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Last night’s Sopranos (The Ben Kingsley episode)

April 24, 2006

How terrible was last night’s Sopranos? Let me count the ways:

1) Sleepwalking performance from Ben Kingsley. Truly painful to watch.

2) A numbingly obvious subplot about mobster’s interest in free loot for celebrities. Like Chris’s buddy, who’s in the business, wouldn’t know about it. Like Chris, who is obsessed with Hollywood, wouldn’t know about it.

3) Wilmer Valderamma.

4) Wilmer Valderamma.

5) Wilmer Valderamma.

6) Chris falling back on the wagon while on a vacation… again.

7) Artie confronting Tony and then breaking down in tears… again.

8) The hostess’s nonsensical confession. First she cries and tells the truth, then she tells Artie to fuck off and says that she and Bennie laugh at him? Huh?

9) A whole episode that has almost nothing to do with Tony, even in a tangential way. At least the “Gay Vito” episode gave us a picture of how the “new Tony” does business.

10) The final scene with the Italian hitmen, marveling over the cheap dollar. Cute, but pointless.

11) The “opening the books” dinner for a few reasons: a) Who the hell are these new guys? We’ve never seen them before. b) Why would Phil be at the dinner? Isn’t an entirely different family?

Here are the two redeeming features of the episode:

1) Lauren Bacall getting punched in the face. Great shock value.

2) Artie Bucco beating the shit out of Bennie. Score one for the regular people.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brad Glaser permalink
    April 24, 2006 3:21 am

    After a helluva start to the season, I’ve been less than impressed by the last two episodes. Last week’s at least had some purpose for setting up future stories (I hope.) This one was just rather boring. I think Artie occupies a bit of an uncomfortable position on the show. He’s just not that interesting a character to hang a major plot line on. You allude to this, but he has only a couple of notes, and we’ve heard them before. It’s not that a regular guy with a connection to Tony can’t be interesting. Contrast Artie’s arc with the briefer but far more interesting one of David Scatino (Robert Patrick) in Season 2 for proof of that. I’m not sure that John Ventimiglia is the actor that the consistently-solid-but-unheralded Patrick is, but he may just be written into a corner in this role. I feel like John Cazale if he were 20 years younger (and more importantly alive) could really knock Artie out of the ballpark.

    Making a Kingsley guest turn uninteresting is a nearly unforgivable sin. The history of actors attempting to play themselves is not a storied one, and his performance will do nothing to change that.

    Minor point: According to a book on the history of the Sicilian Mafia I just finished, it would not be so unusual to have a member of another family there at the opening of the books, as having someone made is a decision that often goes beyond just the family to the regional commission.

  2. bro permalink
    April 24, 2006 2:46 pm

    two highlights last night- archie yelling to the hostess aftershe confessed and he’s threatening to go to the cops-

    this country leads the world in computer database management!

    completely out of character and ridiculous, but i dont think i’ve laughed so hard during a sorpanos episode since chris’s intervention (“Wait a minute, you killed a dog?!!”)

    and of course, lauren bacall getting punched in the face is always funny.

    lowlights- everything else. nice to see the sorpanos writers have continued their m.o. of dropping major plot lines

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