Re: Where's Johnny ~ Review

i am disappointed with this episode, and with this new season in general. what made this show special was how the mob activities affected tony's entire family. but now that the family is all broken up, its just a show about mobsters arguing over lawn mowers. i know theres a bit more to it than that, but honestly now that tony's immediate family is so far out of the picture i continue to lose interest.



i hope the episodes keep goin this way
cuz its a gangster show..not a daytime soap opera
if u want that type of drama watch bold and the beautiful or something


Re: Where's Johnny ~ Review

there have been gangster shows
there have been 'soap opera' type shows
but never before have they been merged so successfully - that's what made the sopranos special (and why they chose to call the show 'the sopranos', no?). doing this made many viewers actually able relate to the characters; we've all been in families before - but we're not all gangsters. the show is still interesting, but IMHO not up to the standards set by itself in earlier seasons.


About the show

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>cuz its a gangster show..not a daytime soap opera<hr></blockquote>
It's definitely not just a gangster-show. Anyone who has seen more than one episode probably knows this. And I think that everyone here likes the gangster-element of the show even a little bit, so that kind of comment is unnecessary.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>the show is still interesting, but IMHO not up to the standards set by itself in earlier seasons.<hr></blockquote>

That's pretty harsh judgement after three episodes. Each episode has had perfect balance of mob and family stuff. I'm sure you'll see more of that family-stuff in the future episodes. And if last episode didn't have Melfi or Carm, it doesn't mean that the family-plotlines are gone for good.

It's stupid to argue about these things. If the show was just about family, it would lose it's edge and not a lot of people would watch it. It would also lose the moral issues. And if the show was just about the mob-family, it would get old pretty fast. Just look what happened to Oz. Now the show has merged the two sides perfectly. So it's idiotic to say "ditch the family-stuff" or "ditch the mob stuff". One side of the show wouldn't exist without the other. If you don't like the combination, this show is not for you.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... eruptus</A> at: 3/25/04 6:39 pm

Re: About the show

Eruptus, I agree with much of what you wrote. I also appreciate the condescending inaccuracies you were responding to, although the truth of your position would have been no less evident had you left out the words "stupid" and "idiotic".

For the benefit of those who don?t already know, David Chase has offered several tidbits about the origin of the Sopranos. It first took the form of a feature film concept inspired by his wife?s suggestion that he write about his relationship with his mother. Only instead of making the son a television writer/producer, which he felt would bore audiences, he made him a mob guy.

When later approached to do a ?Godfather? type television series, he felt that there was very little else to be done with the traditional mob movie concept or the (by then) hackneyed idea of following the exploits of a ?crew? of mob guys. He felt the only new place to go was to the mob guy?s suburban home, to the contemporary reality of family life for someone in today?s Mafia. He combined this idea with his prior feature film idea about a mob guy with a difficult mother, and the Sopranos was born.

He has also commented that the mob stuff in the show, for him, is like the trunk of a Christmas tree. He doesn?t really look at it for the trunk. What he?s really interested in are the branches and all the ornaments and tinsel that hang on them ? i.e., Tony?s psychology, personal relationships, and family life. Yet the branches obviously stem from and are supported by the unseen trunk.

Also telling are the broad themes that Chase has articulated for each season. You?ll notice he hasn?t said season one was about Tony wrestling with his uncle for ultimate control of the mob or that season two was about Tony discovering and eliminating traitors within his crew or that season three was about Tony's efforts to deal with a particularly ambitious and ruthless underling (Ralph). In Chase?s own words, seasons one through four focussed on Tony as a son, brother, parent, and husband respectively.

These statements reveal pretty clearly what this series was conceived to be: a family drama centered around the patriarch, one who happens to be in the mob. The mob provides the very important context for the drama, but it is still context ? background ? that which is offered not for its own intrinsic value but to enhance and augment the character study and family drama which is the foreground and focal point of interest. And this concept is born out by the sheer amount of screen time devoted through the first four seasons to shrink visits, nursing home visits, college and secondary school visits, ADD, juvenile delinquency, kids? soccer and football games, school choral concerts, family dinners, family barbecues, kitchen bickering, dining room bickering, family room bickering, bedroom bickering, and the like. It?s no coincidence that the opening and closing sequences of each and every season thus far are dominated by images of Tony?s home, of Tony in his shrink?s office, or of Tony surrounded by his wife and children.

I can say that without this family focus, I would never have gotten sufficiently absorbed in this series to become a regular viewer, let alone the rabidly obsessive viewer and poster that I am today. But I?ll take it one step farther. If Chase had not imbued the central character with the psychological conflicts, moral self-contradictions, and endearing vulnerabilities of Tony Soprano, I would not be watching. I simply have no capacity to give a crap about a bunch of mostly stupid, inarticulate, sociopathic, conscienceless alpha males with an infinite greed for money and power, perverse delusions about ?loyalty?, zero impulse control, and a view of women that lies somewhere between misogyny and the conviction that they are worthwhile only as broodmares or for the blow jobs they provide. In other words, I have no interest in guys like Christopher, Paulie, Feech, Ralphie, Richie, et. al. Put any one of them into the center of this show, and, no matter how many wives and children you give him, he won?t make me care what happens to him and therefore won?t command my interest or loyalty as a viewer. Tony has much in common with those men, but it?s his striking differences, the dichotomies between what we sense he would most like to be and what he is, that make the Sopranos appeal to such a diverse and large audience. I know my sensibilities must statistically represent at least a good million or so viewers.

On the other hand, I agree with eruptus that Tony's psychological and family conflicts derive their compelling moral gravity from his mob involvement. So even though I watch for the family and psychological drama, I appreciate the crucial importance of the mob context. If Tony were a wealthy real estate developer instead of a Mafioso, the Sopranos would still be a good series but not the colossal film/television landmark that it has become.


About my post

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>although the truth of your position would have been no less evident had you left out the words "stupid" and "idiotic".<hr></blockquote>
Ok, maybe it was a bit rude. I just got REALLY tired of this pointless criticism.


> Re: no melfi and carm

You're absolutely right. This was the first episode ever without Carm. As the clock was winding down, I was sure that they'd show her at some point.

She was the only character besides Tony to have appeared in every episode. Her streak is now over at 54 straight.


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