Sopranos...don't stop believin'

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Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:26 am

I will now put on my snob hat and say that anybody who didn't love the ending is an ignorant fuck-wad!

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:33 am

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:I don't understand why people are so PO'd.

Here's why:

Chase played us like a grand piano, dragging out every suspenseful trick and visual reference in the book. [...]

But does Chase really want to go out like that, subverting a few decades of mob clichés? When "The Sopranos" has always transcended its genre with smart, lovely moments that went to the heart of suburban American angst, was it really fair to end in a flurry of inside jokes and a great big head fake?

Instead of taking Tony down out of karmic retribution, Chase got his karmic revenge on us for caring too much about this "jack-off fantasy on TV" in the first place.

And if they had to go with Journey, they should've used "Wheel in the Sky," which is a superior song, and lyrically the opposite of the optimistic "Don't Stop Believin'."

Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:34 am

Why all the hate, Jake? Seriously, you're stompin' my mellow, man.

Here's why I liked the ending:

One thing for certain: It was just one last, brilliant example of Chase refusing to live within the conventions of television. In a world where resolution is expected, no previous great television series ever has gone out on such a high note of ambiguity, such a lack of denouement.


and....

I'm sure there will be those frustrated by Sunday's abrupt ending to a series they've loved. But the fact is that we have loved "The Sopranos" precisely because it didn't follow the rules, creating something rich and rare.
Last edited by Sugarcubes Forever on Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Barabajagal
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Postby Barabajagal » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:40 am

Isn't "Don't Stop Believin" so New Jersey, and by extension, every other camaro-permed place not NYC? And wasn't all the tease at the end just what life is like for Tony, on pins and needles all the time?

Chase has always been about screwing with conventions. Why should this be different?

I admit I had bigger expectations but then when I found out the final episode was only going to be an hour, I thought "How do you wrap stuff up in an hour unless it's 'Everybody dies.'"

I can't imagine them doing a Sopranos movie either. Without Christopher and Silvio? that's oogatz.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:42 am

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:Why all the hate, Jake? Seriously, you're stompin' my mellow, man.

Yes or no question: Do you think the ending was a big "Fuck you" to the viewer?

Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:46 am

Jake wrote:Yes or no question: Do you think the ending was a big "Fuck you" to the viewer?


No. It was not a "fuck you." I don't believe that Chase intended to shit where he eats. Larry David would say "fuck you." But Chase is no David.

See my last post above. I edited it, adding a quote that I think sums it up for me.

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Postby steve-o » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:53 am

I wasn't feeling gypped just as much as I was genuinely confused. I don't think it was a big "fuck you" to the viewer, but how else would you expect it to end? Tony gets whacked? Although he is a bad guy (maybe?), he's too sympathetic of a character to go out like that. Too much of a downer for the ending, and I would argue would be an even bigger "fuck you" to the viewers. Or maybe Tony gets rid of the New York crew, and ends up happy, powerful and filthy rich? That goes against the norm of virtually every gangster movie ever made.

Tom4's take on it is pretty intriguing:
But I think that last scene was just two or so minutes in the life of Tony. The tension in that diner scene was suffocating. That's how Tony lives every minute of his life. Even when the family is seemingly at its happiest, the other shoe looms. Tony just won a war that, to many of us, would be life-altering. To him, it's onto the next worry.


That seems to make a lot of sense. But what was the significance of Meadow having trouble parking, being the last one to show up, and then the scene goes dark the second she walks in? I understand how they were trying to set the scene up like every other time someone was about to get whacked, but that just seemed like a weird way to end it.

And Phil got exactly what he deserved. That power-hungry prick.
Last edited by steve-o on Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:56 am

An open ending is somehow new and rule-breaking? "The Lady, or the Tiger?" was written in fucking 1882.

The only rule that breaks is the rule of good storytelling. Boo. The fact is this series has gone downhill since season two.

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Postby Tom4 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:26 am

I'm going to try to not defend the final episode, because I know I'm going to be doing it for months and want to pace myself, but I'd like to point everyone over to The House Next Door.

http://mattzollerseitz.blogspot.com/200 ... de-in.html

Excellent commentary from NJs local TV crit and the user comments are even better. Here's one I particularly liked:

"Got that the joke was always on us. As Americans especially, we live between states of complete awareness and complete denial (especially in these times... Iraq/Paris Hilton). We want to tune out at the same time we keep tuning in. All of the allusions to our rubbernecking culture in the last few episodes especially... And in the end, Chase did what he knew he would all along, in the biggest social commentary i have ever seen on TV, he pulled the plug. He turned off our TV for us.

We were all fools in the living room. Staring at the screen aghast. We were looking for more. And then we caught ourselves... looking for more. (Shit, we even questioned if the cable went out!)

All of us watching were forced to say "shit, he totally got us." It was the most poignant 10 seconds of dead air ever on television."

------------------------------

Chase is right -- none of us is capable of change (you can only choose the BMW over the SUV), and though we might not be as violently reprehensible as Tony, our morals are totally flawed. Yet we judge.

As a defender of the final ep, I will say that it WAS a big "Fuck You" to us. But you know what? We need to be knocked off of our pedestals every once in a while.

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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:40 am

But I think that last scene was just two or so minutes in the life of Tony. The tension in that diner scene was suffocating. That's how Tony lives every minute of his life. Even when the family is seemingly at its happiest, the other shoe looms. Tony just won a war that, to many of us, would be life-altering. To him, it's onto the next worry.


Boom, dead on.

Anyone expecting a clean, tidy wrap up to this show wasn't paying attention. The dead end story lines (another Jake Brown favorite--snark snark), the appearance and disappearance of seemingly major characters, the unresolved character arcs...all part and parcel from season one.

In the end, Tony's life goes on, but NONE of it is great or even good. Carm is a bought and paid for wife who imitates moral character while turning a not-so-blind eye to the life they actually live; AJ is a typical melodramatic, slightly dense, child of a wealthy and powerful family and has also been bought off to keep from chasing a bizarre and asinine dream of being a chopper pilot to the rich; Meadow is the hope and dream of the family and even though she’s been recruited by a big law firm, Tony’s still wishing she’d stayed with medicine to “help save all the little babies,” who seem to be the only humans he can relate to.

I thought the song was a great pick. What better for a middle-aged, Jersey boy who is waiting for his family at a local greasy spoon? Bon Jovi would have been painfully obvious and Springsteen would have broken some barriers of disbelief since Syl is played by a member of the E Street Band. C’mon, the subject matter is so perfect for that scene!

I KNEW that ending would piss people off but I say thumbs up. I liked it. I liked this entire 6b season.


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