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March 30, 2007 4:59 PM   Subscribe

The Sopranos in 7 minutes and 36 seconds.
posted by miss lynnster (73 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't like single link youtube posts? Well, waddayagonnadoaboudit?
posted by miss lynnster at 5:00 PM on March 30, 2007


I'm just kidding, btw. I was trying to do a bad Sopranos impression...
posted by miss lynnster at 5:13 PM on March 30, 2007


A handy refresher! Thanks!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 PM on March 30, 2007


Man, I almost had to pause that and take some notes.
posted by graventy at 5:20 PM on March 30, 2007


That's really well done. Thanks for that.
posted by dhammond at 5:23 PM on March 30, 2007


there's not one mention of the gabbagool. Ey!!
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:25 PM on March 30, 2007


OMFG I love you.
posted by tristeza at 5:25 PM on March 30, 2007


I'm kinda bored with "Whatever in X minutes". My opinion is significant.
posted by bam at 5:27 PM on March 30, 2007


Oh, jesus, I just noticed the title of this post....bwahahahahha. That was my favorite part of the whole thing.
posted by tristeza at 5:27 PM on March 30, 2007


Well bam, at least it wasn't performed by bunnies, right?
posted by miss lynnster at 5:30 PM on March 30, 2007


Okay I had a long thing written out trying to be relevant to the link, but I am going to launch in predictions:

- Tony will not die as the whole close-to-death was the writers way of exploring that without actually killing him. And if they devote both halves to his death, it will ruin the series.

- Meadow and AJ's story archs that display the families full spectrum of class (that is from the ascension in to the upper class as fulfilled by Meadow and their plebeian beginnings as fulfilled by AJ) is brilliant. I really think it is skilled how they kept both of them out of the whole mob thing and explore the contemporary family. That said I think Meadow is the one to get married and pregnant, though doing a twist and have it done to AJ would be interesting.

- Christopher's dumb moves and his continual insistence on staying alive has been a real thread through the series. I really doubt they will kill him off, but you never know with his renewed drug use. I think it would be much more likely the local mob scene is drastically reworked through a merging of the families through the deaths of Paulie and some of the henchmen.

- There will be ducks at the end and they're going to give us a feel-good ending of everything returning to as normal as it could get.

I felt somewhat teased by the first half of this final season. It felt like they were just building up to the finale. I enjoyed it but it really felt self-indulgent. I hope they got that out of their system.
posted by geoff. at 5:32 PM on March 30, 2007


The Russian is still out there... somewhere (best episode, imo)
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:36 PM on March 30, 2007


Lynn,
Dear, now someone has the idea. I will blame you. Darn you to heck.
posted by bam at 5:39 PM on March 30, 2007


Saved me 600$. Thanks!
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:40 PM on March 30, 2007


That said I think Meadow is the one to get married and pregnant, though doing a twist and have it done to AJ would be interesting.

That would be quite a twist!
posted by papakwanz at 5:44 PM on March 30, 2007


miss lynster, your posts are the greatest. Best part is noting Edgar Stiles and GOB to appropriate 24/AD music.
posted by sdrawkcab at 5:46 PM on March 30, 2007


I watched the first minute of that. I can see how the author of "Everything bad is good for you" might be right in comparing these new types of tv programs to soap operas in their plot/relationship structures.

Good to know I'm not missing anything! Seriously, it's great to get a vague sense of what everyone's talking about and only have to watch one minute of it and not have a tv or anything. Cool.
posted by Listener at 6:21 PM on March 30, 2007


Thanks Miss L. I lost track of the show around season 3 so . . .yeah , I'll take the cliff notes.
posted by nola at 6:23 PM on March 30, 2007


geoff. writes "Christopher's dumb moves and his continual insistence on staying alive has been a real thread through the series. I really doubt they will kill him off, but you never know with his renewed drug use. I think it would be much more likely the local mob scene is drastically reworked through a merging of the families through the deaths of Paulie and some of the henchmen."

