Friday, June 28, 2024

Bada Bing


Here we are in 2024 and it seems like it was only yesterday when “The Sopranos” landed on our not so big screens.  It was January 10, 1999.  And until the final episode in June 2007, it was must-see television.  For me, “Yellowstone” is the only series that has since come close.  And, as much as I like Yellowstone, it simply does not rate up there with “The Sopranos”.  

It was the acting and the dialogue that made "The Sopranos" so great.  The violence was graphic but never gratuitous and always seemed necessary.  And of course there were plenty of F-bombs dropping all over the place.  But the way those Jersey guys said F—K, F—king, F—ker and of course the “mother” of all F-bombs, it just seemed natural. 

The larger-than-life actor James Gandolfini left us way too soon.  But had he lived he would have forever been Tony Soprano no matter what other roles he played.  Even great actors find it difficult to break away from an iconic character.  Most of the Soprano regulars are forever linked to that series, but none more so than Gandolfini.

The Sopranos struck a chord with Americans.  We were stepping into a new millennium.  There was money to be made and life was not bad for most of us.  But we were haunted by the emptiness of our pursuits.  The Sopranos reflected what we had become.  Living in a wealthy suburban neighborhood, the kids doing normal kid stuff, Mom taking care of everyone and everything; and Dad heading off to work in his big, shiny SUV.  He just happened to be a Crime Boss. 

Tony Soprano was like one of us, only different.  Like us in that he was a blend of good and bad.  He hoped to be more good than bad.  But he had a job to do and people were counting on him.  If he had to do bad things to those who got in his way, they had it coming.  Like us, it was just business. The only difference being that he didn’t just kill careers, he killed the people.  And we rooted for him every week.

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