Stuart McGuirk's well written article reflecting on The Sopranos (GQ, UK) has me thinking about Tony and the gang. It's hard to believe that three days ago marked four years since James Ganolfini's tragic passing. It was during that same spring of 2013 when I loaded up the dog and took a road trip back to visit friends and family in the midwest. Every night after dinner my parents would put on HBO2 which was then airing an episode of The Sopranos each night Monday - Friday. I would kid them since it was available via HBO On Demand, but parents liked the fact they were watching something broadcast each night. Wouldn't you know it, two weeks later surfing through the program guide I saw the Sopranos episode 1, season 1 and hit record on the DVR. Three weeks later, I too was watching an episode of everyones favorite 'Jersey-Mob family' and I was hooked all over again. I couldn't believe how many little things I was still picking up on for the first time despite seeing most episodes two times and I became convinced you could watch all 86 episodes every five, six years and pickup something new every time. It was a little eerie watching the episode, "Join the Club," the one where Tony is living a parallel life in a Orange County hotel with no identification or credit cards and trying to find a way to get home back east. In reality, Tony was on the surgery table fighting for his life, the result of being shot by paranoid Uncle Junior. Watching Tony fight for his life the night before James Ganolfini passed away led to me taking a brief respite from the show. I opted instead to watch Anderson Cooper and the many colleagues and journalist who lent their personal stories paying tribute to the man who America first came to know as Tony Soprano.
Whenever talking television at a party I'll often asks about a series that involves their profession. It's inevitable that the lawyers mock The Good Fight, doctors giggle at er's handling of traumas and cops fret at police procedurals on how corny justice is swiftly tied up into a neat bow by the top of the hour.
Terrence Winter claims in a Vanity Fair piece from 2012 that mobsters thought the show was so realistic that there had to be some rat blabbing to the writers.
It's been ten years since The Sopranos finale and I can say without hesitation that this show not only holds up today, but it will be at the top or near the top one hundred years from now.
We designated The Sopranos as the first Hollywood Binge Landmark series, it's a 2-hour podcast (episode 6) see below or download the episode via iTunes, Google Play, and stitcher.