I think the entire narrative logic and arc of the series brings us to a point where Tony has to kill Christopher. From a narrative point of view, it's simply the most "satisfying", emotionally resonant, ending to the series. It's gotta be Christopher, and Tony's gotta do it.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:48 PM on March 30, 2007


Wow. Thanks for that!
posted by gummi at 6:57 PM on March 30, 2007


I'm mightily impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into this thing. I mean, aside from the appropriately terse and often funny writing and deadpan voice over work, the guy had to go through six seasons of the show (what's that, like 100 hours of video?) to find exactly the right scene to illustrate each individual incident. All for a seven minute youtube video. Man, that's dedication.
posted by Clay201 at 6:57 PM on March 30, 2007


Hmmm...I wouldn't be surprised if Christopher killed Tony...in anger/passion/drug fueled rage, then is somehow placed to take over. I can almost see a closing scene of Christopher putting on a nice suit and looking terrified while the toadies run around kissing his ass.

That probably doesn't jibe with classic literature arcs, though, does it? It'd be fucking cool to watch on TV though.
posted by tristeza at 6:58 PM on March 30, 2007


A spoiler alert might have been nice. I turned it off after I realized it was a recapping of the entire show (or whatever).

I might like to watch that show sometime, you know.
posted by delmoi at 7:12 PM on March 30, 2007


A spoiler alert might have been nice. I turned it off after I realized it was a recapping of the entire show (or whatever).

Hahahaha - oh, delmoi....::cheek pinch::
posted by tristeza at 7:20 PM on March 30, 2007


Fantastic.
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2007


Cunnilingus and psychiatry have brought us to this.
posted by veedubya at 7:50 PM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aww I don't get The Sopranos out here in the sticks, but this makes me wish I did.
posted by amyms at 7:58 PM on March 30, 2007


And I thought I pulled something off when I watched all six seasons in three weeks.
posted by griphus at 8:00 PM on March 30, 2007


it is a joyous thing that this thread is sans negativity of sopranos so far.

that said, my prediction is that the writers have decided to split the series finale away from the rest of the mini-season and that its completion will be delayed until 2012.

at least there will be big love.
posted by pokermonk at 8:04 PM on March 30, 2007


amyms writes "Aww I don't get The Sopranos out here in the sticks, but this makes me wish I did."

I know. I've followed the entire series on Netflix, and am entirely caught up, and I love it. I think it's probably the best thing on TV ever. Yeah, even better than Buffy, and you have no idea how much it pains me to write that (although imagine if Buffy has a Sopranos budget, my god).

Now that the finale is coming up, I'm tempted to get me some HBO so I can watch it in real time. Of course, I'd also have to get Showtime, for the new This American Life show. And The Tudors looks like it might be really good....
posted by mr_roboto at 9:05 PM on March 30, 2007


there's not one mention of the gabbagool

here's your f-g gabbagol
posted by phaedon at 9:20 PM on March 30, 2007


This video served a great purpose for me -- to condense everything that's wrong about this program down into seven minutes. Gratuitous violence, misogyny, homophobia, and depraved indifference to anything right in the world in concentrate form like a can of frozen Florida poison. It doesn't even attempt to cleave to the hoary romanticized "honor" myth present in previous mafia fiction. There's not a hint of redemption, not the slightest pretense.

How many episodes in the final season? I want to start a week by week countdown until the point where we're free of this dreck.
posted by Dreama at 9:23 PM on March 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow, that's pretty good. Four hours and 22 minutes of positive comments! Woo hoo!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:32 PM on March 30, 2007


Seriously. Its just spoiled rich assholes with no decency lying and killing and backstabbing each other over and over. Remind me why we should care about these people?
posted by petsounds at 9:41 PM on March 30, 2007


Is petsounds talking about The Sopranos or King Lear?
posted by papakwanz at 9:53 PM on March 30, 2007


Dreama writes "this dreck"

OK. I'll bite. I've got nothing better to do tonight, and this could be fun.

Your reading of the show is shallow. Let's consider a couple of your complaints.

First, the misogyny. Yeah, the characters are by and large misogynists. But the show? I don't know. The characters who are most similar to the HBO target audience--the most obvious targets of identification for the audience--are the intellegent, modern, college-educated women: Dr. Melfi and Meadow. I know I (a man) identify with Meadow more than with any other character in the show; even her flaws are flaws I understand and sympathize with immediately. The men are ignorant buffoons; throwbacks and relics, unfit for the modern world. The fact that the audience has any sympathy for the monster Tony Soprano is a miracle of writing and Gandolfini's consistently brilliant performance (that sympathy for a monster is the genius of the show, cf. Lolita).

