Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.

6.10.2007

Woke Up This Morning...

I know exactly what I’ll be doing come Monday morning: canceling my HBO package. I can wait out a DVD release for Entourage, Big Love and even begrudgingly miss Bill Mahar. There were two reasons I ponied up twenty bucks a month for seven channels of HBO since 1998. My ladies left a couple of years ago and as of (hopefully Chase will give us a full sixty minutes) ten o’clock Sunday night, I’ll have no more reason to care about Jersey.

The Sopranos series finale. It pains me to even type these words.

The show revolutionized the television drama genre and put HBO on the map. For all its swearing, nudity and violence, at its essence, The Sopranos was about a man conflicted; an anti-hero just struggling to make both his families thrive. A mobster in therapy? Every network it was shopped to shook their heads in disbelief. Then, HBO stepped up and greenlighted the long shot.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. Ray Liotta as Henry Hunt. James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. These characters are beasts, yet you find yourself rooting for their success and survival due to the ingenious craft of the actors who bring to life the captivating scripts which created them. While The Godfather and Goodfellas glamorized Costra Nosa, David Chase would not allow us that perspective and instead showed how callous, vengeful and pitifully inept its membership could be in both their personal and professional lives.

That’s what made the show brilliant.

Edie Falco, Lorraine Braco, Michael Imperiolli, and Springteen’s own Steven Van Zandt spearheaded an incredible ensemble cast. And let’s not forget Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) who’s real life troublemaking past empowered him to insist on a clause be put in his contract that his character never would be ‘a rat’ or otherwise betray The Family. David Chase’s superb writing and plot unpredictability have kept viewers alternatively enthralled or enraged, but always expectant.

The message boards are all over the place with estimated endings for this evening’s episode. Whether Tony is whacked, enters the witness protection program or just carries on as usual, I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to glimpse into these characters’ world.

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