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Monday, March 13, 2006
WITH A BANG AND A WHIMPER
The opening was boring, frustrating as hell, until I realized it was a dream. Okay, that made sense. HBO had inadvertently posted a spoiler synopsis, then quickly pulled it, so I knew what The Scene was beforehand, and yet it was still a jolt. I'm still digesting last night's episode, so I'm not certain how much I liked it. Disquieting comes to mind -- and sadness, cuz I know this is the beginning of the end.
I had to keep reminding myself that 21 MONTHS had elapsed since the last season, and apparently the reel life continued as well, because in the interim, a few surprises took place.
1)Bobby and Janice had a baby.
2) I wasn't even aware, or didn't recall, that Gene was an FBI informant.
3) AJ, whose event planning future looked promising last season, has since grown a nasty wad of hair and even more attitude.
4) Uncle Junior, who previously had mimicked real life mobster Vincent "the Chin" Gigante's dementia act to avoid prison, developed a flaming case himself.
But, the biggest shocker-oo was Tony and Carmella's reconciliation. Jaaaay-zus, they were cooing and gooing and scarfing Sushi. Gone was her lethal rage towards his adultry. No more visits to the priest, or the rabbi, to deal with her conscience regarding her husband's business dealings. Apparently Carm was won over by Tony's wealth; He gave her a "Porsche SUV. 'Porsche Cayenne, like the pepper,' Carmela tells friends." So far no goomaras for T nor the occasional backroom bj's from strippers. What the hell happened? Like I said, disquieting.
Will I watch next week? Are you kidding? I'll be glued to the set, with the phone off the hook.
8 Thumbs down review.
[I]t was immediately apparent that it was about the hair: during the hiatus, Paulie's primary relationship seemed to be with Miss Clairol, giving "Dye you c- -!" a whole new meaning; Carmela ditched the hip haircut and went back to a mall 'do; Anthony Jr. grew his locks long; and Silvio's rug is so big now he must buy it by the yard.
8 Thumbs up review.
Season Six of “The Sopranos” comes in like a lion
[T]hat creepy spoken word/music hybrid of William Burroughs' "Seven Souls," easily the weirdest piece of music this show has ever used. (I'm going to have nightmares about that baby nursing inches away from Janice's Rolling Stones tattoo.) It's like the producers don't want you to feel comfortable, because bad things are coming, and Tony getting shot may just be the start of it.
Tony told Dr. Melfi early in season four that there are two endings for guys like him: "Dead, or in the can." Whether Tony himself survives the shooting, something tells me there are going to be a lot of funerals over the next 20 episodes.
8 For some inside dope on wiseguys ...
Fingering false notes in 'The Sopranos'
We invited former FBI agent-turned-mob-infiltrator-turned-mob informer Joseph Pistone (the real Donnie Brasco) to watch the first episode of the new season of "The Sopranos" and give us his thoughts.
8 For a glimpse ahead ...
What happened last night on `The Sopranos'
It's not telling too much to reveal that the next few episodes will deal with the gang and Tony's family in crisis. There will be ugly, undisciplined jockeying for money and power, with Silvio (E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt) temporarily in charge, egged on by his Lady Macbeth-like wife (played by Van Zandt's wife, Maureen). And Tony's nuclear family members must relate as never before. The beast hovering outside their unconventional life is now among them, a creature spawned from their very bosom instead of a rival gangster or even that bear glimpsed by Tony, waiting in the back yard for the right moment to attack.
8 A fascinating interview with the show's creator, David Chase.
Settling the Score: The Sopranos final season
The season's theme, Chase says, is of unease.
"Kind of disquieted, sort of rattled, not feeling like things are going well. The theme is the temporal nature of life, how briefly we're here and the way we realize we're probably going to be on our deathbeds one day. That's been in the show a lot, but I think you're going to see more of it this year. The coming of autumn."
Sopranos devotees can expect the season to end on a downbeat note, in other words.
The broken season is an invention spawned from necessity, Chase says. The 12th episode in May will not end in a cliffhanger.
Then this hilarious, if unintentional, bit of insight ...
Questions remain, from the existential to the philosophical. Why, for example, is Tony Soprano still seeing a psychiatrist -- Lorraine Bracco's Dr. Jennifer Melfi -- if he clearly is getting so little out of it?
"Well, we're trying to depict real psychotherapy," Chase says. "Of course he gets nothing out of it."