Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#21
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Am I that thick, or was there not much of a change??<hr></blockquote>

I agree with Corrado. Charmaine has never embraced the mob business at Vesuvio but she's never really attempted to get rid of it either. Her main issue seems to have been that they didn't pay their tab and also her own jealousy toward Carmela as she feels she could have been the one to marry Tony. Since Artie tried to resolve the tab issue in this episode I suspect perhaps this was part of the two of them getting back together.

Like all the characters in the show Charmaine does not live up to her high moral standards. She would gladly swap places with Carmela. I seem to recall David Chase deliberately wrote this aspect into her character after test audiences felt that she was the only good, honest character in the show.

Also I'm glad they didn't go into detail about Charmaine and Artie getting back together. People are already complaining about this episode dealing too much with Chirs and Artie and not focussing enough on Tony (an opinion I don't share). If you want the show to examine all these character changes in detail there'll be more episodes like this and less about Tony.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#22
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>There are parallels to be drawn with Tony and Carm, but Tony has shown real signs of change and fidelity to Carm.<hr></blockquote>

He said to Carm and Artie that he's not physically able to perform yet. He also made a joke to Melfi about a sympthay fuck. I'll believe he's faithful when we don't see him fooling around all season.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=brunogambia>brunogambia</A> at: 4/27/06 8:35 pm

Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#23
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that if this episode's primary purpose was to contrast Artie with Tony, I suppose it fits that Artie reunited with Charmaine after a comparable -- though presumably less brutal and soul-rattling -- fallout to Tony and Carmela's. You have two EXTREMELY dysfunctional couples that have somehow survived through love.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#24
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Her main issue seems to have been that they didn't pay their tab and also her own jealousy toward Carmela as she feels she could have been the one to marry Tony. . . . She would gladly swap places with Carmela.<hr></blockquote>

Wow, I've never seen anything to suggest that Charmaine envies Carmela. Quite the opposite is portrayed, in fact, in Denial, Anger, Acceptance where Charmaine finally tires of Carmela's misplaced pity and subtle elitism and lets her know that she took Tony for a test drive in bed many years ago and found him very lacking and that she is more than content being the wife of a chef and living in a modest house.

Her disdain for Tony and his mobster ilk has always seemed 100% genuine to me. I've no doubt that she would prefer it if Tony and company stayed permanently out of their restaurant and out of their lives.

But since Artie won't break the ties of his friendship with Tony, and since it's a pretty nasty move to tell people you hung around with all the time in high school that they aren't welcome in your public restaurant, Charmaine has drawn the line at serving them food (at least until Luxury Lounge). She's not above catering their fundraisers or graduation parties or funeral gatherings. She's not above serving them and their guests in the restaurant, often with only superficial cordiality. But she has consistently refused to go beyond that.

When Tony gave Artie the cruise tickets, it was she who immediately suspected foul play and refused them. When Tony made the offer of a side canning venture, it was Charmaine who squelched it. It was she who cornered Tony and read him the riot act for destroying Artie back in season 3. It was she who, at that time, did everything short of order Tony out of Vesuvio to let it be known that she didn't want him or his cronies there. (Recall the jokes from Paulie about her needing an "oil change for her broom".)

And when Tony tried to flirt with her shortly after she and Artie separated, she rebuffed him swiftly, surely, and with palpable disgust. The sting of that rejection apparently lasted all the way through season 5, when Tony was trying to find a Carm replacement. Why would a man like Tony, used to getting any woman he wants (save Melfi, who he knows is attracted to him despite herself) not have the guts to complete even one of several aborted phone calls to a middle-aged mother of two who was separated from her "loser" husband? He chickened out because -- deep down -- he knew he not only didn't stand a chance but that he would very likely be told that in a very blunt way.

It's clear that power and wealth are not the aphrodisiacs for Charmaine that they are for Carmela and many others. And since that's primarily what Tony brings to the table, he doesn't have what it takes to attract her. For all that it may perplex some, she obviously finds Artie much more attractive, enough to even reunite with him after he behaved like a jerk for a couple of years.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Like all the characters in the show Charmaine does not live up to her high moral standards. I seem to recall David Chase deliberately wrote this aspect into her character after test audiences felt that she was the only good, honest character in the show.<hr></blockquote>

No offense, but I believe this is simply incorrect. I'd be shocked if test audiences have ever been used in connection with the Sopranos. Their value lies primarily in the realm of ratings-driven television, not subscription driven television. And that value is nil unless the creative personnel are committed to tailoring their product to the results. I've never, ever read anything that supports the notion that Chase would even consider, let alone act upon, test audience reactions.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#25
FOMW...I like what you said. In her legendarily big-bosomed way, Charmaine has been I think closest to the Melfi character in "telling it like it is" and setting boundaries for herself. I think she's savvy and strong enough to an Angie B, should god forbid the need arise. One more thing related to Charmaine and her considerable physical endowments---I can't remember her ever using her allure to "work an angle". Even Carm has done that, in part, with Wegler. I could be wrong. I'm not equating that kind of "taking the moral high ground" to Melfi's restraint in restraining herself sexually with T, or--more markedly--in not having Tony pound her rapist into a bloody pulp; in that, Melfi is unmatched. But Charmaine ain't chopped liver.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#26
sorry to throw something in here.
what has happened at all?just the boat trip or was there something else?artie and charmaine have been serving at several barbecues and when livia died at the soprano house, also all funerals etc. ended in meeting at vesuvio, its just normal that they come along when tony invites them, i guess he called artie to have a talk with him about the benny situation.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#27
I'm sorry, Hrurusch, but it is NOT normal that Charmaine would freely come along when Tony invites. At all Soprano functions in the past, she has been there as a caterer, earning honest money, not as a guest.

That she was a guest on the boat, and seemed to be enjoying herself, no less, is terribly out of character. The rest of her actions in this ep. make sense to me, but not that.

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Re: Charmaine Bucco's tremendous character change

#29
Charmaine Carmela and Tony and Artie have been friends since before High School and have a ton of shared memories. Charmaine certainly has shown she knows what being in the Mafia actually means: stone cold manipulative psychopaths. At the same time she lives in this world too, grew up around it, and her clientele at the restuarants are mobsters.

It was not at all unusual to me to see Charmaine hanging with the Sopranos. She actaully has said that she "loves Carmela like a sister". She just decided to go down a different path.
Don Scallop

"You Can't Kill me twice Sally Boy, I'm already fuckin' dead remember"
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