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Monday, March 27, 2006

A Newcomer's View of The Sopranos

A few weeks ago I figured it was time to give The Sopranos another chance. Technically, I’m not a newcomer to the show — I actually saw the very first episode. As I recall, I watched a clichéd mob boss intermittently see a shrink, while saying he couldn’t really talk, and whack people. I promptly decidedly the show was stupid.

Then of course the show became a hit. So, after it’s long hiatus, I thought this would be a good time to jump on board. I thought maybe they’d make a point to indoctrinate new viewers. Failing that, I figured I’d be able to enjoy this supposedly great show, while catching up on my own. I was wrong. I mean, I “get” most of what’s going on. I just haven’t budged off my original analysis.

The Sopranos is ridiculously bad. What the hell makes this show so popular?

I’ve watched at least two weeks — it feels like more — of Tony Soprano, head of a crime family, in a coma, as he seems to dream about being a traveling salesman . . . or, as we finally learn, his spirit is heading “home” . . . or trying to . . . or I don’t know what. Meanwhile, the mob meanders around as if they’re in something a step above a gang. One guy hangs himself because he can’t leave “the family.” One guy acts like a fat, geeky teenager holding a cheerleader’s hand for the first time because he might take over the mob. And the rest of them are involved in spitting contests no more sophisticated than playground spats.

Every Italian cliché is in full bloom. Except for the downright confusing, there’s been nothing approaching a surprise. The show’s called The Sopranos; I knew Tony wasn’t dying. For a while, I thought we were seeing Tony’s life before the mob in the dream sequence (or whatever it was). From what I’ve seen, that might have been the way to go.

Admittedly, I’m new to the show, so maybe I’m missing something. I sincerely hope so, because, so far, this show sucks.

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