The Sopranos discussion thread

Bryan^H

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
7,085
I searched 10 minutes for a thread devoted to discussing this show-spoilers included- but came up empty.

Almost done with the series again. I do think season 6 is one of the best seasons. This is only my second time going through the series, and I'm picking up a lot more info.

"Remember When"--When Tony, and Paulie have the heat on them they flee for a spell. Paulie has a big mouth, and when they meet up with a fellow gangster in Florida, he reassures Tony that is just the way Paulie is. Because he is a lonely person he blabs too much.

I still don't know about the fishing boat scene near the end though. The heat is off Tony, and he can return home, but that weird uncomfortable ominous scene where Tony does a mini interrogation of Paulie, and it shows all the various tools that could be used to murder him. Was Tony really going to kill him? He is so upset with Paulie that is a given, but he ends up chucking a beer at Paulie's gut really hard instead of killing him. I think if Paulie would have admitted to cracking that joke, Tony would have hacked him to bits. Just a feeling I get.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Drifter

Stan

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 18, 1999
Messages
5,177
It's old, it's done. Had a terrible final episode the way they ended things. I'll never watch it again.
 

TravisR

Studio Mogul
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
35,194
Location
The basement of the FBI building
I searched 10 minutes for a thread devoted to discussing this show-spoilers included- but came up empty.

Almost done with the series again. I do think season 6 is one of the best seasons. This is only my second time going through the series, and I'm picking up a lot more info.

"Remember When"--When Tony, and Paulie have the heat on them they flee for a spell. Paulie has a big mouth, and when they meet up with a fellow gangster in Florida, he reassures Tony that is just the way Paulie is. Because he is a lonely person he blabs too much.

I still don't know about the fishing boat scene near the end though. The heat is off Tony, and he can return home, but that weird uncomfortable ominous scene where Tony does a mini interrogation of Paulie, and it shows all the various tools that could be used to murder him. Was Tony really going to kill him? He is so upset with Paulie that is a given, but he ends up chucking a beer at Paulie's gut really hard instead of killing him. I think if Paulie would have admitted to cracking that joke, Tony would have hacked him to bits. Just a feeling I get.
It's been a few years since I've watched The Sopranos so I don't remember the specifics that you're talking about. The last time I watched the series was when it came out on Blu-ray and I frequently found myself sitting there amazed at how great of a series it was. From beginning to end, it really was a masterpiece.


TV critic Alan Sepinwall is writing a book to commemorate the 20th (!) anniversary in 2019 and he's got interviews with David Chase, etc. so I will definitely rewatch the series before getting that book.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH and Bryan^H

Bryan^H

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
7,085

Makes perfect sense, and to be honest I always thought the guy in the "Members Only" jacket was super fishy. I buy it. That explanation brings closure.
 

Dheiner

Gazoo
Premium
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
Messages
3,712
Location
'skonsen
Real Name
John Dhein
I want to see a Sopranos follow-up movie.

Just the title, then, 2 hours of dark screen. Followed by end credits.
 

TravisR

Studio Mogul
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
35,194
Location
The basement of the FBI building
I want to see a Sopranos follow-up movie.

Just the title, then, 2 hours of dark screen. Followed by end credits.
That's the only follow up that I'd be interested in. The 'prequel' movie is fine with me since it takes place long before the series and I assume nearly unrelated to the show (they'll probably mention Uncle Junior or Tony's dad so they can market it as a Sopranos prequel).
 

Sam Favate

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
9,352
Real Name
Sam Favate
For me, the first two seasons were just perfect. Best two seasons of any show. After that, I felt it faltered a bit but it was always good. The last season I think they got kill-happy and kept offing characters just because the show was ending -- i hate that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jimbo64 and Dheiner

joshEH

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
5,766
Location
Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
Real Name
Josh
Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa started going through all the episodes in a new podcast:

https://talkingsopranos.simplecast.com/

Man, Schirripa really goes to town on a few celebs in episode 5 ("College"). Ellen ignored him when he reminded her she worked for him years ago, De Niro is a rude asshole, and fuck Werner Herzog, because he never got back to him about a role in Bad Lieutenant. Ben Affleck was cool, he left a $1,000 tip at the Blackjack table after he won big. But J-Lo took $500 of it.

