Sopranos...don't stop believin'

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Sven Killer Robot Spacema
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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:29 pm

Tom4 wrote:
I like that theory, but my preferred theory is the one about Chase using the ending to comment on our fascination with entertainment.


Society is fascinated by American Idol. And the finales of Mash, Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld and Who Shot JR? The Sopranos is just a show for 9 million nerds, admiitedly I am one of them.. 9 million a poor night for a run of the mill episode of Deal Or No Deal. 9 million probably about the average audience for a King of Queens repeat.
Newsflash David Chase--society is not fascinated by you.

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Postby steve-o » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:52 am

Sven Killer Robot Spacema wrote:
Society is fascinated by American Idol. And the finales of Mash, Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld and Who Shot JR? The Sopranos is just a show for 9 million nerds, admiitedly I am one of them.. 9 million a poor night for a run of the mill episode of Deal Or No Deal. 9 million probably about the average audience for a King of Queens repeat.
Newsflash David Chase--society is not fascinated by you.


Seriously. Just wait until the Lost series finale. The Sopranos finale will be a distant memory by then.

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:26 am

Sven Killer Robot Spacema wrote:
Society is fascinated by American Idol. And the finales of Mash, Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld and Who Shot JR? The Sopranos is just a show for 9 million nerds, admiitedly I am one of them.. 9 million a poor night for a run of the mill episode of Deal Or No Deal. 9 million probably about the average audience for a King of Queens repeat.
Newsflash David Chase--society is not fascinated by you.


It's more than viewership (which has been substantially increased by licensing to networks and DVD sales). The Sopranos is a pop culture phenomenon. Don’t believe me? How many magazines and TV shows has substantial coverage of the finale. Actual viewership on HBO is but one segment of the population fascinated or otherwise interested in this show.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:41 am

More...
Agent Harris says Tony gets whacked:

Matt Servitto, who played FBI Special Agent Harris, said Chase briefly kept the camera rolling after what amounted to Tony's final moment on screen - and that the extra footage appeared to clearly spell the end for the supreme Soprano.

"[Tony's daughter] Meadow got into the diner, sat down . . . The menacing 'Members Only' jacket-wearing man at the counter was a little bit more in play, and I think she's sitting there with the family kind of all together . . . and all of a sudden, the menacing man gets up, starts walking toward their booth. End of show," Servitto said.

"The scene cut as the [menacing] guy was advancing toward [Tony], as if he was about to shoot Tony. It was, I think, less ambiguous that Tony was going to get shot."


And I agree with this opinion:

I can't help feeling that the relentless references and mob clichés were manipulative and, frankly, beneath Chase, at least in terms of creating the last scene of the entire series. Why undercut the scene with sly bullshit or even an elaborate mystery? If it's just another moment, then make it just another moment -- make that beautiful. If we're seeing the end of it all, then make that clear. The combination of references and ambiguity and then the black screen and silence -- I think he tried to do a few contradictory things at once, and it was a failure. He undercut himself -- created something dramatic, then pulled the rug out from under it, and in the end, it felt like a practical joke. The experience wasn't engrossing or enlightening or even powerful; it was just alienating.

That can't be the point. I don't care what his intentions were -- his goal couldn't have been to take people out of the story and make them check and recheck their TiVos and the digital cable boxes. And don't talk to me about how people booed Beethoven and couldn't stand Van Gogh. This isn't some dadaist experiment -- it's a mob show, for God's sake! Even if it's a great crime drama, or a true work of art, it shouldn't end with what's perceived as a technical difficulty. It's not consistent with the visual and narrative paradigm that we've experienced over the course of six seasons.

Yes, I know: Art is designed to provoke us! The more violently we're provoked, the more brilliant the art is! But this isn't a painting, or a sculpture, or a piece of music. This isn't a two-hour film. This is a show on TV, one that many of us have watched for eight years running. We've been made to expect payoffs all along. Whether Chase has screwed with our heads or not along the way, there were always some satisfying conclusions at the end of each season. To give us one thing for eight long years, and then suddenly get all artsy on us and turn the lights out? That's a bad call, plain and simple.

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Postby D. Phillips » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:23 pm

We've been made to expect payoffs all along.


No, we haven't. I truly believe that if you expected some sort of payoff or clear resolution, you weren't paying attention. Again, dozens of storylines and seemingly important characters have just floated away on the show--just like in real life. Sometimes what seems like an exceedingly important event in your life just comes and goes without any later relevance. And then there are just regular old days with nothing of bearing seeming to take place but then you find out that a snarky aside or an innocent grin puts events into motion you could have never anticipated.

But more to the point of that scene: Even when things go back to "nromal" for Tony, he's on edge. he has to be because of the life he leads. There is no simple, relaxing night at the diner with his family. Everyone who walks through that door is a potential threat. I think that scene was intended to increase the tension so you FEEL what Tony feels every day. I think Chase wanted the audience to feel that tension and then have to walk away with it, just like Tony does. To relax the tension in any way (through Tony dying, or being arrested, or whatever) would have ruined the effect. As a stroy device, I love it.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:05 pm

D. Phillips wrote:
We've been made to expect payoffs all along.


No, we haven't. I truly believe that if you expected some sort of payoff or clear resolution, you weren't paying attention.

Season 1: No real big payoff. Was awesome.
Season 2: Tony kills Big Pussy, Janice kills Richie.
Season 3: No big payoff--Ralphie lives (which infuriated me). But Jackie Jr is killed.
Season 4: Tony finally kills Ralphie.
Season 5: Tony kills Steve Buscemi.
Season 6a: Phil kills Vito.

Tom4
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Postby Tom4 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:23 pm

Was it too much to ask to have Johnny Cakes be the one to avenge Vito's death with a hit on Phil? That's the only gripe I have.

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Jake wrote:Season 1: No real big payoff. Was awesome.
Season 2: Tony kills Big Pussy, Janice kills Richie.
Season 3: No big payoff--Ralphie lives (which infuriated me). But Jackie Jr is killed.
Season 4: Tony finally kills Ralphie.
Season 5: Tony kills Steve Buscemi.
Season 6a: Phil kills Vito.


So someone getting killed is the big payoff you're looking for. Again, I think something is being missed here.

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Postby worpswede » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:27 pm

D. Phillips wrote:So someone getting killed is the big payoff you're looking for. Again, I think something is being missed here.

You're goddamn right...Naked love scenes with Meadow.
There's a big payoff!

Tom4
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Postby Tom4 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:29 pm

D. Phillips wrote:
So someone getting killed is the big payoff you're looking for. Again, I think something is being missed here.


Right. By that logic, Phil getting capped is the payoff of Season 6B. After all, the entire season focused on the increasing tensions between NY/NJ.


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