Re-watching “The Sopranos” Twenty Years Later
Kathy and I had talked about re-watching "The Sopranos" for years. Twenty One years after it's debut on HBO we finally sat down and re-watched the iconic mob series. I was surprised about what I had forgotten about the show, and some of what I thought about it twenty years removed from originally watching it. Here's some random impressions I had:
There were plenty of plot points I misremembered. For example, the killing of Big Pussy came earlier than I expected. The Feds turning Adriana came earlier in the show than I expected too. As did her murder for her betrayal of the family. I also didn't remember Tony's sister Janice being as big a part of the show as she was. Or Uncle Junior living as long as he did.
A lot of the clothing they wore was pretty unfashionable. I once got a sweater as a Christmas gift from a family member that Kathy nicknamed my "Uncle Richie" sweater because it looked like something he would wear. Needless to say, I never wore that sweater again.
Watching the show this time Kathy mentioned seeing an interview with Edie Falco who mentioned she wouldn't wear anything in real life that Carmela would wear. It's true, look at what the characters wear. While there are some sharp suits. There's a lot of fashion choices I wouldn't be caught dead in.
In the spy show "Burn Notice", Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe, refers to spies as "a bunch of bitchy little girls." How the mobsters and the mob families act towards each other is perfectly characterized by the bitchy little girls line. The fact that there were conflicts in the family, and between the New Jersey and New York families, and how brutally they were handled wasn't surprising. How petty some of them were, that was surprising.
And the characters. I didn't remember how petty and babyish Paulie "Walnuts" was. And Artie Bucco's wife, Charmaine, I think she had to be the most annoying character in the entire series. I found myself wishing the Bucco's would just get divorced so they could write the character of Charmaine off the show.
One of the most interesting characters I found was that of Silvio, portrayed by Little Steven. His character seems to rise above the pettiness that caused a lot of the mobsters problems. He listens more than he talks. And when he does have something to say, the mobsters listen. If you re-watch the show, Little Steven's performance of Silvio is worth watching.
Another series of scenes worth watching is Gandolfini's portrayal of Keven Finnerty, a character that exists in his mind while in an induced coma. Kathy pointed out Gandolfini played Finnerty without Tony's New Jersey accent and how interesting it was to see him portray a non mobster.
The tension building scene at the end of the series leading to the cut to black, surprisingly didn't seem as long as I remember. Of course, that may be due to the fact that the cut to black isn't a surprise the second time you see the show. The ending didn't bother me anymore or any less than it did originally. And I didn't have any epiphany about what the ending means, or what the intention was. Neither did Kathy.
I was surprised how much about the show I either didn't pick up, or forgot about since our original viewing. Or how my own growth as a person in the past twenty years may have changed my own viewpoint on the show. One thing's for sure, it's still a great show. And I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. I guess that's two things.