The Sopranos

The Sopranos - HBO
a kate west recommendation

In six seasons, Tony Soprano captured the imaginations and even the hearts of HBO (Home Box Office Cable television) viewers. He's a villain, an unscrupulous mafia boss, who orders the execution of anyone getting in the way of his business, including extended family members. It is a credit to the writers that he is made sympathetic and that we all root for him, in spite of that unseemly dark side. Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" saga revolutionized the depiction of La Cosa Nostra* in film and, in a much less grand scale, "The Sopranos" does it in television, bringing everyday modern mob life right to your living room.

The Sopranos are a normal suburban well-off American family to all outward appearances. They just happen to have their basement bugged by the F.B.I. and most of their photos posted up in police headquarters. Tony (James Gandolfini), his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and their two kids, Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) live, love, shop and eat all in the utopia of New Jersey. Right from the now well-known opening credits of Tony driving in from Manhattan with his big fat cigar to the tune of A3's "Woke Up This Morning", we get to know each of them intimately, especially Tony. For one thing, he's in therapy with Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) working through his emotions until she finally catches on that a sociopath will never live a real human life. Then there's his dealings with his family, from constantly cheating on his wife to trying to understand his troubled son. Not to mention his whole motely crew, doing his bidding, while sometimes covertly plotting against him. Is there honor among thieves?

The full experience can only come from watching the entire series. And in that amount of time, anyone you encounter may be capable of the most heinous acts - mothers, uncles, friends and fiances, alike. Please note - great characters abound, but don't get too attached, as they might not have the longest shelf life. Also, fans complained loudly about the series finale, but creator David Chase likes to keep it real, so, in ambiguity, he allows his characters a little life beyond. Theirs is not a tidy world.

Series Directed by
Timothy Van Patten
(20 episodes, 1999-2007)
John Patterson
(13 episodes, 1999-2004)
Allen Coulter
(12 episodes, 1999-2004)
Alan Taylor
(9 episodes, 1999-2007)
Henry Bronchtein
(4 episodes, 1999-2002)
Jack Bender
(4 episodes, 2001-2006)
Steve Buscemi
(4 episodes, 2001-2006)
Daniel Attias
(3 episodes, 1999-2002)
David Chase
(2 episodes, 1999-2007)

Series Writing credits
David Chase
(86 episodes, 1999-2007)
Terence Winter
(25 episodes, 2000-2007)
Mitchell Burgess
(22 episodes, 1999-2006)
Robin Green
(22 episodes, 1999-2006)
Matthew Weiner
(12 episodes, 2004-2007)
Frank Renzulli
(9 episodes, 1999-2001)
Michael Imperioli
(5 episodes, 2000-2004)
Todd A. Kessler
(4 episodes, 2000-2001)
Diane Frolov
(4 episodes, 2006-2007)
Andrew Schneider
(4 episodes, 2006-2007)
Jason Cahill
(3 episodes, 1999-2000)
Lawrence Konner
(3 episodes, 2001-2002)

James Gandolfini: Anthony Soprano
Lorraine Bracco: Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Edie Falco: Carmela Soprano
Michael Imperioli: Christopher Moltisanti
Nancy Marchand: Livia Soprano
Jamie-Lynn Sigler: Meadow Soprano
Dominic Chianese: Corrado `Uncle Junior' Soprano
Robert Iler: Anthony Soprano Jr.
Steven Van Zandt: Silvio Dante
Tony Sirico: Paulie `Walnuts' Gualtieri
John Ventimiglia: Artie Bucco
Vincent Curatola: Johnny `Johnny Sack' Sacramoni
Vincent Pastore: Salvatore `Big Pussy' Bonpensiero
Drea de Matteo: Adriana La Cerva
Joseph Badalucco Jr.: Jimmy Altieri
Aida Turturro: Janice Soprano
David Proval: Richie Aprile
Steven R. Schirripa: Bobby `Bacala' Baccalieri
Robert Patrick: David Scatino
Federico Castelluccio: Furio Giunta
Joe Pantoliano: Ralph Cifaretto
Steve Buscemi: Tony Blundetto
Robert Loggia: Michele `Feech' La Manna
Joe Gannascoli: Vito Spatafore
Jerry Adler: Herman `Hesh' Rabkin
Frank Vincent: Phil Leotardo
Julianna Margulies: Julianna Skiff
Sharon Angela: Rosalie Aprile
Kathrine Narducci: Charmaine Bucco
Maureen Van Zandt: Gabriella Dante
Max Casella: Benny Fazio
Tony Lip: Carmine Lupertazzi
Ray Abruzzo: Little Carmine Lupertazzi
Dan Grimaldi: Patsy Parisi
Peter Bogdanovich: Dr. Elliot Kupferberg

*The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) is a notorious Italian criminal secret society which first developed in the mid-19th century in Sicily. In North America, the Mafia often refers to Italian organized crime in general, rather than just traditional Sicilian organized crime.

The Original Classic Influence (and a Kate West Favorite):
The Godfather DVD Collection (The Godfather/ The Godfather - Part II/ The Godfather - Part III)

Sopranos First Season:

The Sopranos: The Complete First Season

No comments: