Posts about television shows.

Re-Watching the Sopranos – Season 5

I put my Sopranos series on hold for a while simply because I got busy, but with the recent death of James Gandolfini, it seems appropriate to pick up where I left off. So here are my thoughts on revisiting The Sopranos season 5 many years later. As always, this is written assuming you have watched the season, so SPOILERS ALERTS apply. At the time I first watched this, I felt this was one of the stronger seasons. I still think so. In a way it’s more fragmented than previous seasons, with many short arcs rather than several large arcs (though those are present, too). The mafia side of the drama is compelling despite the main conflict being marital, i.e. Tony and Carmella’s split, which is the big story…
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Re-Watching the Sopranos – Season 4

Sorry for the long gap between this post and my post on season 3. I had planned on doing these weekly, but other things have taken priority. Anyway, onto the post…and as always, SPOILERS abound. One of my favorite episodes of the entire series comes up halfway through season 4, specifically “The Weight,” an episode dealing with Johnny Sack’s obese wife. This poignant and funny episode stands out because it’s one of the rare times we feel bad for a cast member. The Sopranos generally gave the audience few characters we could truly sympathize with. You can name only a handful before running out of options. Dr. Melfi is the major one, naturally. She is in many ways the show’s conscience. Artie is another (though…
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Re-Watching the Sopranos – Season 3

When I started this series of blog posts, I meant to do it weekly. Life got in the way. But hey, here I is! I’m back. And here’s more. As I’ve mentioned, these posts are full of SPOILERS. If you have not watched the series and think you will one day, avoid them. If you have, read and argue with me below. As I also mentioned, these are meant to be casual posts. I put my time in when it comes to studying cinema. Now I’m just here to have fun. Watching this again in rapid succession, it really struck me how little happened in season 3. The only two storylines that begin and are resolved are Jackie Jr. (with a predictable/inevitable ending) and Tony’s new girl…
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Re-Watching the Sopranos – Season 2

Picking up from last week, when I began posting about my recent re-watch of The Sopranos. As with last week, I will freely post SPOILERS, so don’t read if you haven’t seen these episodes. Also, I’ll be light and quick; these are just some fast impressions, not deep essays on the show. For a great in-depth, episode-by-episode look at the show, read this excellent series of essays. Following the groundbreaking creation that was season 1 of The Sopranos, it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine the show failing to live up to the amazing potential it displayed. We’ve all heard of the Sophomore Slump, the idea that living up to a stellar first performance is a near impossible mountain to climb. It has happened time…
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Re-Watching the Sopranos – Season 1

I’ve said before that HBO changed the the way I watch TV. The emphasis on strong writing, stellar acting, big production values, and season-long storylines drew me back into television after a long period of having abandoned the idea of it being something worthwhile. Prior to a change in my TV habits, I had given up watching broadcast TV altogether. There seemed better things to see and better things to watch (such as Hitchcock films). But HBO’s bold, expansive programming changed all that, and these days I prefer long television dramas to movies. It all started with The Sopranos, a landmark series by any measure. This is a show that took the groundbreaking efforts of Hill Street Blues and blew them into the stratosphere. No…
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