Re: I can't stand the "A.J." Soprano, Jr. character

#4
honestly alot of people bash on A.J. and i kinda feel bad for A.J. i know that sounds weird. what im saying is im sad to see all the hate. the kid may be a loser but atleast he's real. i can relate to him. we all go through rough patches. we all struggle to find ourselves sometimes. A.J. goes through real pain, depression and so forth, but he's immature, he doesn't have Tonys ability to bullshit, he doesn't have Carmellas ability to manipulate, he doesn't have Meadows intellectualism.

also bear in mind we see people on the show through the eyes of tony, and its clear tony thinks of A.J. as a letdown and failure.

A.J. had his wins and losses. if the show continued who knows how things would work out eventually for him. he probably would get it together like the rest of us.

so i enjoyed the A.J. plot lines. i thought the scene where he attempts suicide was on of the most powerful moments in the series. alot of people complained that the show gave to much time to the family instead of mafia business type stuff, and thats a valid claim i suppose. but i find it a bit suspicious people who bash on A.J. for being too flawed.

Re: I can't stand the "A.J." Soprano, Jr. character

#5
tunafish wrote:honestly alot of people bash on A.J. and i kinda feel bad for A.J. i know that sounds weird. what im saying is im sad to see all the hate. the kid may be a loser but atleast he's real. i can relate to him. we all go through rough patches. we all struggle to find ourselves sometimes. A.J. goes through real pain, depression and so forth, but he's immature, he doesn't have Tonys ability to bullshit, he doesn't have Carmellas ability to manipulate, he doesn't have Meadows intellectualism.

also bear in mind we see people on the show through the eyes of tony, and its clear tony thinks of A.J. as a letdown and failure.

A.J. had his wins and losses. if the show continued who knows how things would work out eventually for him. he probably would get it together like the rest of us.


I would submit that it's entirely possible AJ never really gets it together, as far as becoming a functional member of society. I think it's made clear that as parents to their son, Tony and Carmela seriously fucked the pooch, and a huge part of that is the fact that Tony is in the mafia. But David Chase has said that the improvement is a gradual generational thing - Tony is taking that first step by trying to raise a non-mafioso son. A.J. will be an emotionally crippled fuck-up his entire life, but he will not be a sociopathic murderer. So if he has a kid, he will still be a better role model than Tony was. And by keeping his son out of that life, Tony was a better role model than Johnny was.

tunafish wrote:so i enjoyed the A.J. plot lines. i thought the scene where he attempts suicide was on of the most powerful moments in the series. alot of people complained that the show gave to much time to the family instead of mafia business type stuff, and thats a valid claim i suppose. but i find it a bit suspicious people who bash on A.J. for being too flawed.


Honestly A.J.'s plotlines were some of the most affecting of the show. When you're in his shoes (such as with the military school story, clearly one of my favorites), you can see just how terrifying the world of The Sopranos really is. Watching the transition from an innocent kid to a depressive psychological mess is downright chilling, especially because it happens so naturally.
Taps, lights out, 2200 hours. What's missing? Give up? Television.

Re: I can't stand the "A.J." Soprano, Jr. character

#6
zwingli wrote:
Honestly A.J.'s plotlines were some of the most affecting of the show. When you're in his shoes (such as with the military school story, clearly one of my favorites), you can see just how terrifying the world of The Sopranos really is. Watching the transition from an innocent kid to a depressive psychological mess is downright chilling, especially because it happens so naturally.


well said.

altho i dont think he was such a screw up. i dont think he was messed up for life. he didnt seem that messed up. i know alot of guys like him. but we never see it in ourselves do we... A.J. like so many other characters on the show, served the purpose of letting tony reflect on himself, not just as a father, but as a man dealing with depression himself, and a man who despite good efforts cant seem to get his act together. tony makes money, so he's 'succesfull' but he still gambles compulsivly, still does drugs and drinks and eats in a manner that doesnt serve him best, and he continues to be unfaithful to carmella despite how many times he tries to do so, and how genuine he really is about it. tony really wanted to be faithful many times on the show, and it lasts awhile, but it fails. whatever tony sees in A.J. that disapoints him is something he sees in himself, and thats true of the fans of the show too, but that is natural because us fans are seeing things through tony's eyes. ofcourse us hardcore fans who comment on sites like this, who analyze the show so methodically, we begin to see things a little more clear than even tony. and i think its a rule in general anyway, whatever u see in others is something that exists in you, because otherwise how would u recognize it. as the kids say, it takes one to know one. it really does.

Re: I can't stand the "A.J." Soprano, Jr. character

#7
I loved all the scenes with AJ causing problems to Tony and Carmela. Those scenes also showed the poor parenting of Tony and Carmela, especially Tony.

I also really liked the change AJ went through in the last episodes. I really loved and identified with him in season 6.

And I agree to the previous post about Meadow, that she became a boring character, even annoying. She used to rebel until season 4. From season 5 she took the easy way and always defended Tony's business.

Re: I can't stand the "A.J." Soprano, Jr. character

#8
zwingli wrote:I would submit that it's entirely possible AJ never really gets it together, as far as becoming a functional member of society. I think it's made clear that as parents to their son, Tony and Carmela seriously fucked the pooch, and a huge part of that is the fact that Tony is in the mafia. But David Chase has said that the improvement is a gradual generational thing - Tony is taking that first step by trying to raise a non-mafioso son. A.J. will be an emotionally crippled fuck-up his entire life, but he will not be a sociopathic murderer. So if he has a kid, he will still be a better role model than Tony was. And by keeping his son out of that life, Tony was a better role model than Johnny was.


Perhaps Tony and Carm didn't do a great job as parents, but I think they did the best they could given who they are and their upbringings. As Zwingli aptly continued above, Tony did a better job of parenting than his father had.
One thing that I think is certain - Tony and Carm definitely cared, consciously considered, and tried to positively affect, guide and assist AJs' progress.

Regarding those who didn't like the AJ character, his role as such is an integral part of Chase's thematic development of the show, especially during the final seasons. Remember, AJ is short for Anthony Junior - he is there in part to compare to Tony as a youth, to what Tony might be if born in this generation, under these circumstances. And especially to be the true son to carry on the true family legacy wherever that may take him, as opposed to Christopher, the "artificial" son and heir to what actually becomes the secondary, least important, family.
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