While sittin’ back with my homies watching this week’s episode
of “The Sopranos,” I was trying to figure out what made this show
so wildly successful. There’s no doubt that it is one of the best
shows on television; it even stands out against the other excellent
HBO programming including, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Real Sex”
(episodes 1-30). And if you pay any mind to things like, let’s say,
Emmy awards, then you should know that the show received four of
them in 2003 including Outstanding Lead Actor for James Gandolfini
and Outstanding Lead Actress for Edie Falco (the second time both
have received the award).
Now I’m sure that whomever it is that gives Emmys out had great
reasons for recognizing “The Sopranos,” and if I asked them, their
reply would probably include phrases like, “character development,”
“dramatic plot” and “inspirational performances.” I will not use
any of these phrases. Instead, I would like to recognize “The
Sopranos” for what I feel really gives them the edge: the money,
characters and dope storyline.
First off, I can’t think of another show that has such an
interesting and talented set of characters. The head of the family,
Tony Soprano, is a brooding Italian with a penchant for money and
women on the side. His wife Carmela is a strong woman trying to
steer her life back in the right direction. Tony’s nephew, Chris,
is a recovering junkie whose wife is leaking info to the feds. One
of the main capos in the Soprano crew is Paulie Walnuts. He’s hard
as nails and has the mafia hair to prove it. Just this last episode
he took a shovel to a guy’s head in an impressive display of fury.
Throw in Tony’s shrink and a few other characters, including a
recently paroled Steve Buscemi as Tony’s first cousin and you have
more than enough talent to fill your standard Olive Garden.
The perfect compliment to such an extraordinary cast is the
excellent storyline. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the whole idea
of the mafia incredibly interesting. From strong-arming the union
bosses, to whacking those who couldn’t pay their debts, I eat it
all up. In this, the fifth and final season, there are some major
plot developments in store. With his nephew’s rat-of-a-wife
spilling secrets to the fuzz, it looks as if Tony might be facing a
trial. And with the recent death of Carmine, the former boss of the
New York family, it would appear that a power struggle is in order.
Informants, power struggles, out-of-control tempers and guns? Yes,
Although the last season recently began, there is no reason for
people not to mob on this show. All previous seasons have been
released on DVD and VHS and it won’t take long before you’re hooked
on Tony’s line. Word to the wise though, do not forget to give Tony
his proper respect – both financially and personally or you might
be the next one sleeping with the fishes.