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So Long, Sopranos

June 5, 2006

There’s so much wrong with last night’s season finale of The Sopranos but I hate sounding like a broken record. So I will sum it up in two words:

CREATIVELY BANKRUPT.

I welcome your thoughts…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. bro permalink
    June 5, 2006 6:38 pm

    at least they didnt screw us over again by making us watch almost an entire episode revolving around the possible moral transformation of one character and then have him/her completely revert to form the very next episode. oh wait a second, they did exactly that. I’m so glad i invested an a hour watching carmela traipse around paris in some sort of existential crisis only to see her be bought off this week and completely drop the adriana question. although i did enjoy the AJ buying off the hoods scene, and the scene with tony and phil. to tie in the director/screenwriter thread from x-men, i wonder if the fact that last night’s episode was so disjointed because three different writers were credited. i think it would be interesting to graph the quality of a sorpanos episode vs the number of writers it took to create it

  2. June 5, 2006 7:31 pm

    Interesting notion. It’s always been an assumption that more writers make something worse, but I’m not sure if it’s true. I try to pay attention to who wrote which episodes and my vague recollection is that some good episodes have been written by three-writer teams. But I’d love to see somebody (hint, hint) map out the connection and submit the results of their research to this site.

    As for the episode, good God. While I also enjoyed the scene with Tony and Phil, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the writers of The Sopranos are unwilling to threaten Tony’s power. Every time it seems like a potential gang war or crisis is about to explode, it dissipates into nothing because of dumb luck: whether it’s the incompetent assassins hired by Junior in Season One, Gigi dying on the toilet (averting a crisis with Ralphie) in Season Three, Johnny Sack getting nabbed by the FBI in Season Five or Phil having an out-of-nowhere heart attack in Season Six. Tony’s streak of good luck used to be ironically interesting as a way to undercut our assumptions that Tony is a criminal mastermind, but now it’s just ridiculous.

    And that ending–I thought I was watching a very special Christmas episode of Eight is Enough. The writers of The Sopranos may think they’re being ironic by shooting a stereotypical sitcom ending to a masterful drama but that only works if there’s some ironic subtext. In this final scene, there was none–nobody’s fucking somebody they shouldn’t, nobody killed somebody’s close relative, most of the relationships are currently on pretty good terms.

    Of course, if that was bad, just wait until the series finale. The final scene will probably show Tony flossing his teeth.

  3. bro permalink
    June 5, 2006 9:32 pm

    i was waiting for them to all start singing christmas carols at the end. by the way, i think this might be the final culmination of david chase’s evil plan to show the world that he really should’ve ended the series earlier, rather then being bought off by HBO to keep it going. Not only is he deliberately showing a holiday-themed episode in the middle of June, but he’s ending a (half) season with a dramatically inert episode without any cliffhangers. Chase to the tv critics of America- let’s see you polish this turd!

  4. Jef Thiffault permalink
    June 6, 2006 4:07 pm

    I agree that this season spun out of control faster than Micah’s Holiday Dreidel, so I’ll share a shout-out to the hilarious Uncle Junior in possibly his final scene. His reaction to the care-giver’s suggestion that he make a “Holiday Hand Turkey” to pass the time and his announcement of Bobby Bacala “as in a salted cod, we taught the world to eat!” were outstanding. This guy, through his ineptness and old school humor, is good for an out-loud laugh at least once per season. The way he has plummeted from mob boss to delusional old man (perhaps another stroke of “good luck” in Tony’s favor) somehow makes watching him as Hymen Roth’s errant boy, Johnny Ola, in Godfather II eerily funny in a similar way to seeing OJ in the Naked Gun movies.

  5. June 6, 2006 4:53 pm

    It’s true, the more Junior’s powers–both criminal and mental–deteriorated, the funnier he got. And the off-and-on plot about his descent into dementia this season was one of the few plots I really cared about and that I felt was addressed in an intelligent and interesting way.

    And thanks for pointing out he was Johnny Ola. I never realized that. Do you recall how Michael found out Fredo had betrayed him? Fredo let it slip that Johnny Ola–who he said he’d never met–had told him about the “Superman” show, where an enormously endowed man batters the beaver of a woman tied to a post. Which sort of sounds like someone else we know…

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