It’s been 20 years since The Sopranos first graced our screens and 12 years since the infamous cut to black. In those interim 8 years, we were treated to arguably the finest television series of all time. Save for Twin Peaks, nothing had exploded the keg of television potential more than David Chase’s magnum opus. Up until 1999 the now standard anti-hero protagonist did not exist. James Gandolfini’s iconic Tony Soprano was the first man we were invited to both empathise with and judge damningly at the same time. Networks refused to believe an audience would tune in week-in-week-out to watch a monster commit such heinous crimes. Series creator David Chase refused to believe that an audience was incapable of understanding the complexities and nuances of our most basic human needs, desires and wants. He didn’t back down from his artistic vision and thank God he didn’t, because otherwise we may have been deprived of one of the most beautiful and progressive shows of all time.
So then, without delving into the entire narrative to pick it apart and lecture you all on why it is one of the finest shows of all time, I’ve decided to take 5 key moments from the series to explain why you should watch this show if you haven’t already. Or if you’ve already been seduced by it, why a second viewing is the highest order of the day.
If you’ve seen The Sopranos, you may think you know how it ended. You didn’t. Nobody does, apart from David Chase. I know what I think happened. In fact, I’ve researched almost every article and video on the web that interpreted The Sopranos controversial ending and I can say with my hand on my heart that I know definitively what happened.
But I’m wrong.
No one knows.
That’s what makes this show, this ending and this journey so damn satisfying. Everything doesn’t have to be wrapped up in a pretty box with a fucking bow on top in order for you to ‘get it’. Chase staunchly refused to provide audiences with a neat and tidy ending to the 8-year journey. He knew audiences had been watching and waiting for Tony to get his comeuppance. He just refused to give it to them. Just like he refused back in 1999 to believe audiences couldn’t interpret stories, art and complex ideas. In denying audiences the ending they were expecting he paid us the greatest compliment he ever could have. He trusted we had the intelligence and the emotional insight to work it ourselves.
I just wonder if I’m right…
CUT TO BLACK