Anyway, the characters' misogyny is not indicative of a fundamental misogyny in the work, but a distancing device, intended to alienate us from the characters; especially Tony. You'll notice at points Tony's misogyny softens as his natural charisma shines through; I'm pretty sure this is an intentional technique, to make us feel "oh, he's not so bad; he can learn, he can change" (fucking bullshit, that, but we want to buy it.) The show is sophisticated enough to know that we're feminists, and it uses that knowledge to toy with our emotions.

OK; I'm gonna make a post about the homophobia in a bit.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:02 PM on March 30, 2007 [7 favorites]


Is petsounds talking about The Sopranos or King Lear?

I thought it was Hamlet.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:23 PM on March 30, 2007


Domo arigato for a smart response to the haterz, mr_roboto!
posted by papakwanz at 11:54 PM on March 30, 2007


OK; before I talk about (apologize for? I dunno) the homophobia on The Sopranos, I want to talk about who I find to be the least sympathetic character. For me it's Carmela, without a doubt. She is a perfect case study in the banality of evil; she knows what's going on around her, and she choses to look away in order to preserve her comfort and complacence. This has been apparent since the first season, but it's become especially obvious in the current subplot with her visions of Adrianna: the woman is haunted by the truth she refuses to acknowledge. Carmela can be read as an allegory for the worst characteristics of America: closeted in her (disgusting, ostentatious) consumer lifestyle she ignores the wickedness that allows her to be so comfortable. Seriously: look what happens whenever she brings up anything resembling an ethical concern to Tony: he throws some money at her, and she forgets about it. She is the show's shoddy, self-obsessed, fatally flawed conscience. I think there's another reading possible though, maybe from a feminist theory viewpoint, you could say her moral authority has been subverted by the patriarchy, I dunno, I'm not sure I'd buy that.

About the homophobia. I'm guessing that since you don't like the show, Dreama, you didn't watch the last season, but it contained a fascinating treatment of this topic. A lot of the casual homophobia voiced by the gangster characters serves the same purpose as the misogyny, of course. It's a signifier for people like us: it tells us what kind of people these are, and that they aren't like us. And again, the genius of the writing and the acting is that after pushing us away so roughly, the characters pull us back in. But last season contained one of the most fully-drawn, complex homosexual characters ever on American TV, I think. Vito was a worthless shit: lazy, violent, dishonest, the kind of guy who leaves a committed lover in the middle of the night forever without a word. But he was also a closeted gay man struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality, which is an inherently compelling story that draws out our sympathy. I thought it was very powerful portrayal, and in writing homosexual characters, the writers managed to play with stereotypes while avoiding most of them and drawing full, realistic, sympathetic people.

As for the depraved indifference for anything right in the world that you see, I think you're missing something important. The characters are amoral (or flatly immoral, in Carmela's case, she knows what's right), and their reality is presented plainly. The writers, however, expect that, as a viewer, you will bring your own morality to these people's reality. You are not indifferent to right and wrong, and you know that the behavior portrayed is evil, monstrous. And the sympathy drawn out in the portrayal (these are real people! they have families, they have mundane problems!) tells a story about both the banality of evil and the nature of temptation. I think that's an important story.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:52 AM on March 31, 2007 [9 favorites]


Anyway, the characters' misogyny is not indicative of a fundamental misogyny in the work

And this makes a difference how, exactly, in week after week of women depicted as nothing but convenient holes for a bunch of loser men, and being debased, abused, raped, beaten, drug addicted, driven to suicide or murdered in the vilest possible ways -- all played out in vivid detail -- because of it?

I would argue that the intensity of the mistreatment of the women depicted in this program is exactly indicative of a "fundamental" misogyny. But it really doesn't matter when viewers are treated to a nonstop litany of unchecked violence against women who, for the most part, are not guilty of any crime save, perhaps poor choice of sex partner, if that.

I can't help thinking of the little old woman beaten to death by Paulie Walnuts for nothing more than having cash he wanted. Was I supposed to feel better that he really didn't want to "have" to kill her? That it was an act of devaluing humanity rather than specifically targeting the woman because of a particularly female-based role she played in her killer's life doesn't redeem it.