In episode 4, Imperioli informs us that Vegas strippers are taking social-distancing seriously. They are offering drive-thru shows. Hopefully Pantoliano recovers fully from his recent injury, and can pop in when they start doing S3 eps.

It's a blast. They really know their stuff. Good insights, behind-the-scenes reminicising. Great excuse to rewatch the series again.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: TravisR

joshEH

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
5,766
Location
Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
Real Name
Josh
  • Like
Reactions: TravisR

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
I never watched The Sopranos when it was on HBO since I never had cable - but, I caught up with the series/seasons as the DVD sets were being released back in the 2000's. This show is in the top ten best TV series ever made, and wanting to watch the series was one of the main reasons I got my first DVD player back in 2003.

Amazing opening sequence & song, which encapsulates the series to a great extent. I like the whole NYC/NJ "vibe/tone" this opening has, as Tony drives away from the city & enters the suburbs with the Pizza stands, shops, residential areas, etc. I'm glad they never changed this title sequence, since I had read somewhere that they were thinking about doing so at some point during the show - but wisely thought better of it.

I have recently started re-watching the series, and am amazed at how well this has held up. I recently finished the second season. Some of the most notable episodes/storylines (so far):

-College (S01): Truly superb episode, and by some considered the single best episode of the series. Tony takes Meadow on a week-end trip to look at colleges, and inadvertently runs into an "snitch", who was presumably in the witness protection program (the guy obviously didn't go far enough away - ha ha). Nice dichotomy here where Tony has to balance taking his daughter around to various schools (and at one point dealing with an intoxicated, sick Meadow) & also "taking care" of the guy.

The finale was amazing: Tony is waiting for Meadow at Bowdoin College, and reads a Nathaniel Hawthorne quote on the wall, "No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.” (The Scarlett Letter) This perfectly sums up the episode, and in a sense the whole series.

-The multi-episode S02 storyline where Tony "reluctantly" lets his old high school buddy (Robert Patrick) into a high-stakes poker game, knowing full well the guy would probably lose everything he had - which he did. The later scenes when an unrepentant Tony & co. bled the guy dry & drove his wife's company into bankrupty were painful to watch. But, they were a good reminder of how amoral Tony & his crew were - i.e., if Tony was willing to do this to a so-called friend....if he hated someone - it was obvious they would really be in bad shape ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
Continuing my review of S02:

-Great sequence when Uncle Junior saw the elderly wife of an old policeman friend (who had since passed) in the hospital, after many years. He briefly reconnected with her. And, during a conversation they had over coffee, she mentioned that she had always wondered if her husband was "on the take", given that she would frequently find unexplained & large amounts of money throughout the house. Junior assured her that her husband was not, and that he probably won the money gambling on horses.
Very understated & subtle scene, since all the time you were watching this is was 100% obvious that the guy had been on the take & that's where the money came from...and that's also why Junior had thought so highly of the guy ....because he could be successfully bought off :) Brilliant.

-Fantastic storyline where Tony's estranged & freeloading sister Janice came back to town after a long absense, ostensibly to check up on their ailing mother. But, in actuality she was trying to entrech herself back into her mother's life so she could move into her mother's house - given that she had exhausted her "resources" in Seattle. To add insult to injury, Janice knew Tony was trying to sell the house, after he realized he had to put his mother into a home since she couldn't take care of herself anymore.

Throughout these episodes, you saw how angry Tony was getting with Janice, and at times his rage did spill over. It was obvious he wanted her to get the hell out of dodge, but was at a loss as to what to do. At the same time, Tony had another headache: Richie Aprile, an ex-con scum-bag who had recently gotten out of jail and was making a lot of trouble for Tony & others, including paralyzing a friend of Tony's (Beansie Gaeta) for revenge. Tony makes plans to eliminate Richie, but it's unclear how this would happen.

