Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#61
This is my favorite thread on here in many ways Fly. And as I rewatch seasons 5-6b I see clearly much of what you describe. I was wondering if you have had the chance to hear Jr. Sopranos Commentary on "Remember When" where he talks long about this theme and how it runs through the whole show. It's one of the best commentaries ever done on the DVD's. It explains more than Chase does most of the time. Thanks again!
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#62
Thanks, Silvio!

I hate to admit it, but I have yet to listen completely to any of the commentaries from season 6b. I was so bummed that no writers were being featured that it kind of soured me on it in terms of enthusiasm. In the past, I have never been fond of actor commentaries. Imperioli's have been okay, largely because he commented on episodes he also wrote.

I did hear part of Schirripa's commentary on Soprano Home Movies. But I never made it all the way through that one or past it to the other episodes of 6b. Since you've recommended the Remember When commentary, I'll be sure to give it a whirl the next time I decide to watch an ep with commentary.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#63
Thats so funny about not digging into the commentaries from 6b. I'm a big fan of commentaries from all my favaorite shows that i have on DVD. The Sopranos where no differnt , but i could not bring myself to listen to 6b's as well. I also started the Home movies one but found it hard to finish and listened to none of the others. Perhaps someday, when i've exhausted every second of the master box set, I'll remember theres still a couple of hours i haven't heard.

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#64
That is a strange coincidence, bloodshot. Like you, commentaries are what I most look forward to when I get a new season set, especially the ones with Chase and other writers.

As I look back, my grudge against the Soprano commentaries may have started in 6a when they decided to give the commentary for Join the Club to Falco, Sigler, and Iler. Of all episodes to have actor commentary . . . especially a group of actors where conversation frequently devolved into predictable expressions of mutual admiration and other light weight banter. These guys had no idea what was happening in that episode. How disappointing.:icon_eek:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#65
Fly, I promise it is well worth your while! Dominic Chianese has some really good insights into Tonys relationships with his father, uncle, and nephew\son. He is a very articulate man with a lot of intelligent observations. Like you described, most of 6b commentaries are lackluster and downright disappointing. This one is the only one worth your while. Its the only time Dominic ever does a commentary for any of the shows. Also, it is one of the best episodes of the season IMO.
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#66
I just wanted to say congratulations, salutations, well done, and thank you FOMW. I've spent the last few days reading this entire thread but specifically your initial piece was most impressive. I remember watching the things you wrote about and knowing in my heart that they were monumental and sometimes I thought I knew why, but couldn't quite wrap my head around it all. I must say that as for your initial post, "Yes!". I just thought it was perfection. Not only that but you wrote it in a way that was clear and easy to follow which also blew me away. And your hypothesis of Chase kind of starting it all in season 4 was exactly what I was thinking when I first started reading your post and then for me to read tonight basically exactly what I was thinking really made me smile. I also think this fits because in an interview on public radio (i think) Chase had mentioned something to the effect that they had initially planned on being done after the fourth season but basically found some new and different ways he could take these characters which I believe to be the inception of what you have so aptly written about. Lastly, I just want to say how enjoyable it is to follow your posts because it feels like 85% I feel in agreement with you and wish I could do it as you do.

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#67
Hi, jtk, and thanks so much for all the very generous comments.

There were times through the series, well before there was a Chase Lounge, when I (and many others here) were still posting at Sopranoland and when the process of analyzing and reading and writing about the series was just galvanizing and tremendously rewarding. But I think the process of putting this particular post together, utilizing so much insight from previous exchanges, was the most rewarding thing I've experienced in connection with analyzing the show. It just provided a framework that elevated and unified the last half of the series in a way that nothing else did.

It's funny. The patricidal angle to Chris' murder is very likely the most overlooked piece of symbolism in the whole show (I can't recall a single critic or blogger or high profile writer addressing Tony's repressed paternal hatred as a major, multi-seasonal theme that culminated in Christopher's murder.) But it just feels like "truth" to me, and, whether or not it's what Chase intended, it's how I see it. Nice to know that others see it the same way.:icon_wink:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#68
Would you say that Phil Leotardo's role as the series' final antagonist is relevant to this thesis? Phil is really pretty representative of the traditional mafia pater familias, and Johnny Soprano's adherence to this same role was the reason he inducted Tony in the first place.

You mention Johnny Cakes and refer to the Vito storyline as unimportant, but I would say it ties in with the underlying Johnny Soprano theme through Phil. Melfi delivers one line, something along the lines of "You hate your son because he doesn't conform to your idea of what it means to be a man." This is true, and Tony mentions that had he exhibited any of this behavior Johnny would not have tolerated whatsoever. Now look at the dynamic between Vito and Phil this same episode. Phil is embodying the role of Johnny Soprano, he not only wants Vito "kicked out" for not conforming to his standards of masculinity, he wants Vito dead. In the Vito storyline, Tony proves to be more tolerant than Phil, in much the same way he is more tolerant of AJ than his father would have been.

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#69
Hi zwingli. In the context of discussing the meaning of the title "Johnny Cakes," I think the term I actually used for the Vito storyline was "comparatively unimportant," meaning comparatively unimportant compared to Tony and the issues arising out of his relations with his father and son. I stand by that. The show has a history of offering a title with an overt meaning and at least one latent or less obvious meaning, and it's usually the second one that's more important or profound. Perhaps not always, but nearly so.

I never gave a lot of thought to Phil and Vito's dynamic. You make some good observations about it. And I agree with you that Phil obviously was quite irked to have a homosexual not only in his extended blood family but in one of the mob families with which he did important business. I was never terribly captivated by the question of how much of that was just Phil reflecting and dutifully enforcing the societal conditioning of his times in the much more violently intolerant and macho milieu of the Mafia and how much may have been a reaction to cover latent homosexual feelings or guilt for perhaps having secretly availed himself of homosexual contact while in prison all those years.

The aspect of Vito's story which most interested me and that I think was uppermost in Chase's mind had to do with Tony's desire (which he chickened out on) to let things be and not pursue any kind of "vindication" once Vito left town. This was clearly a departure from what Tony would have been willing to risk or associate himself with before his shooting. And it was meant, I think, to portray Tony's desire to change and evolve against all his conditioning and the pressures of the social/power structure he was part of. But like Vito himself, he would not change because he ultimately was unwilling to endure the risks, suffering, and sacrifices that change requires. And I think Vito's gay/death storyline was also written to further amplify Tony's guilt and conflicts as a father figure (real or surrogate) to young males growing up in or on the fringes of mob life.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#70
zwingli wrote:Would you say that Phil Leotardo's role as the series' final antagonist is relevant to this thesis? Phil is really pretty representative of the traditional mafia pater familias, and Johnny Soprano's adherence to this same role was the reason he inducted Tony in the first place..


In the "IN CAMELOT" episode...Tony has a sit down with Johnny Sack to settle his claim to a racetrack owned by his father, Hesh, and Phil Leotardo :icon_eek:

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