Sunday, June 10, 2007

R.I.P. Tony?


“Try to remember the good times.” – A.J. Soprano

The final scene was spectacular and riveting in it’s presentation of the duality of Tony’s life. The delicate mixing of the mundane – dinner out with the family – coupled with the threat of violence – every customer, a potential threat – made for an unbearably tense final five minutes . I was on the edge of my seat until I jumped out of it. I don’t know what I’d had imagined for the finale, but once I got past the initial shock, I realized it was the smartest thing Chase could have done. He put us in Tony’s skin, in his head and left us there – frozen in the moment. In an earlier post I’d written that I didn’t think I was going to miss it. Well, the finale reminded me that however inconsistent the last few seasons may have been, The Sopranos was in its entirety astonishingly good, game-changing television. I’m choking on my words now.

BTW: HBO’s new show, (from Deadwood writer David Milch) John from Cincinnati seemed like a strange and compelling cross between Arrested Development and Twin Peaks. On surfboards. And, with some interesting casting. Works for me.


Sanity said...

The boring 4th season, inconsistent 5th season and frustrating banality of the 6th season PtI made me resort to reading recaps before actually watching the show so I haven't actually seen last night's ep yet. However, sitting through 51 minutes each week waiting for something to happen was just masochistic. Tony sitting by a lake. Tony eating ice cream. Uh huh.
The series jumped the shark a long time ago and all he did in the finale was to set up a movie or leave his loyal fan base hanging. He had plenty of time to resolve the myriad plot lines he had running without pulling everything together in one ep like the Six Feet Under finale or some Deus Ex Machina. Instead, he spent Season 6, Pt2 screwing around with AJ. Some call this brilliant. Many call it a cop out. I don't need everything forced into a box and tied up with a bow but I think it could have been handled better.

All of that said, I may come back after actually watching the ep and eat all of these words. I hope so anyway.

Chris said...

The banal provided the context for the savagery and brutality. Tony is (was?) a man with a family and all the mundane, everyday routine that brings to one's life. (How many times during the course of the show did we see him walk down the driveway to get the paper in his robe?) Middle aged guys sit by lakes (opportunity and weather permitting) contemplating their lives. Middle aged guys eat ice cream and talk about getting too fat. Tony was just a regular, slightly fucked up, sometimes confused middle aged husband and father. Without showing us that aspect of Tony, the middle aged mafioso, chowing down on gabagool in the back of the Bing, nailing goomahs, and whacking guys woldn't have the resonance or impact that it did in the context of this Mafia story.