Janice & Richie (who are engaged to be married) get into a huge fight, and Janice unexpectedly kills him. She has no one else to turn to, so calls Tony for help. He is obviously gleeful: Janice has to leave the area again (due to not wanting to be around because of possible "heat" surrounding the situation), and Richie Aprile is eliminated. So, both of his problems are resolved - all without Tony having to lift a finger. All he has to do is help with the clean-up - ha ha. Brilliant & clever writing here.

I know Janice returns in a subsequent season, but at least Tony got rid of her for a while ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
I finished re-watching The Sopranos S03 & S04, and started S05. Again, wow. I like how each season has it's own vibe/tone, and there is an interesting & organic progression from one season to the next. Tony's kids are getting older & going through their own life changes, some new characters are introduced &
then some subsequently die/disappear, Tony & Carmela split up at the end of S04 (at least temporarily), etc.

Another of my favorite episodes is S03's "Pine Barrens". This is where Paulie & Christopher go to one of the Russians (that Tony is doing business with) to pick up some money - on behalf of Silvio. Paulie, being his typical self, is an a-hole to the Russian (for no reason), and they end up getting into a fight. The Russian gets knocked out; they think he's dead, and put him in the trunk of their car.
When they drive him out to a remote area, they realize he is conscious & try to make him dig his own grave, but he subsequently escapes. They shoot after him & think they got him, but can't find his body anywhere. So, where is he & what happened to him?! This mystery is never solved, even in subsequent seasons.

This episode is interesting because it really makes Paulie (and to a lesser extent, Christopher) look like idiots. Paulie especially is bragging about how he has a good sense of direction (from being in the military years before) - when it's obvious he's extremely lost - LOL. If it weren't for Tony "rescuing" them when they did, they may have frozen to death out there.

This is par for the course with Paulie; he is always pontificating about a variety of subjects & acts like he's an authority on everything, but it's extremely evident he doesn't know his @$$ from a hole in the ground - LOL.

The events in "Pin Barrens" are referenced in later seasons - notably, Christopher is telling the story in the Bing in S05, EP01 & making Paulie look bad - LOL.

IMHO, the biggest scum-bag in S03 & S04 is Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano). What a piece of %@#@.
He treats his young stripper "girlfriend" like crap, and then kills her in cold blood in the parking lot of the Bing. And, he severely damages the eye of the Bing's bouncer for no reason - just because he wants to recreate a scene from the hit film "Gladiator" (2000). But, Tony can't do much since Ralph is a "made" guy & also a good earner.

However, the straw that breaks the camel's back is in S04, when Tony finds out that Ralph probably killed his prized horse (possibly in revenge for Tony's dating Ralph's recent girlfriend?!). When Tony kills Ralph it's completely unexpected - because it's the type of thing that you would have thought would have happened earlier in the series...since Tony already had a lot of reasons to be pi$$ed off with him.

After Tony's mother dies near the beginning of S03, it's interesting that he gets after Janice for not wanting to show up for the funeral (due to the "problems" that caused her to leave NJ at the end of S02). However, when she does show up back in town she stays for the funeral, and then doesn't leave - again - much to the chagrin of Tony...ha ha.
 
Last edited:

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
Recently finished watching Sopranos S05. This may be my favorite season.

The inclusion of Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundetto (Tony Soprano's cousin) was excellent. Really good storyline, involving Blundetto initially trying to "go straight" by getting a "regular" job after being released from prison. But, shortly after he realizes he can't handle this - and then is inevitably drawn back into the criminal world.

This storyline was also interesting because it gave further insight into Tony's psyche/past. I.e., when they were both much younger, he & Blundetto had a "job" planned - and Tony had to back out at the last minute due to having gotten into a fight with his mother, hitting his head - and blacking out. However, for years he used the excuse that he had been "jumped" at the last minute. So, Blundetto was caught by LE & went to jail for years, while Tony remained free - which Tony felt very guilty over.

