Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#11
Could her change of heart toward Tony be because he nearly died and deep down inside they were (and still are?) friends long before he was mafia boss?

She slept with the guy when they were younger (didn't that come out in the episode where she did some party or something for Carm? Was that season 1?)

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#12
It seems to me that in the past, Charmaine was one of Chase's moral guidelights (along with Melfi, Meadow at times--I'm sure you'll remember others). She and the other moral guidelights point to the moral bankruptcy practiced by the mob. But she's not needed for that now, as Tony himself is changing. Her being on the boat last night didn't really bother me; these are people who have known each other since childhood, and it seemed logical to me that Tony, with his newfound attitudes, would want to spend time with them. More important were Tony's responses to Artie's complaints: Tony not only sends the credit-card scam money but adds some from his pocket, Tony orders Benny to have his parents' party at Artie's, Tony suggests that Artie see Melfi (that's a HUGE step for Tony). Tony's actually trying to help Artie, instead of reminding him, as he once did, that "technically, you've already missed two payments," and using his bailout of Artie to cancel out his tab at the restaurant. Those are the things I'm noticing this season.

Charmaine did little more last night than set up Artie's scenes (her advice in the bedroom, her warning about cooking the rabbit), or react to Artie's scenes (after his explosion in front of the staff). She's pretty much outlived her usefulness as a character who shapes our perspective toward the mobsters (by reminding us that these are bad people), so the writers used her last night to suit their purposes, but she's just not that important now, so I guess I don't much worry about her.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#13
Darngoodcoffee said:<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Without digging back into the others that you pointed out, and I see your perspective, this sudden change in Charmaine just strikes me as significantly more surprising to the point of being almost incomprehensible to me. Is anyone else feeling that?<hr></blockquote>

Another possible motivation for her behavior throughout the episode was her nervousness regarding the state of their business, and her realization that, his tab notwithstanding, Tony represents a lot of business for her and Artie, and therefore, he should be treated with congeniality; not unlike the smiling face that she forced herself to put on as customers were entering Vesuvio for twofer night.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#14
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Could her change of heart toward Tony be because he nearly died and deep down inside they were (and still are?) friends long before he was mafia boss?<hr></blockquote>

This was my thought. We didn't see Charmaine at the hospital, but we saw Artie and came to understand that it was one of several visits he'd made. I think it's safe to assume that Charmaine at least talked to Carmela during the ordeal or sent a card or something.

Death or near death crises often have a way of laundering the dirt out of relationships. You can see subtle signs of that even in the way Carm's mom has spoken and related to Tony this season. I've seen more warmth pass between them in two quick scenes this season than was evident in the previous 5 seasons combined. So I think it's entirely possible that Charmaine experienced a similar softening towards Tony, at least for now.

Carmela's monologue in the hospital reminded everyone how close these four were during their late teens, close enough that Tony was the one "saving" Charmaine from drowning, not Artie. Like the anecdote about Tony and Carm leaving Artie in the snow, there's an idyllic, nostalgic quality that comes through whenever those times are discussed. With Artie and Charmaine recently reuniting, they themselves might have even reminisced about some of those times after Tony's shooting, experiencing some nostalgia of their own. So, all things considered, I'm not shocked that the four of them got together.

I did find it interesting that the occasion was a boat trip, however. According to Carmela's story, Charmaine and water don't mix. At the time, I took this as subtle subtext that, while Charmaine was another girl Tony might have pursued as a wife, possibly resulting in a different destiny, she was fundamentally ill-matched to him. He's a guy, afterall, who uses ducks to symbolize his family, who loves to luxuriate in his pool and spend time on his boat. She couldn't have fit into his lifestyle. Read: she couldn't have offered him the kind of unconditional love that Carmela has because she couldn't love gangster Tony while Carmela could.

Not sure if there is additional symbolism/subtext to be mined from the fact that she agreed to the boat trip. She's willing to judge Tony anew? Is less averse to his way of life than before? Is willing to socialize with Tony and Carmela despite her distaste for their way of life because there are things about them that she still values?


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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#16
The change in Charmaine has been one of the most interesting developments this season.

