Krakower Thing wrote:I'm baffled.
Why consider showing Tony having potential to change but not doing so a "fuck you" instead of just an interesting dramatic choice?.
Just for me, it's not that interesting. I mean, looking back, we have a series in which the main characters (and by that, I'm referring to Tony, Carmella, Meadow and AJ) come tantalyzing close to changing their behavior, but don't. Now that it's over, the plot lines seem monotonous to me. OK, I got it after the third attempt -- people don't change.
But, see, Chase didn't stop there. He kept throwing in the POSSIBILITY of change -- Finnerty, Paris, etc. It now feels to me like he was just leading us on to fill out another season's worth of shows. It's certainly his choice -- and it is consistent -- but it seems fair to me to suggest that holding out the possibility of change in these characters was nothing more than a tease.
Krakower Thing wrote:Why believe a writer who obviously cares deeply about his work would be swayed from his vision by what the audience wants or does not?.
I disagree strongly with you on this. There is simply no doubt in my mind, after listening to Chase's DVD commentaries and interviews over the years, that he took what critics and fans said and thought very, very seriously, and reacted to them via the show. I think the ending was his ultimate response to fans and critics -- Here you go, choose your own ending.
Krakower Thing wrote: For him to discard whatever insight the NDE gave him seems completely buyable to me. Carmela abandoned her moment in Paris upon returning, Chris relapsed into drug abuse... I think if anything, all arrows pointed to Tony's potential for moral redemption being wasted as it was for everyone else. .
Which is certainly consistent, but in retrospect, makes the series much less interesting to me than it was the first time around. I repeat, I got it: Tony wasn't going to change, Carmella wasn't going to change, Christopher wasn't going to change, AJ wasn't going to change. I figured that out after three seasons. But it's not my fault for thinking that this time things might be different. Chase is the one who planted that seed. If your argument is valid here, then you also have to concede that The Sopranos is one of the most repetitious shows that has ever been on the air. They essentially re-ran the same plot thread over and over and over.
I mean, for crying out loud, how many times did we have to see Carmella on the precipice of realizing that she was Tony's accessory? If there had been a Season Seven, I suppose Jesus himself would have come down from the heavens and told her.
I refuse to apologize for thinking that David Chase was revisiting these familiar plot threads because he had something new to tell us about these characters. That he didn't was disappointing.
Krakower Thing wrote:
The interpretation that Tony didn't die at the end makes little sense to me.
Your interpretation is as valid as anyone else's, including those that thought he lived, those that thought he was condemned to purgatory on Earth, those that thought the audience was whacked, etc. There is no right answer.
I was interested in David Chase's interpretation. He decided not to provide one.
So we are left with a very entertaining, thought-provoking, well-made, often hilarious and incredibly acted TV series in which the characters are essentially the same people they were when they series started. That's fine. I don't consider my time with The Sopranos wasted, not even a little bit.
But I sold my DVDs. I don't need to see it again. I have no more interest in deciphering the various "clues" that were dropped into each episiode. I assume they mean nothing. That's the message, isn't it -- that I can have it any way I want it?
Nothing changes. Everybody stays the same. You are what you are. Psychology is bullshit. Like Tony said, "I get it."