Adriana La Cerva being an unwilling snitch/informant story-line came to it's inevitable conclusion in this season. Though Adriana obviously knew what she was getting herself into re: her connection to the mob & Christopher, it was still sad to see her unexpectedly executed by Silvio. She was obviously very naive thinking the Christopher would betray Tony & his "crew", and skip town with her (to go into the witness protection program).

Though a lot of people get killed on this show, Adriana's death was one of the only ones that I found tragic. Since I watched the show exclusively on the DVD sets (which were typically released a year after the seasons were aired), I knew about the death long before seeing the episode. But, it was still extremely powerful & disturbing - even after multiple viewings.

Also, Kudos to Karen Young, who played agent Robyn Sanseverino . Excellent & underrated actress. She was great in the low-budget film Handgun (1983), as well as one of the best episodes of "The Equalizer" (1985-1989 NYC-based crime drama).
 
Last edited:

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
One of the most unexpected & maliciously funny scenes in the entire series is the S05 Sunday dinner sequence with Janice, her "new" family (Bobby & his kids), and Tony.

Tony - instead of being happy that Janice is trying to control her anger & has "found" happiness with Bobby & his family, wants to make her upset - because he himself is miserable. So, he mentions her estranged?! son "Harpo" who had been taken away from Janice (when she lived in Seattle?!) due to her being an unfit parent, etc. This situation is not talked about much, but Tony knows fulls well it's a sore point with Janice. So, Janice - who has been calm for a while & has been therapy for her anger issues - explodes & goes after Tony with a knife (and has to be held back by Bobby). And, all the while Tony smirks & acts like he was just showing concern for Harpo - when in reality he was being a malicious prick - ha ha.

I will admit that I do think Janice deserved this to some extent. Though we know Tony only did this because he's a @$$hole - at the same time Janice is a narcissistic, self-serving, entitled beyotch that "moved in" on Bobby after his wife unexpectedly died; she knew he was vulnerable - and needed help with his kids. Also, I find it ridiculous that Janice makes a big deal about being a "good parent" to Bobby's two kids, when she couldn't even take care of & support her own biological child.

This is a great scene, and the last sequence is fantastic & understated. After Janice's blow-up, Tony leaves the house & walks alone down the street with his back to the camera - while the Kinks' iconic track "I'm not like everybody else" plays over the scene & closing credits.
Superb song placement, and possibly my favorite in the series. IMHO the song is essentially an anthem for non-conformism/non-conformists, and really fits this scene. Here's a live version of the song, which I think was the one played on the show (though the beginning dialogue wasn't in the episode):

 
Last edited:

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
Some general comments about the show's air dates & how the 6th season was handled:

-The Sopranos was originally broadcast in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2007. I believe there was a gap between the 5th (2004) and 6th season part 1 (2006) due to some contract?! disputes that JG was having with HBO.

-It was interesting that they broke up the 6th season into two parts, instead of just calling it S06 & S07. S06 Part 1 had 12 episodes, so I would call that a full season. Even though most of the seasons had 13 episodes, at least one other only had 12.

Though S06 Part 2 only had 9 episodes (not a full season by Sopranos standards), I still feel they should have called this S07 - especially given that S06 was definitely a full season. Plus, the DVD set of S06 part 2 (that came out in Fall 2007) was still full-price; so, you weren't getting a discount by it being only 9 episodes - LOL.
 

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
Finished re-watching the series. Incredible. Thought I've seen every episode of The Sopranos in the past (some several times), it was over a period of years (on the original DVD releases). This recent re-watch was the first time I binge-watched all of the episodes back-to-back. And, I really appreciated the series more than ever this time around. Very compelling show, and definitely one of the best series ever made.

To revise what I said in one of my last posts - after this re-watch, S06 & S07 (no, I will not call it S06 Part 2) are very strong, and are probably my two favorite seasons now.

