Thursday, June 14, 2007

Goodbye, Sopranos...for now

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the ending was a blank screen and none of the main Soprano family got whacked.
So what if David Chase left it open for a feature film or a mini series? I'm glad he did, because I'd sure watch it again, and so would any of the millions of people who found the characters and story lines irresistible.
The thing about Tony Soprano was that he was a lovable sociopath, just like the character Hannibal Lecter.
After all, neither of them really killed anyone who didn't kind of have it coming.
We Americans like our characters big, just like we like our hamburgers, TV screens and media personalities.
We could all feel like we were better people than Tony and his crew. So what if Tony was richer and more powerful than most of us? He still used horrible grammar, needed to lose weight, was balding, had a couple of goofy teeth and a penchant for womanizing, so that made him not as good as us in at least a few categories.
Like most of us, he tried to evolve in his own caveman ways. Therapy? For a made guy?

In his own crude way, Tony showed all the he-men of this world that it's okay for even a guy with a huge set of balls to reach out and try to make sense of the insane world his parents dragged him into.
He made all our dysfunctional families seem somehow less fucked-up.
But it wasn't just Tony who showed us his archetype and made us feel better about ourselves.
His mother was a bigger bitch than most of our moms. I never wanted to slap my sister as much as I wanted to slap his. His son A.J. was ten times the asshole of either of my nephews. Uncle June was a bigger dick than any of my uncles. Paulie was stupider than any of my father's pals. Christopher was more grandiose and delusional than *most* of my cousins. Carmela was more gauche and nouveau riche than any of my aunts-made-good, and the extended Italian families were as loud and tacky at gatherings as any of my extended Mexican family members. Even Meadow could be kind of a snobby, intellectual wannabe.
The Sopranos said and did the things we wanted to do, save for our collective lack of sociopathic personality disorders.
They behaved like animals on our behalf. We got to root for imaginary bad guy characters because our collective consciousness doesn't allow us to root for real life criminals.
I'm glad none of the main characters got killed off.
It gives us hope for another burst of feeling smug and superior.
And that's the American way.


Unknown said...

"I never wanted to slap my sister as much as I wanted to slap his."--I don't know about that one don't know my middle sister.

Great post, best one I read so far on this topic.

Anonymous said...

I remember a couple of years ago, AJ was at home with his new girlfriend horseplaying on the couch. Carmela admonished them not to break her precious Lladro figurine. She said, "God knows how expensive it was." Then she couldn't help but mention later it cost $3,000.
In a later scene, AJ went to visit the girl at her house- a palacial estate where a $3,000 Lladro figurine would be akin to displaying a Burger Kid toy in a big kid's meal.
AJ was ashamed of his home upon seeing the girlfriend's place.
Carmela's nouveau riche persona was exposed in these classic show-don't tell scenes.
One more reason I adored that show.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see this season, or last season, for that matter. I'll be on the road, so maybe cable will show a marathon of re-runs. I can pull over, check into a cheesy motel with cable and camp out for a day or two, in my jammies, rest up, eat up, catch up.

I betcha there's a movie in the works, the studio will make the main characters an offer they can't refuse...