I don't need to see fictional women being destroyed -- or fictional men either, for that matter -- to understand the banality of evil or the nature of temptation. I can turn on the news and see that. If the gratuitousness of the slime factor in The Sopranos is meant to provide some kind of morality lesson, to show how different from good people these unrepentant criminals are, it is clearly the most dumbed down lesson in history. But the, I'm not sure who it is that's looking for a dose of societal enlightenment from goombahs and guns.
posted by Dreama at 4:35 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's sad that some people think a work of art that reflects bad things out there in the world must itself be bad. Yes, if we all squeeze our eyes shut, think nice thoughts, and pretend real hard, the world will be a beautiful place!

I'm not going to try to decide between The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The Singing Detective, three peaks of television drama, but they're all head and shoulders above 95% of what gets shown on movie screens. And when I was growing up I would never have believed anything on TV would ever justify such an accolade. It's nice when, on rare occasions, the world exceeds your expectations.
posted by languagehat at 6:04 AM on March 31, 2007


I think there's another reading possible though, maybe from a feminist theory viewpoint, you could say her moral authority has been subverted by the patriarchy...

I actually don't think there is. I would say that you nailed it.
posted by psmealey at 6:50 AM on March 31, 2007


Another aspect of The Sopranos treatment of homophobia:

There was one conversation between the mob guys (I forget who exactly) where one of the guys said, "He should have kept it quiet," and another guy said, "Well, wasn't that what he was doing?" And then they all just kind of shuffle their feet and go back to hating Vito for being gay.

Also, Tony says in session with Dr. Melfi that he doesn't really have a problem with Vito being gay, that he knows that the world is changing, but that if he doesn't come down on Vito hard, he's going to lose credibility as a boss. He struggles with this. That's not a black and white character.
posted by heatherann at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2007


Its just spoiled rich assholes with no decency lying and killing and backstabbing each other over and over.

Wait a minute...are we talking about The Sopranos or, say, Macbeth, here?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:09 AM on March 31, 2007


Or, uh, King Lear...

....once again, my zeal to make my point exceeds my ability to adequately scan previous comments.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2007


The Russian is still out there... somewhere (best episode, imo)

Agreed. After watching the episode, I figured this would be the downfall of the family but I fear the creators won't bring him back.

Dreama, I'm curious how you think misogyny can be "discussed" in art without representing it. Yes, the characters are misogynists, but I don't think the show is.

I like the Sopranos quite a bit but found the last season terribly boring. To me, the greatest show ever made on TV, and one of my favorite dramas in any medium, is Deadwood. I think its female characters easily outdo Soprano's women--which I don't think is easy to do--for interesting and complexity. All this while pretty much taking place in whorehouses is a huge accomplisment, imo.
posted by dobbs at 8:23 AM on March 31, 2007


I was surprised how much "good stuff" happened in just the first two seasons.

Incidentally, my brother works at the sporting goods store that the guy from Terminator ran in one of the earlier seasons. It's a real place, and obviously still in business.
posted by smackfu at 8:47 AM on March 31, 2007


I'm looking forward to HBO's The Sopranos: A Sitdown -- "This retrospective chronicles the events from the previous seasons of HBO's hit drama series The Sopranos."

It first airs on April 7th. -- and will be in heavy rotation thereafter.
posted by ericb at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2007


Well, don't be surprised if Joey Pants isn't on it...
posted by miss lynnster at 1:14 PM on March 31, 2007


Wild speculation: Meadow's boyfriend/fiance, Finn DeTrolio, gets whacked (like her earlier boyfriend Jackie Aprile). This event shatters her and her dream of having a "legitimate" career -- and she ends up becoming a mob boss herself, possibly taking Tony's place.
posted by ericb at 1:39 PM on March 31, 2007


TIME Magazine: The End of the Soprano Administration.
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on March 31, 2007


(3 for 3 in 72.
miss l is headed for The Record.)
posted by Dizzy at 2:03 PM on March 31, 2007


Please don't compare The Sopranos to Shakespeare. The Bard's decomposed remains are already spinning fast enough to run a turbine engine, ever since high schools started trying to do his stuff, and any high school performance of Shakespeare is better than The Sopranos.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:57 PM on March 31, 2007


Languagehat wrote:

It's sad that some people think a work of art that reflects bad things out there in the world must itself be bad.

