Re: New York Magazine: Chase/Sopranos a 'Long Con'

#11
Universal Polymath wrote:My question for you guys, though, is this: Does the fact that the audience eventually loses hope - and as a result, interest - in the character of Tony hurt the overall quality of the series? 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?

Is the fact that Tony, after a certain point, remains a stagnant being incapable of development a mistake on David Chase's part? Does it signify a flaw of his as an effective storyteller? Or was this Chase's plan all along, while we as the viewers simply made the mistake of hoping for a story that Chase never intended on telling?
An excellent question. I cannot say for sure that all audience members have lost hope, but from my interpretation it would seem the likely emotion. At least hope for Tony Soprano as a character. I am personally going through a curious emotional stage following the end – I don’t want to watch any episode (though I did find myself break down last night and watch the finale once more.) Perhaps I am still trying to put it all together. But I have, I think, a firm grasp of what Tony’s end might be: not content with the life that follows, but unwilling to do anything serious about it until he dies.

Going forward, I suspect further viewings will help reinforce that notion in him, but also perhaps allow looking towards myself and taking action unlike the man I am watching. If anything, future viewings will help see how Chase established this final moment with Tony and family (a re-reading of my own afterthoughts on my blog made me see clearly how Chase has set this ending precisely.)

I certainly don’t think it’s a mistake. I can think of a few other ways in which I might enjoy the series ending, but I cannot suggest that Chase “hurt” the series in any way by ending it in the manner he did. While it remains below an A+ finale (IMHO), it provides plenty to truly appreciate it and (I think) one that will remain in the popular lexicon for years to come.
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Re: New York Magazine: Chase/Sopranos a 'Long Con'

#12
Universal Polymath wrote: My question for you guys, though, is this: Does the fact that the audience eventually loses hope - and as a result, interest - in the character of Tony hurt the overall quality of the series? 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?
It certainly does for me, beyond the first three seasons. After that, this show was still well-done and funny, but very, very repetitious. The fact that there wasn't, for me, a payoff of any sort at the end makes plot threads like Vito seem even more useless.

For example...I'm watching the last couple of episodes again this weekend (as I prepare to cancel HBO) and I see all those camera shots on white shoes. Johnny Sack's white shoes...Syl's white shoes....Paulie's white shoes. The first time I watched, I was curious and interested...what does that mean? Well, it turned out, like so much of what we thought was symbolic, to mean nothing. When I watch it now, the shoes feel like a waste of film.

Re: New York Magazine: Chase/Sopranos a 'Long Con'

#13
Detective Hunt wrote: If anything, future viewings will help see how Chase established this final moment with Tony and family (a re-reading of my own afterthoughts on my blog made me see clearly how Chase has set this ending precisely.)


DH: Before reading your post, I posted the following reaction after watching the first three episodes of Season 4 this past Sunday night (the first Sunday after "Made in America"). I was actaully surprised at my own reaction:

http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.ph ... #post20669

Re: New York Magazine: Chase/Sopranos a 'Long Con'

#14
Universal Polymath wrote:Yes, this article was dead-on. And puts myself, also, in the mood for a big season one marathon. Those really were the good ol' days!

My question for you guys, though, is this: Does the fact that the audience eventually loses hope - and as a result, interest - in the character of Tony hurt the overall quality of the series? 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?

Is the fact that Tony, after a certain point, remains a stagnant being incapable of development a mistake on David Chase's part? Does it signify a flaw of his as an effective storyteller? Or was this Chase's plan all along, while we as the viewers simply made the mistake of hoping for a story that Chase never intended on telling?
I never lost hope in Tony, because I never had any hope for Tony. Guys like Tony don't change, they go through the motions to satisfy other needs or to perpetuate their compulsive tendencies.

As we learned from the Melfi/Kupferberg combat, Melfi became an "enabler" for Tony's con.
bobC
---

some will win, some will lose,
some were born to sing the blues,
the movie never ends,
it goes on and on and on and on........

Re: New York Magazine: Chase/Sopranos a 'Long Con'

#15
Great article.
My question for you guys, though, is this: Does the fact that the audience eventually loses hope - and as a result, interest - in the character of Tony hurt the overall quality of the series?
I never lost interest in the characters. I never lost hope until the very end. I ignored the late warning signs that Tony was not going to change, nor was anyone else, really. But when the end came, and I saw the light (or dark), I did not feel conned or teased or screwed over. I felt like I had been taught a lesson, and I was entertained along the way.
Is the fact that Tony, after a certain point, remains a stagnant being incapable of development a mistake on David Chase's part?
No, I don't see it that way.
Does it signify a flaw of his as an effective storyteller? Or was this Chase's plan all along, while we as the viewers simply made the mistake of hoping for a story that Chase never intended on telling?
I see no problem with how Chase told his story. At the same time, I do not think viewers made a mistake by hoping the characters would reform, repent, learn, or grow. Chase knew viewers were expecting that, because that is what we are always given. He was pushing against that envelope.
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