Anyone else?

#1
OK, it has been awhile since The Sopranos closed shop. I wondered if time might lead me to a more generous interpretation of the ending.

It hasn't. I still think it was an enormous cop-out. I have no interest in trying to "figure out" what Chase meant because I don't think there is anything to figure out. You can have any ending you want, except Chase's.

What surprises me is how my disgust with the ending now colors my feelings about the rest of the series. I had always bought into the notion that he was taking us somewhere, that the repetitious nature of the plot (Carmella is going to change, no she's not, yes she is, nope....) was for a reason, that the numerous symbols and hints and references would eventually be played out. We'd see which things really mattered and which ones didn't.

I still think Fly, in her anger, nailed it best in her initial post after the final episode. Chase flipped us the bird.

I know, poor me. But I was wondering if any of the other obsessive fans felt this way. (And, no, this is not affecting my life in any significant way. I'm just curious if my reaction is shared by others.)

Thanks, and best wishes to all of you.

Re: Anyone else?

#2
I am not at all certain that it is fair or accurate to say that Fly's opinion is that Chase ended the series by flipping off the audience. The thing that angers me is the notion that Chase would invest maybe ten years of his life - quite possibly much more than that - and then end it by flipping off the audience. I say he may have invested much more than ten years because I'm guessing the idea of The Sopranos was fermenting in his mind for a long time before he ever shot a single frame. So, the idea that Chase would invest a major chunk of his life into what is most likely his life's single greatest masterpiece and then end it by flipping off the audience angers me because it is so extremely unlikely to be true.

I don't know how many other people who may read this have ever devoted a huge chunk of their life's work into producing what they might well consider their life's work masterpiece, but for anyone who has, I can't possibly imagine that they would terminate that work in such a childish and foolish way such as flipping off their audience.

I just cannot fathom the notion that Mr. Chase would devote ten years or more to produce his life's work masterpiece and then terminate that masterpiece by flipping off his audience. I just can't fathom that and I can't believe that it's true.

Re: Anyone else?

#3
chaseisgod wrote:OK, it has been awhile since The Sopranos closed shop. I wondered if time might lead me to a more generous interpretation of the ending.

It hasn't. I still think it was an enormous cop-out. I have no interest in trying to "figure out" what Chase meant because I don't think there is anything to figure out. You can have any ending you want, except Chase's.

What surprises me is how my disgust with the ending now colors my feelings about the rest of the series. I had always bought into the notion that he was taking us somewhere, that the repetitious nature of the plot (Carmella is going to change, no she's not, yes she is, nope....) was for a reason, that the numerous symbols and hints and references would eventually be played out. We'd see which things really mattered and which ones didn't.

I still think Fly, in her anger, nailed it best in her initial post after the final episode. Chase flipped us the bird.

I know, poor me. But I was wondering if any of the other obsessive fans felt this way. (And, no, this is not affecting my life in any significant way. I'm just curious if my reaction is shared by others.)

Thanks, and best wishes to all of you.


I feel exactly the same and doubt I will ever waste another minute watching The Sopranos or anything else made by Chase-why bother when the creator doesn't give a crap about his audience?

Re: Anyone else?

#4
Cousin Hesh,

I want to reply to you because I want to make my opinion clear towards anyone else who may share your (awa chaseisgod's) point of view.

I am certainly willing to admit that you may be correct. It is possible that Mr. Chase may well have chosen to end the show by flipping off the audience. I just don't agree that he did that because I can't imagine that he or anyone else in a similar position would have done that. Given what I know about David Chase's intellect and creative mind, I have to disagree in the strongest possible terms.

In fairness though, I should also admit that I have read many posts from chaseisgod and consider him to be extremely intelligent and well spoken. So, I have to admit that I am troubled that he holds that opinion since I have a great deal of admiration and respect for his opinions.

If something doesn't make sense, it usually isn't true. That is my basis for concluding that Mr. Chase did not intend to flip off the audience with the way in which the show ended.

Re: Anyone else?

#5
chaseisgod wrote:What surprises me is how my disgust with the ending now colors my feelings about the rest of the series.


Interestingly, although we may disagree as to Chase's intent wrt the end of the series, I find myself sharing your opinion about the rest of the series. Now that the series has ended, and can be viewed in its entirety, I find that I have lost almost all of my enthusiasm and enjoyment for the individual episodes.