I so wish they had decided to focus more on her character than on others (like Vito or Artie). She has always represented a moral rock in a swirling sea of criminal meatballs and chowderheads.

There is plenty of room in these plots to present the anti-crime POV and Artie and Mainey would provide the perfect point and counterpoint for that discussion.

Bottom line? I guess I just have always really liked her for some unknown reason. Maybe chemistry? Or maybe I'm with the mustached guy.

P.S. For the person who mentioned Janice, I'd just love to see a thread about her. To my mind, her participation so far this season perfectly encapsulates her shallow nature. I think Janice has always represented the very worst in humanity and makes the case for humanity deserving to wipe itself out through some catastrophe like global warming or a nuclear winter coupled with a stream of foolish verbal rationalizationis that just make most men wanna puke.

Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#17
Am I that thick, or was there not much of a change?? I really didn't see a change in Charmaine. Yeah, we've seen her bitch a lot, but shes' mainly been in the right hasn't she? Maybe she bitches a little too much, but only in trying to get Artie to stay away from the mobsters - which is a legit cause. Any other bitching is for similarly legit causes, isn't it? That's how I remember it anyway. And besides, it all adds to her being a moral rock in the show.
So maybe she's just been one dimensional up 'till now. I'll admit, I can't seem to remember any scenes off the top of my head where she's been the supportive wife, but there hasn't been an occasion to. But I always thought if there was a situation which didn't warrant her bitching, that she would be an ideal wife (atleast much much better then any of the other wives protrayed here)... that seems to be my impression.

Anyway, having said this, the thing that did tottaly throw me off was that boat scene. What the hell is she doing socializing with the Sopranos? We've never seen that before. Mostly b/c she hates Tony for being a bad influence on Artie, but also b/c she despises Carm's character (for allowing herself to become the hypocritical housewife that she has). Maybe you guys are right about the NDE changing things... but that was pretty out of nowhere. Charmaine even looked a little affluent there, didn't she?? When have we ever seen that before??
But frankly that whole boat scene still has me thinking. The only point of that scene was to show the Tony-Artie conversation. Of all the places they could've shown that exchange, why with their wives present? And why on that boat?? That boat, for me anyway, has always been representative of Tony's mob life. He uses it to kill guys and fuck girls. And sometimes just to get away from things, but it's always ominous for me when I see it. So now we've got a fairly mundane exchange happening on it? And what was up with the camerawork? Someone said somewhere it was just bad camerawork, b/c it's hard to film on water... but come on, I don't buy it. Why would the creators do a bad job this late in the game? And there have been several other water scenes... never with shoddy work, I don't think. I'm still trying to figure it out.
Meh, back to Charmaine. I don't see the change.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#18
In the past, Charmaine could be accurately described in her relation to Artie as "difficult". She wouldn't take anything from Artie - especially as regards criminal activity - without a searing questioning and a very stern line of reprimand.

Does that not seem accurate to you?

But in this season, she seems to be a very docile creature, dedicated to the support of her husband. We haven't seen any criticism from her about the OC people who come to the restaurant.

This is just a small start to the differences in Charmaine. There are many more and I'll leave it to someone else to describe some of the others.

As for the boat, wasn't there some reference to boats and boating in the scenes with Sir Ben?

Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#20
They show an episode of Law & Order every day on A&E. Actually they show it three times so if anyone is interested, they can probably catch this episode later today. (11 pm and 5 am in Toronto)

But they had a show today where a young wife cut off her husband's penis - killing him. There was something very familiar about this Italian beauty, so I concentrated real hard and, sure enough, it turns out to be the actress Kathryn Narducci who plays Charmaine. She is now more freaky and scary than ever before. Lemme outta here!

It was interesting to see her about ten years ago - and completely flat chested and without any real butt to speak of. Dat was just damn scary! The people who cast The Sopranos don't mess around. They find some class A performers for us. My hat's off to dem! Oh, yes! Ms. Narducci gave a ice-cold chilling performance. I'm a tell ya! I just about shit my pants! Fucking slicing off wit da penis'? Hey! How come it's so hard to figure out and look it up da plural of penis? Huh? Wadda fuck? Nobody's got multiple peni? Wadda fuck!!
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