Monday, April 03, 2006

The Return of the Sopranos

I was skeptic about the return of the Sopranos this year. I was sure that the show was going to either start slow, or start hard. I got a little of both. The first episode of the season seemed like a flip through a photo album. All the characters are posing, and standing in the old spots and it is like snapshots were being taken of their lives to catch us up to where we are now.
And then Tony gets capped by Uncle Junior at the end of the episode and it goes in a different direction.
Aside: I saw someone mention it online, cut I considered it too: if they say that this season did not happen because Tony never emerged from the coma then I am going to drive to California or wherever and kick David chase in the man bag for pulling the Rosanne ending.
Anyway, Tony spends two episodes in a coma and the cast gets to weep and strut acting chops as Tony plays himself but not himself in a dream sequence. The dream was getting on my nerves, as they always do in the Sopranos because, although I love tripped out visuals, I really showed up to see somebody get shot or punched in the eye.
Last night was Tony officially out of the coma, and I have to say it came at a good time because I was ready to chalk up the season like I did with Desperate housewives a long time ago (I can’t stand a show where all the characters are that unlikable, and create their own drama. I really only started watching it because of my crush on Eva Menendes but her character being so shallow and manipulative turned me off to the whole thing. I mean, I will still sleep with her if given the chance, but I will sneak out after with pictures in my camera phone and promptly delete her number. And yes, I know I will never get the chance.)
So Tony is out of the coma and handling business, and the gang is all there. Paully finds out his mother isn’t his Ma, and he gets all down in the dumps. He ends up doing something at the end of the episode that makes sense for the character and the situation but makes me hate him all the same.
Somewhere along the way I realized that these are bad people, who do bad things. I am developing this moral barometer of fictional characters that says if I wouldn’t want you doing that to me, I definitely don’t want you doing that to anyone else. So I stop liking the character, and I start to slowly cash out on the show. I have no idea where this sense of morality is coming from.
So Tony is back, and he is handling his crew, and I like the show again. Carmella tells him about a package, and to watch Vito, and I love her, even if she is worried about not loving Tony.
There is a moment where Tony is talking about how insignificant human beings are in the evolution of the planet and Christopher looks at him in disbelief and says “I don’t feel that way.” It is a brilliant piece of writing. Tony, post coma is having a bit of an existential crisis, he can’t figure out who he wants to be now that he has a second chance at life. He is trying to find his significance in the world. In that one line Christopher basically says it is a question he has never considered. Well done Mr. Chase
Tony has this conversation with a rocket scientist about atoms and quantum theory. At that point the FiancĂ© turns to me and says: “have these people been talking to you?” and I smile, and wish they had, but realize that we must be sharing the same ideaspace, or we all have “what the Bleep” on our list at blockbuster because the show is taking this very quantum turn in the narrative,
And I love it.
And I am glad to get a chance to see it
And I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Every time they show the preview cut for next week I get this giddy feeling like “I want to see that NOW!”
And I like that sense of anticipation.


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