When watching individual episodes now, what I see, are mostly flaws and I find myself fast-forwarding through more and more of the scenes. I fast-foward through most every scene containing certain characters - and increasingly, there are more and more of them. It's gotten to the point where it is usual for me to fast-forward through the majority of an episode. If this keeps up, I won't be watching hardly any episodes any more.

This is so sad. I had thought The Sopranos would hold up for years and years to come. But I now find that it doesn't hold up for me - not even for a few months after the ending. Of course, I can't blame the individual episodes since they held up for years while the series was still running. I blame the series in toto. Not the specific ending itself - but the totality of the series including the way it ended.

I find that it just no longer holds the same fascination for me that it once did. I find that so many of the characters are now just repugnant to watch. I don't want to see them. I don't want to hear them. I don't want to know anything more about them. I wonder if Mr. Chase knew this would happen and whether the way he chose to end the series had something to do with this?

I'm wondering if anyone else feels the same way I do about Paulie? I choose to single him out because I believe Chase made the point a few times that there may have been something wrong with his vocal patterns and it tended to drive some people nuts just to listen to him. The episode "Remember When" was largely an ode to Paulie and the way his vocal patterns were so painful to hear that Tony almost killed him rather than listen to him any more. These days, I find that I cannot stand to listen to Paulie. I can't even stand to listen to his mother/aunt. I'd like to know if anyone shares this feeling because I'm wondering if there may have been some intention to fashion Paulie's vocal patterns in this way.

Re: Anyone else?

#6
I don't see a cop out. I don't see David Chase flipping off the audience. This makes no sense.

Dramas don't have happy ending. And this ending was dramatic and perfect. (First I was shocked because it was THE end. no more of this. First time I felt like a junkie who wants to see more of this great series but will not get more). It showed that those people are doomed in their hell on earth finally, unwilling to ever change and break out. They are content with their life style in the end. All four of the Sopranos failed as well as the rest. Tony wins against Phil but looses because don't want to escape. Stop. Full circle.

I mean did you ever believe that materialistic Carmela would give up their live she has. She is incapable to choose another live. We saw it so many times.

The same with Meadow and AJ.

At the latest I also gave up a good ending for Tony Soprano since I saw "Soprano home movies". That was it finally. That was old Tony we knew since episode one but only some years older.

Seeing the first few episodes of 6a I thought for many seconds he could change. But would this have been the way of David Chase? Would this have been logic if you are trapped in the environment Tony is in now and has been for many many years?

For me the most dramatic scene of the final nine was to see Junior in the last episode again. More dramatic than his last scene in "Remember when". This is what you as a mob guy will get in the end if you are not dead already, really dead. And I think Tony Soprano has to go the same way.

I don't need to see a Tony bloody killed by some unfamous guy. Yawn
The Drama is that he will get no better life because of the incapability to choose the opposite life, incapable to reveal one's true identity, incapable to pledge himself guilty. He was still complaining about his bad mother and the bad childhood he has because of her like seen in the last episode.

What else did you expect in the end? All change to lovable guys and girls? Happy Christmas together with Agent Harris and Teletubbies? Star Wars Episode 6 ending?

So I still can watch the series over and over again, because it is what it is, the best drama of all time. I know what it is about and I did not expect some good news. I still can laugh about ridiculous guys, I'm still disgusted by their behaviours as I was on my first view, I still can discover new things I didn't saw, I still can be entertained.

So I'm not in this club of sad feelings about the ending because logically and statistically there was no other way beside death.

It's only sad that it is over now.

Re: Anyone else?

#7
Well DaViE, i'll agree with you about the term "club of sad feelings" going on here. i am definitely not a member of that club, and it seems like this forum has been mostly dominated by that club lately. (Misery Loves Company). It surprises me. i thought more devoted fans would respond differently to the end. i thought i would find more responses to my posts that would share some similar feelings or analyses of it all. Perhaps i should have given more time to that 'other" forum! ....o well- it is what it is- and i love this place and all the posts i read, even if i don't share the same feelings of so many of the members of the club of sad feelings. :icon_neutral:

Re: Anyone else?

#8
It really is too bad you feel this way, chaseisgod. While I've come to appreciate the ending more and more over the last six weeks (my god, it's been that long already?), I can certainly understand the viewpoint of those who haven't. It's a really challenging ending to warm up to, especially in the wake of all our inevitably high expectations prior to Made in America.

