and every other major character.

Compare Bobby's scene in the train store to the scene in Goodfellas where Tommy gets killed. Now i don't even need to say how amazing that movie is and how great of an actor Joe Pesci is. But i can honestly say that when Bobby got clipped last night it gave me more chills than i had watching any part of Goodfellas ( as great as it was).

Chase has brought this show and these characters along in a way that is unique from anything that I've seen on TV or in cinema. Congrats to him on an excellent job. Can't wait for next week.

Re: Character Development

#2
I agree over the course of the series Chase and the writers have done a great job of building our emotional investment in the characters. But in all honesty, I felt last episode (most likely out of necessity) lacked the strong emotional base that just about all the other episodes in the series had. It started out with action and ended with action. No real time to mourn Bobby, to mourn Sil. There sure is a lot to do in the finale...I sure am anxious to see what we get.
A little powdered sugar and he woulda been done!

Re: Character Development

#3
Right. The only reason "Blue Comet" was even at all interesting was due to all the amazing groundwork that Chase has laid for his characters in the past seasons. The show is character driven. By this, I mean, lots of shows choose where they want to go and what they want to happen. "Ok, we know Ade needs to die during Fall Sweeps, what is the easiest way to accomplish that?" They try to fit characters into places and situations that make little or no sense. Instead, with Sopranos, Chase lets his characters live, breath, and therefore dictate their own place and way through each season. I am sure he has guidelines about where he wants his characters to go. But it just seems that all their choices and the road that they get there on is so much smoother then most other pieces of fiction.

Re: Character Development

#4
PFloyd69 wrote:
I think it's about all of these things. But, more than anything, I think this show lives and dies by the development of deep, complex characters and their interactions. THat is, it's a character driven show.



I totally agree, PFfloyd. It has always been the great character portrayals that first attracted me, and their uncanny *development* (along purely naturalistic lines) that everyone can identify with. Not the usual "TV-style" or Hollywood character development. The character of Tony of course leads the parade in this area, and Gandolfini’s glove-fitting portrayal has long convinced me that there is absolutely NO OTHER actor who could have played this role (even though I have sometimes pondered on a possible 2008 'thematic revival' with de Niro as a Tony-type figure).

After Tony, one of the most convincing – to me – is the character of my screen "namesake" – Janice. I don't recall ever seeing a movie or a TV film/series with a character so unique as Janice's, and I mean this in every aspect of evaluating such a 'dramatis personna.' Here we have a leading, or semi-leading *female* character in the most watched, successful TV series ever and she's not remotely glamorous in the 'celluloid' sense, nor sexy, moral, but more importantly than any of these – she's not slim. And she doesn't "bat an eyelash" at engaging in fisticuffs with her brother, or shooting her lover who slapped her in an argument over her not succumbing to her lowly status in their (mafia-style) relationship.

I applaud Aida Turturro's very excellent acting in this role and her nonchalance in appearing before the camera in all her overweight splendor. I certainly believe that Chase fashioned the physical, moral, and other contours of the character of Janice with dedicated care, and he must have sought long and hard before he found the perfect embodiment of his imagination in Turturro.

Re: Character Development

#6
Excellent points and observations in this thread. Just thought I'd add that Chase stated that he'd intended to use Steve Buscemi as Tony B in season six but the story developments and character led to the necessity of eliminating him when and as they did at the end of season 5, instead of unrealisticly carrying him over for whatever other purpose that might have been originally planned.
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