Some of the highlights of the last several seasons:

-Junior's descent into dementia was amusing on many levels; I never felt sorry for the character, and felt he deserved what was happening to him. It was fitting that he initially used the "dementia" angle to get out of going to prison (so he couldn't be tried for his crimes). And, then - shortly thereafter - he actually started getting the disease in actuality. Very appropriate. He was one of the biggest scum-bags on the series & you knew he had done a lot of heinous things to innocent people when he was much younger (the minimal flash-backs we saw just touched on this). By the time we saw him, however - he was getting older & it was obvious his "glory days" were behind him. But, he was still a vicious & ungrateful prick.

-One of my favorite scenes from S05?! was when Junior was watching HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and - due to his confusion - thought that Larry David & Jeff Garlin (David's manager/friend) were actually Junior & Bobby; he thought he was watching himself on TV, and was disturbed by this - ha ha! Freakin' hilarious, and a nice nod to "Curb" - one of the funniest series out there.

-
Tony's getting "accidentally" shot by Junior, and the subsequent "dream sequence" episode - where Tony was a salesman on business ravel in Las Vegas, who was mistaken for someone else. Excellent episode; very creepy & insightful.

-Junior getting put into some kind of psychiatric facility, where he befriended a young Asian man with anger issues. Though they initially start out as friends, they have a "falling out" (ha ha) and the man beats the crap out of Junior - ha ha. Very fitting. How the mighty have fallen ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH and TravisR

The Drifter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
833
Real Name
Jim
Continuing the S06 & S07 highlights:

-Chris Moltisanti working on & finally coming out with a horror/mobster film called "Cleaver" - with a great deal of help from others, of course. It was funny how he & his buddy "Murmer" (ha ha) went to L.A. to try to convince Sir Ben Kingsley to be one of the main characters, but ending up being too eager/obnoxious, and ruined his chances - ha ha. The scene when Kingsley (followed by Chris) went to that huge hotel room filled with expensive & free "bling" (that you only had access to as long as you were a celebrity big shot, of course) was amazing, and I'm sure true to life. One of the best scenes during this L.A. sequence was when a "disguised" Chris & Murmer ripped off Lauren Bacall's goody bag & then split - ha ha.

-It was interesting that Chris very obviously based the big boss in "Cleaver" on Tony; one of the scenes had the boss in his bathrobe throwing something against the wall in a rage - LMFAO! And, he also included a story-line that obviously "referenced" Chris's suspicion that Tony & Adriana had slept together (which never happened, but Chris thought it did). So, when Tony & co. saw the film (during that special screening), he & others knew exactly what Chris was referring to here - making Tony even more enraged with Chris than he was already.

-Early in S07, I was shocked at the aftermath of the horrible car accident; i.e., a wounded Chris being smothered by Tony. This was definitely not something I saw coming. When I initially saw the scene, I felt that Tony reluctantly did this because he felt Chris had become dangerously unreliable due to being back on junk, etc. However, in this re-watch - I realized that Chris was almost certainly mortally wounded by the accident (blood was coming out of his mouth, etc.) And, though Tony would probably have killed him anyway - the murder may also have partially been a "mercy killing" of sorts - given the extent of Chris's very obvious injuries. Just my take on this, of course.
 
Last edited:

TravisR

Studio Mogul
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
35,194
Location
The basement of the FBI building
Continuing the S06 & S07 highlights:

-Chris Moltisanti working on & finally coming out with a horror/mobster film called "Cleaver" - with a great deal of help from others, of course. It was funny how he & his buddy "Murmer" (ha ha) went to L.A. to try to convince Sir Ben Kingsley to be one of the main characters, but ending up being too eager/obnoxious, and ruined his chances - ha ha.
"Fuck Ben Kingsley. Danny Baldwin took his ass to acting school!" is one of the funniest lines in the entire series.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,355
Messages
4,707,951
Members
141,244
Latest member
Gr8Dane