I'm surprised too, though, at your now marred outlook on the rest of the series. No matter how the series ended, it could never negate the amazing ride Chase took us on to get to the conclusion. Even if the eighty-sixth episode was so terrible I decided I could never watch it again, it wouldn't stop me from enjoying the eighty-five that preceded it. But that's just me.

As for the repetitious nature of the show, yes, this became very frustrating for me as well. As those tantalizing moments of possible growth and development for the characters piled up without any actual progress being made, I became more and more disillusioned. The question, though, is this: The fact that we are teased over and over with the possibility of growth in Tony, only to watch the credits roll after the final episode with no such thing happening - does that diminish the impact of everything else that came before it? This question is posed to every viewers, but answers will widely vary.

It's also worth asking whether or not Tony's incapability to develop was a mistake on David Chase's part. Does this signify a flaw of his as an effective storyteller, or does it signify the deep flaws of his characters - that being his plan all along? By the end of the series, we could all see that Chase was making it clear that the characters in his world don't change. Tony's life was just one big series of empty and short-lived epiphanies. While we all awaited Tony's big breakthrough to close the series, we actually witnessed Melfi's breakthrough - That talk therapy wasn't really having any positive effect on Tony after six years, and it would unlikely have and positive effect on him in the future. It was all a big "jerk-off" after all. "It's all a big nothing", and etc. Cynic that David Chase is, he chose to end his series with this dismal outlook on full display. While his audience was generally more interested in ending the series on a more hopeful note for Tony, this just wasn't the creator's agenda. Is this the equivalent of "flipping us all the bird"? I'm not so sure about that.

And Splishak, I know what you mean, too. When you give so much attention to one show for so long, it's only natural that you'll grow apart from it a bit, eventually. I am not experiencing this with The Sopranos at the moment - in fact, I'm doing a whole-series review with some of our fellow Chase Loungers - but I've gone through this with other shows in the past. I simply watched so much of it in so little time, I felt like I couldn't watch it ever again. But give it a little time; perhaps in three months, six months, maybe even years from now, you'll be ready to watch the show again with a renewed interest.

Re: Anyone else?

#9
I still think it's too early to fully sort out my feelings. By intention and necessity, I had to immerse myself in a LOT of work (some of it put off for months because of the Sopranos!) a week after the series ended. What surprises me (and those who know me) is how easy it's been to do that . . . i.e., how easy it's been to forget about The Sopranos.

CIG and I have certainly paralleled one another a great deal in our reactions to episodes and certain aspects of the series in general. And I have to agree that, for now, I don't have the affection for the series -- and specifically for the Soprano family -- that I had throughout most of the 6 seasons. It hurts to even write that because I never, ever thought that would be the case.

My problem is still not at all with the literal cut to black but with the fade to black of the character Tony Soprano, his moral devolution. In my more sober postings after the finale, I noted that the principal Soprano characters had traveled in circles, in orbits shaped like the onion rings they were eating. More precisely, however, that was a description of what Chase seemed to be saying about them. Just recently, Chase said that, to him, Tony is the same guy he's always been.

I strenuously adhere to a different opinion. When you go back and watch the first 3 seasons, in particular, it's obvious that Tony was more morally conflicted, more desirous of doing the "right" thing in his own perverse way, more haunted by his worst deeds than he ever was towards the end. I submit that had the Tony of season 6B been the main character of this series from the beginning, it would NEVER have enjoyed anything close to the same commercial or even critical appeal, appeal garnered largely on the back of a more sympathetic leading man. Even Gandolfini noted that season 6B seemed to mark a departure, commenting that he used to like Tony but "not anymore." He specifically cited the killing of Chris and the behavior towards Hesh and Paulie as part of a trend that made Tony truly despicable.

Adding to the disappointment in the character devolution was the ultimate dismissal of the NDE. This may be where writing from imagination rather than from personal experience -- or at least from very well-researched case histories -- really did Chase in. I find it impossible to believe that an authentic near death experience of the kind so brilliantly, creatively, and compellingly portrayed in Join the Club and Mayham would ultimately prove so transient and completely irrelevant in shaping a person's outlook, beliefs, and character. In every documentary I've seen on the subject, those who have experienced authentic NDE's -- of the good OR bad variety, and most are of the former -- are living testimonies to the opposite effect.


The coup de gras of what Emily Nussbaum described as "The Long Con" in her brilliant New York Magazine commentary was the strong implication that Tony was somehow insincere or conniving or seeking only pity and attention in the many scenes where he became emotional in therapy. So, most recently, when he teared up telling Melfi that he "poisoned his son's soul" with his "putrid genes" and that he would "give anything in the world" to take AJ's (suicidal) suffering on himself -- especially as he saw himself as the cause of that suffereing -- he was merely conning his shrink, looking for acceptance and sympathy, "engaging on family issues" in an effort to attain mainstream validation. Ditto for the emotion he showed or tried to stifle over the ducks, Pie-O-My, Christopher, Tony B, etc. He's a sociopath, end of story.

I was even willing to "wait and see" after Blue Comet because I felt sure that MIA would offer something from Melfi that would ameliorate this implication, that would show that she didn't -- deep down, after her anger and professional humiliation evaporated -- believe Tony was as black as her colleagues tried to paint him but was indeed the same gray matrix of black and white patches that she'd observed in her 8 years of treating him. Forget the cut to black. The omission of such a scene was the most surprising and perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the finale for me.

The proof of my current Sopranos temperature is in my posting and reading. I've been very unmoved to comment of late on the rewatch threads. I have yet to listen to the Sakaravo interview. I have next to no interest in analyzing all the symbolism and subtext of last episode and the diner scene, despite Chase's recent comments at the TCA awards. I have not read the Bob Harris article that fascinated so many. I still do not really care whether Tony lived or died, don't really care what was intended with the cut to black, the Members Only Guy, or anything else in that scene except insofar as it might affect Chase's ability in the future to fashion what I would deem a much more satisfying (and perhaps even a more truthful or fair) ending than the one he offered us in season 6B. The substance and amount of activity in this very new thread leads me to conclude that others' temperatures aren't that far off my own.

All of this tends to prove that the old TV maxim about "likeability" -- which Chase saw himself as subverting -- is as true in its own way as it ever was for many viewers. When all of your main characters cease to even inspire sympathy or compassion, cease to give you any reason for hope, you cease to have any reason to care about them.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Anyone else?

#10
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:The proof of my current Sopranos temperature is in my posting and reading. I've been very unmoved to comment of late on the rewatch threads.


You too, huh? I've certainly been participating in the rewatch, but I just don't have anything to post. I didn't take the ending quite the same as you. I know that pre-Made in America, and even pre-Blue Comet (before Melfi dropped Tony), I was right with you in the hope of redemption for Tony. I assumed that this breakthrough was inevitable, and that the more ugly Tony as of late 6B was only a precursor to the reformed Tony that would close the series.

After the series ended, though, I got over the lack of resolution pretty quickly. I can't say exactly why I was so forgiving of it; after my strong opinions of what needed to happen for me to be satisfied pre-finale, I was surprised myself at how short lived my dissatisfaction actually was.

It's so easily for me to turn back the clock in my head to a year or two ago - or even just a couple months ago - to a time when I was still enjoying new episodes so much, and still had future ones to look forward to. That was a great time to be a Soprano fan. And watching the episode was the highpoint of my week, but it was coming here to read and eventually participate in all the great discussion that actually got me through each week of waiting. I mean, this was a point in my life that isn't going to come back, as much as I'd like it to. Perhaps this is why I've been so forgiving of the conclusion. I just want to recapture my previous feelings for the show. I'm trying to watch the entire series over again now without giving 6B any thought. I'm just enjoying the series, episode by episode, which is the way I've always enjoyed it. If I ever began to lose interest in the earlier seasons based on the less-than-satisfying conclusion, I would do everything I could to block those feelings out. Am I ignorantly trying to "live in the past", in a way? Well, maybe. But I'm also still getting plenty of enjoyment out of this show still, so that's probably not a bad thing.

As for posting here - So much of the discussion here fed off of our expectations concerning the next episode. It was largely centered around figuring out what was going to happen next. We were hardly ever right, but it was still fun as hell. Now that there is nothing further to speculate on (and all the "what does the cut to black really mean" threads have finally died down, thank goodness), posting has lost much of its previous allure. It's really too bad, because this website was constantly the place to be. I still check in every day to see if anything interesting has come up, but it's usually nothing interesting enough to motivate me to post. But I'll continue to come back because I'm still trying to live in the past, and not too long ago I was signing into The Chase Lounge a good dozen times a day.

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