Author Topic: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos  (Read 4091 times)

Blue Jam

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Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« on: July 08, 2020, 04:57:52 PM »
Who else had this as a lockdown project? Just watched it for the first time here and it's good innit? Deserves a thread.

Spoiler tags for the n00bs please!

Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 05:36:37 PM »
Thanks BJ!

I imagine loads of people are either watching or rewatching this most magnificent show. I was expecting it to be something of a disappointment after after 15-years of stating that it's the best TV drama ever made. But it is. It really is.

From that other thread:

I have found myself far less sympathetic to some of the characters I felt for in the past. The guy working in the Bada Bing who Tony keeps bullying because he is low status (fuck him, he charges strippers blow-jobs to enter the executive whoring rooms), or the guy who hangs himself because Tony's crew won't release him (fuck him, he beats the crap out of that guy on the building site for nothing).

I also felt FAR more judgemental of Carmella. The only one I felt sorry for is Adrianna (argh!) and that poor gardening guy getting shafted.

The habitual position of the Bada Bing always seemed, to me, to be a cute way for HBO to throw loads of tits at an episode. But now watching it, I kind of feel like Chase IS trying to make some comment, particularly in season 3. However, it does overly seem ubiquitous.

Also, Meadow is a terrible actress, Paulie and Silvio are surprisingly solid and great throughout, some of the product placement is amusingly shit and obvious, and I've been eating arseloads more pasta.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 05:55:40 PM »
best episode of anything of all time may well be Pine Barrens, where Paulie and Christopher get lost in the woods.

I watched it with my gf a year or two ago, the third full watchthrough for me. She didn't love it as much as she should.

Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 06:19:10 PM »
'Pine Barrens' is fucking great, but for me it can't be the best episode partially because it is so unusually un-Sopranos-like with its focus away from Tony, with a self-contained plot. I guess for me it is like nominating 'Fly' to be the best BB episode.

I personally think that it is a toss-up between the season 4 closer 'Whitecaps' where Carmella finally confronts Tony and throws him out. Just amazing scripting and acting from both in that bedroom scene...

OR

the penultimate episode of season 5 'Long Term Parking' which I always had down as just a very traumatic and sad episode. But all of the scripting and acting around it is phenomenal. It has great FBI scenes (I love all of them), plus Tony trying to work out what to do with Tony B, whilst admitting his panic attacks to him. Then we get the main event of the show, which is done so incredibly sensitively and beautifully, balanced out with one of the most awful, pathetic and sadistic killing of the entire show. After that, the episode gets its top marks in a scene between Carmella and Tony, in which she basically stops pretending, and embraces how much of a cunt she has become.

Buy me a house and give me a project to do with my boring life and I will stay with you.

Because I am such a farkin' great White Knight and friend to the sisters, I have often found the misogyny shown towards main female actors to be loaded and biased. Skyler in BB, and the Horn in BCS, all get tons of shit from incel wankers.

BUT ... holy shit. Carmella is a fucking AWFUL person. I love the bit where Tony tells her Silvio did not have any luck with the guy regarding her house, and she exposes her 'guinea' side, wondering whether he lent on the guy. She has so much of an 'out of sight, out of mind' marriage, but, like Jodie Comer, she really ought to be thinking about the person she has chosen to fuck.


Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 06:33:08 PM »
I never got the hatred for Skyler in Breaking Bad either- hell, I inwardly cheered at "I fucked Ted" and I got the impression we were absolutely meant to. I found Walt an unsympathetic asshole from fairly early on and I never got the impression he was meant to be an anti-hero.

Incels hate the mighty Racy Horn too? They can get tae. Actually the Jimmy/Kim relationship in Better Call Saul is an interesting comparison- Kim knows exactly what she's getting into with Jimmy but she's also something of a restraining influence over him, and if he ever humiliated her the way Tony humiliates Carmela by carrying on with his goomahs she'd kick him to the curb.

I really need to finish season six ASAP so I can get started on that Difficult Men book.

Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 06:43:06 PM »
Buy me a house and give me a project to do with my boring life and I will stay with you.


I think the moment that best illustrates this is in season 6 when Carmela becomes obsessed with finding out if Adrianna is still alive, and if not, who killed her and has been talking to a private detective, then after Tony has words and gets the building of her spec house back on schedule she tosses the private detective's business card away. Yeah, so what if your husband had your best friend killed and you know he did it, he got you the house of your dreams so just let it slide.

There's another "Difficult Men" comparison to be made there, with Don Draper in Mad Men in that scene where he tells Betty "I gave you everything you ever wanted!" as if the money he gives her entitles him to cheat on her and keep an entire secret life from her. Unlike Carmela, Betty doesn't agree.

Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 06:51:37 PM »
Yep, Skyler spends a lot of her time tolerating Walt, and you can see that she is one of the most sympathetic female leads simply because their life was so normal before this. Skyler didn't marry Walt for anything but love, I would say, this carries me through any actions by Skyler in the later seasons.

I think the moment that best illustrates this is in season 6 when Carmela becomes obsessed with finding out if Adrianna is still alive, and if not, who killed her and has been talking to a private detective, then after Tony has words and gets the building of her spec house back on schedule she tosses the private detective's business card away. Yeah, so what if your husband had your best friend killed and you know he did it, he got you the house of your dreams so just let it slide.

Yeah, that really cemented it for me. Hmmm, where is Adrianna? Maybe these cunts had Carmella whacked? Anyway, too busy with the house and the Paris trip to worry too much about it![/i]

Quote
There's another "Difficult Men" comparison to be made there, with Don Draper in Mad Men in that scene where he tells Betty "I gave you everything you ever wanted!" as if the money he gives her entitles him to cheat on her and keep an entire secret life from her. Unlike Carmela, Betty doesn't agree.

Yep, another example of an unfairly maligned leading character (or more specficially, the love interest of the main male character). I think Carmella just uses cognitive dissonance to justify her decisions, whereas Betty is more like you or I - no situation or 'benevolence' could justify these actions.

Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2020, 06:59:02 PM »
There really should be a "Desperate Women" book to accompany Brett Martin's book.

Rizla

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2020, 07:08:52 PM »
Me and the missus watched the whole thing, one episode a night no bingeing, for the first time, finishing not long before before lockdown. I was so glad I saved it til after I'd seen the Wire and Breaking Bad, because as much as I loved both shows, as undeniably superbly made they both are, the Sopranos kind of pisses all over them in a lot of ways. No going for the big shakespearian stuff or the stylistic nonsense both shows were sometimes guilty of. Just the fuckin' ordinariness of day to day life.

I discovered the Sopranos Autopsy blog far too late on, that's a really great companion I shall be going back to when we do our planned rewatch sometime soon. Meanwhile I've been really enjoying the Made Women podcast - Adriana was one of my favourite characters, I was in proper shock when she got offed, did not see it coming and it made me hate Silvio for the remainder of the show.

A scene I really loved was when Christopher's writer pal goes to the Bing and tries to put the lads off the scent regarding the Hatchet film, the way they all suddenly put him on the outside and you kind of see them through his eyes, you cannot be in their gang, these men are just complete predators, you can't pet them. And yet, they're kind of day to day low level hoods, mainly just boosting pool toys and power tools from lorries, it's not all whacks and drug deals at all. The bit where they knock the wine from the biker gsng is another scene I like to rewatch sometimes, it's sort of heartwarming. What a show.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2020, 08:45:58 PM »
falling back on the Sopranos honestly got me through furlough, couldn't think of anything to do with myself, stick on an episode, nice meaty things where one's more than enough a night. Addictive but not forcing you to binge it like loadsa netflix shit.


I've a couple of friends who have crushes on Tony, one said she thinks he gets more likeable and attractive throughout but I can't see how they can feel like that by the end. The performance is fucking amazing, but Tony's a gigantic cunt. Especially love how he keeps bringing up the baby's seat after Christopher, does such a great job of exposing how he uses that kind of shit to justify doing whatever he wants.


Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2020, 09:43:29 PM »
It's been mentioned more than once on this forum. I can just about believe that all these women are attracted to a human bear with sinus issues, because of his power, confidence and wealth. However, even that stretches credulity sometimes.

BUT the sexy pancake guy getting all moist about this guy whose hips have crumbled under the weight of his torso?

Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 10:28:04 PM »
A fireman as well- FFS, he probably had men queuing up.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2020, 07:55:21 AM »
That was the writers stacking the deck ludicrously though wasn’t it? Making the alternative to his mob life as idyllic as possible as to make an almost humorous point. A lot of times I think the show was swerving left when people thought it was swerving right.

As well as the best drama, I think it has a claim as one of the best comedies of all time. That Talking Sopranos podcast isn’t the most informative listen in the world, but one thing they’ve pointed out is the specificity of the writing. The coloured in details that make it a whole universe. One example of the top of my head is Melfi calling an unseen patient and opening with, ‘I know you find it upsetting to talk on the phone...’ I mean, come on. Who would even think to spoon on that little extra detail. It’s just brilliant.
 

