Re: Anyone else?

#31
Not wanting to delve deeply into the NDE once more, let us just say I still disagree on that part. I do not think it implied reformation. It only implied the chance for reformation in Tony if he bothered to look and act on it. He did not. Again, what we saw was not a sign signaling change. It was a sign that once again Tony had been offered a divergent path and once again (as we find out) he decided not to take it.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Anyone else?

#32
I think some sense of malaise is natural after devoting so much thought, analysis, and scrutiny to one piece of work that is now completely gone.

In a way, that's how I feel now. I actually didn't mind the long breaks in between other seasons because it gave me time to unwind. Each season was such a thought-provoking, intense whirlwind that I literally needed that gap to catch by breath, and for my own sanity :icon_razz: , completely forget about The Sopranos.

So I don't think it's strange that a lot of people aren't running to their DVD sets, or re-watching all the sanitized episodes.

What I'm not completely understanding is how many have now begun to question the merits of the show, or why they devoted themselves to the show in the first place.

Granted, I understand the show ended in a very polarizing way. And the last episodes, as relentlessly brilliant as anything the show ever produced, presented Tony Soprano in a brutal light. (Which I saw not as Tony become more evil but trying to survive what he saw as more dire circumstances).

The problem is we now know the ending (or non-ending:icon_razz: ) to the novel we've all been obsessing over for the better part of a decade. Some of us hated the way it all came to a conclusion, some of us loved it, and some of us thought that whatever it was, it was honest and true to the show. It's natural to feel let down. But that would have been the case no matter how it ended. I couldn't possibly dream of an ending that would have been satisfying to everyone.

I have a friend who loved the show, but (as it was his nature) he would complain about it a lot. My question for him, and I guess for anyone else would be, what are you comparing this to? What movie, TV show, book, piece of music, or any other form of art (popular or not) would look good under the scrutiny you give this show?

We live in a society that likes to throw out everything when the next new thing comes along. Despite the brilliance of a show like this, we can only be dedicated for so long before we are enamored with something else. So in that sense, and despite it's overall critical acclaim, the Sopranos was a severely undervalued show in the last few years.

It's a shame that on a site known for it's thoughtful Sopranos discourse, we are undervaluing it here as well.

Re: Anyone else?

#34
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."

Re: Anyone else?

#36
chaseisgod wrote:They essentially re-ran the same plot thread over and over and over.
There can be no doubt about the veracity of this statement. Simply looking at the usual "heavy" provided for Tony during the show's early run proves this. Hell, I've readily admitted that a good portion of seasons five and six could be cut to condense the final denouement into a more compact and meaningful series of actions. But the thing is...even if Chase was simply teasing us, I would have gladly accepted that tease for as long as he was willing to do so just to watch Gandolfini and Falco work. For that reason, I would never, in a million years, sell my own DVDs and will be purchasing the final box set because I loved the run of this television program. Just like my sets of Monty Python, Cheers, Seinfeld, Frasier, SOAP and St. Elsewhere...this is required television.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Anyone else?

#37
Detective Hunt wrote: For that reason, I would never, in a million years, sell my own DVDs and will be purchasing the final box set because I loved the run of this television program.

Hey DH! I don't understand what you mean by this statement and would like to ask if you wouldn't mind to please help me understand.

When you say, "... sell my own DVDs...", do you mean DVDs that you recorded yourself (as opposed to DVDs that you purchased)? Or do you mean DVDs that you purchased for individual seasons and that you intend to buy the big box set that contains the entire 78 shows?

Personally, I find the only thing of value on DVD sets that I have purchased is the commentaries - especially the director's commentaries. And I would love to have the director's commentaries for some of the episodes involving Kevin Finnerty, because I have never understood the entire plot line of Kevin Finnerty and would hope that maybe some of the commentaries for those episodes might explain a little about it.

Alternatively, if you can explain a little about the Kevin Finnerty concept, or if you can point me to a good explanation of it, I'd certainly appreciate that.

I've read some people (well, mostly Fly) who say that maybe it has something to do with Tony's love for his son (or lack of love) and who compare the concept of solar heating with a father's love for his son or maybe for his family. But people just kind of suggest this as a possibility. No one that I know has ever stood up and said they think they have a firm understanding of what that was all about and explain it.

I'm not expecting that there is necessarily some single explanation for this story line. But it would be nice if I could understand at least the basics for what was going on there.

I can accept the fact that there were some loose analogies between certain things in both story lines - such as the light in the operating room and the light of the beacon and Paulie's complaining and the noise coming from the room next to Finnerty's - but, is that the only tangible kind of explanation? A few things that we can compare in the two different world's that carry a kind of artistic value? Do you know of anyone who seems to have put forward a reasonable explanation for the value of the two story lines?

Re: Anyone else?

#38
chaseisgod wrote: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.



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.



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.



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."
A brilliant post, CIG. I agree with so much you wrote.

I would never sell my DVDs and I'm rather certain there will be a day when rewatching them is more of a pleasure than it is right now (haven't been to my brother's house since week one of the re-watch . . . he's had other things going on and I was very happy not to "have" to watch old episodes.) I'm far too loyal to my own obsessions to divorce myself from it in that manner. But for now, and who knows for how long, I can't help the feeling that I wasted much too much of my time contemplating elaborate symbolism from episodes like Calling All Cars, Test Dream, Join the Club, and Mayham when, in the end, it was all pretty meaningless. As you implied, if this was where it was going to end all along, I would have been far more satisfied had it done so around the time of Whitecaps, if not before.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Anyone else?

#39
AJColossal wrote:It's a shame that on a site known for it's thoughtful Sopranos discourse, we are undervaluing it here as well.
The discussion in this thread is as thoughtful as it ever was. I don't think it's ever a "shame" for people to calmly express honest feelings. Some of us were disappointed with the way the series ended (again, speaking for myself, not referring at all to the cut to black). I think the shame would be if we felt unable to talk about that as openly here as we've talked about the endless moments that thrilled us.

And I don't think I've ever been guilty of "undervaluing" this show, certainly not before June 10, 2007.: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: Anyone else?

#40
Splishak - I meant the DVDs that I purchased and will be purchasing the final one for the last nine episodes. I have not even looked into what comes after and would only consider buying them if Chase did a commentary on Test Dream. I've seen the rest and I have to say, there is a hell of a lot to appreciate about them more than just the commentaries. But I enjoy rewatching television shows I've seen before if they are good enough.

As for Finnerty, my own thoughts are certainly documented here along with everyone else's (least I think they are - there wasn't any issue with the transfer was there, Fly?) Just go back to those threads. It's fun reading. :icon_biggrin:
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

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