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2020, 08:00:05 AM »
Me and the missus watched the whole thing, one episode a night no bingeing, for the first time, finishing not long before before lockdown. I was so glad I saved it til after I'd seen the Wire and Breaking Bad, because as much as I loved both shows, as undeniably superbly made they both are, the Sopranos kind of pisses all over them in a lot of ways. No going for the big shakespearian stuff or the stylistic nonsense both shows were sometimes guilty of. Just the fuckin' ordinariness of day to day life.

I discovered the Sopranos Autopsy blog far too late on, that's a really great companion I shall be going back to when we do our planned rewatch sometime soon. Meanwhile I've been really enjoying the Made Women podcast - Adriana was one of my favourite characters, I was in proper shock when she got offed, did not see it coming and it made me hate Silvio for the remainder of the show.

A scene I really loved was when Christopher's writer pal goes to the Bing and tries to put the lads off the scent regarding the Hatchet film, the way they all suddenly put him on the outside and you kind of see them through his eyes, you cannot be in their gang, these men are just complete predators, you can't pet them. And yet, they're kind of day to day low level hoods, mainly just boosting pool toys and power tools from lorries, it's not all whacks and drug deals at all. The bit where they knock the wine from the biker gsng is another scene I like to rewatch sometimes, it's sort of heartwarming. What a show.

And the beautifully observed glimpse of real life the next day when Tony tries to spark up the magic again with Chris who laughs falsely. A lot going on there. Part of Tony’s sadness is that Chris has sold the wine (and thus stuck to his drinking pledge) which is pretty monstrous really. But it’s also difficult to not feel sorry for him.

Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2020, 10:40:07 AM »
The humour and comedy in Sopranos is something I noticed before and enjoyed, but upon rewatching it really jumps off the screen. Lots and lots of brilliantly funny moments - I mean, the intervention scene is a full comedy scene rather than drama dotted with some humorous moments. Hilarious from start to finish.

Little Carmine's malopopisms and mixed metaphors are fucking megalolz.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2020, 11:17:29 AM »
My favourite bits, are when someone lower down the ranks makes a suggestion or tries to sound like a hot shot, only to get the glare of death or told to shut the fuck up, when Christopher suggests something at the table with John and John unleashes; "I remember when you used to wait in the car, if it were up to me you'd still be there", followed by Tony losing his shit after John leaves.

Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2020, 11:17:42 AM »

There's another "Difficult Men" comparison to be made there, with Don Draper in Mad Men in that scene where he tells Betty "I gave you everything you ever wanted!" as if the money he gives her entitles him to cheat on her and keep an entire secret life from her. Unlike Carmela, Betty doesn't agree.

Further to this, Don Draper didn't actually give Betty everything she ever wanted. He gave her a nice big house, a family and a life of leisure, but that’s what he wanted- status symbols and a deferent and financially dependent trophy wife who would turn a blind eye to his philandering. Betty was an intelligent, educated woman who hadn't wanted to give up her glamorous modelling career and her independence, who was bored stiff as a housewife, and who really should never have been a mother.

Carmela by contrast absolutely wanted the family and the big house and the days spent shopping and going to the gym before coming home to cook a big meal for her brood. An Italian Catholic thing, I guess. She was also prepared to take a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude to how Tony paid for it all, and how many other women he was sleeping with.

Adrianna was like that to some extent, but much more naive and she would never have been able to handle the reality of being a monster's wife and what comes with that territory. She couldn't handle the guilt of knowing what Christopher's work entails and being quietly grateful for the spoils.

Didn't Adrianna genuinely believe two of the family had gone into witness protection for a long time, until someone gently explained to her that "witness protection" was a euphemism? Evidently she also thought that confessing to being an FBI informant could have had an outcome other than her death. I saw that coming from the moment she broke down at the girls' movie night, she was never going to be able to keep that quiet and it was never going to end well for her.

While I saw it coming, I was still shocked at how quick and clean and cold her offing was, especially compared to how Pussy was confronted at length before being bumped off.

Blue Jam

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2020, 11:32:12 AM »
Yeah, that really cemented it for me. Hmmm, where is Adrianna? Maybe these cunts had Carmella whacked? Anyway, too busy with the house and the Paris trip to worry too much about it![/i]

It's just hit me that the moment Carmela throws the private detective's business card away is also the moment she accepts Adrianna's death and moves on. After that she even stops having those dreams about her. So cold, and it reminds us how no-one can afford to have any real friends in that world.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2020, 12:51:36 PM »
Carmella and Adrianna weren’t really that close were they? Her interest was piqued briefly but it seemed like more of a distraction than anything else, something Tony realised. Might have been interesting to have her told unequivocally what had happened, but as a story they had pretty much already confronted Carmella with the truth of her marriage and Tony’s occupation and she dealt with it as you would expect, by hitting up Tony for some money.


Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2020, 12:52:16 PM »
Can’t this thread just have a spoilers heading, btw?

chveik

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2020, 02:21:47 PM »
I mean, the intervention scene is a full comedy scene rather than drama dotted with some humorous moments. Hilarious from start to finish.

aye, one of the funniest thing I've ever seen.

fuck, this thread makes me want to rewatch the whole series for a fourth time!

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2020, 02:26:40 PM »
The best thing about Sopranos is, every time you think its a bit light hearted and they are all cracking jokes, someone is pointlessly murderered in a grisly way and it really brings it all back down to earth. Love those dissonances.

My favourite scene in any tv show is Tony needlessly winding up his sister because she is showing a semblance of being happy and in control of her emotions, despicably using her estranged son as a stick to beat her with.

Then leaving with an absolute bastard grin on his face. Just pure, fat, gross, evil shit.


I WILL say that his eating and breathing gets genuinely distracting later on and makes me nauseated.

chveik

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2020, 02:31:04 PM »
I WILL say that his eating and breathing gets genuinely distracting later on and makes me nauseated.

isn't it intentional though?

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2020, 02:51:18 PM »
I saw a pretty weird interview with David Chase. He was asked about  Gandolfini’s death and replied, ‘Well, he didn’t take care of himself.’ I think Tony’s physical deterioration was done to mirror what Chase regarded as Jim’s own.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2020, 02:52:20 PM »
The best thing about Sopranos is, every time you think its a bit light hearted and they are all cracking jokes, someone is pointlessly murderered in a grisly way and it really brings it all back down to earth. Love those dissonances.

My favourite scene in any tv show is Tony needlessly winding up his sister because she is showing a semblance of being happy and in control of her emotions, despicably using her estranged son as a stick to beat her with.

Then leaving with an absolute bastard grin on his face. Just pure, fat, gross, evil shit.


I WILL say that his eating and breathing gets genuinely distracting later on and makes me nauseated.

And then his bullshit line about being entitled to see his nephew, like he actually gave a shit.

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2020, 02:55:37 PM »
Wonder if the makers of Narcos noticed that, 'cos old Pablo spends half his time with his hands folded on top of his gut breathing heavily in the second season.



Paulie gets some good laughs but you're laughing at him. Like when he repeats his gags to Tony who was sitting there anyway, "did ya hear that Mr Partridge?" style.

Puce Moment

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2020, 03:35:03 PM »
My favourite scene in any tv show is Tony needlessly winding up his sister because she is showing a semblance of being happy and in control of her emotions, despicably using her estranged son as a stick to beat her with.

Then leaving with an absolute bastard grin on his face. Just pure, fat, gross, evil shit.

Yeah, that's when Janice has gone all religious and nothing at all can phase her. Then Tony starts prodding to see how well she can hold it, and brings out Janice's son to make her lose her shit .... oh well here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biugRUTkh1c

Of course, this all goes back to when Janice killed Richie Aprille. He knows she has a murderous temper.

Cuellar

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2020, 03:35:33 PM »
Think this is my favourite Paulie moment, out of lots:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqgoXVB20W4

Such a hilarious non sequitur to leave on

Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2020, 03:19:33 AM »
i always found it one of the the most depressing shows ever, one of the best, it was great, but just total bleakness, another masterpiece was on HBO around the same time, Six Feet Under, set in a funeral home, it got called too bleak by some, i always found Sopranos way darker.

totally imprisoned in their outdated  brutal Southern Italian clans

 


magval

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Re: Watching (or rewatching) The Sopranos
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2020, 08:27:10 AM »
I've been watching it, listening to Made Women (which at one episode per week is somewhat format-limited - who watches one episode of the Sopranos a week?[1]) and reading the excellent The Sopranos Sessions (buy it!) over the past couple weeks.

Still the best ever. Last time I watched it, about two years ago, I remember thinking "this might be the last time I ever watch this", yet here I am, such a short space of time later, and enjoying it the most I ever have.

This is excellent TV that really deserves proper attention paid - phone down. WATCH IT.

Something that's struck me this go-around is how much Seinfeld DNA it has, particularly when Carmella's thinly-sketched parents are on screen. There's also Paulie's explanation for washing his hands after tying his shoes and Tony not wanting to wear the jacket Richie gives him, which are total Jerry bits.
 1. Drea DeMatteo has just the right combination of insight, recollection and personality for a show like this. Her co-host Chris fares less well and is given to declaring that everyone and everything is "my favourite" but she's not bad enough to put me off listening. I do recommend it, even though they've only just finished the first season

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