No the sad thing is that humans gravitate to these savage themes because when you strip off the ultra-thin veil of society that is what we are. Shakespeare knew this, and so does Chase.
posted by any major dude at 6:18 PM on March 31, 2007


Please don't compare The Sopranos to Shakespeare. Because the bard clearly deserves to sit untouched upon a pedestal for all eternity.

Sounds you you haven't suffered through sufficient The Two Gentlemen of Verona, or indeed, turgid, turgid teen Shakespeare to be taken seriously.

Or perhaps you've seen every episode of the Sopranos and hated every living minute of it, and had to gnaw out your own eyeballs to stop the pain. In which case, full disclosure is only polite.
posted by Sparx at 6:37 PM on March 31, 2007


(miss lynster is my personal goddess.)
(No one, I'm guessing, will read this far down the thread.)
(Is that you, miss l?)
posted by Dizzy at 7:02 PM on March 31, 2007


;)

Still covered in peas, Diz?
posted by miss lynnster at 8:02 PM on March 31, 2007


Nope.
Saturday is Squash and Rice.
So glad you found me!
Thought you were Out On The Town!
posted by Dizzy at 8:08 PM on March 31, 2007


I highly recommend the yams. They are a nice shade.

I was in SF all day but now I'm home with the puppy curled up at my feet watching tv. Spent waaayyyy too much money shopping today so I'm not allowed to leave the house tonight. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:13 PM on March 31, 2007


I can only imagine you were buying knee-boots and Bill Powell DVDs.
Please advise.
posted by Dizzy at 8:29 PM on March 31, 2007


Ha! Nope, but close. I have enough boots, so today it was dress shoes & ladylike undergarments. And no Bill Powell. Whoever he is. (On itunes, the only Bill Powell I see is a singer for THIS band. Soooo... I'm thinkin' you meant BUD Powell?)
posted by miss lynnster at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2007


William Powell.
Such teh fan I call him Bill for short.
Except I always refer to Myrna Loy as "Miss Loy"; somehow the familiar doesn't seem appropriate with her.
posted by Dizzy at 7:17 AM on April 1, 2007


Hey, wait a minute you two. Wasn't this thread about the Sopranos? ;-)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 AM on April 1, 2007


Ohhhhhhhh. Well yeah, u know I dig me some Thin Man. :)

Yes fam it was. But it was my post so by default it's now all about ME ME ME! As all good things should be. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:39 AM on April 1, 2007


Seriously. Its America's just spoiled rich assholes with no decency lying and killing and backstabbing each other over and over. Remind me why we should care about these people?

Fixed that for ya! ~wink~

What LH and others said (but I've never even heard of The Singing Detective, I must admit, and I never much cared for what I saw of Six Feet Under. Deadwood, though? Hell, yeah.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:03 PM on April 1, 2007


The Singing Detective (IMDb, Wikipedia, analysis using terms like "level of narrative" and "the textual politics of modernism" if you like that sort of thing, Amazon.com). Michael Gambon does one of the greatest acting jobs I've seen, the script is brilliant (hints dropped, mysteries slowly coming together, dialogue full of the most corrosive cynicism and misanthropy you're likely to see on TV), the art direction is amazing, trust me, you'll like it. Just make sure you see the real thing—there's some fucking Americanized version starring Robert Downey Jr.
posted by languagehat at 5:09 AM on April 2, 2007


Delighted to see a Sopranos recap and am totally looking forward to this season. Thanks misslynnster.

Boy, I respect David Chase for creating the series. Wonderful music in the various shows too, among so many reasons to like the series.

The Wikipedia synopsis of The Sopranos is very good, practical.

Livia, Tony Soprano's BPD/NPD momster was based in part on David chase's own momster, Norma and on Livia Drusilla Augusta, brilliantly played in the excellent BBC series, I, Claudius, one of my all time TV faves.
posted by nickyskye at 8:01 PM on April 2, 2007


The Singing Detective gets all the love l-hat, but this is better, if harder to find. (not that TSD isn't worthy, just a bit heavy handed with the Freud - ok, we get it, his mom was a slut!)

lipstick on your collar

Agree with the Sopranos, but Chase's other series, Northern Exposure was as good and possibly better overall.

Six feet Under? By the American Beauty writer? bad tv, worse film. We must violently disagree here.

And The Wire, and Rome, beat them all.

Like you said, better than films. Amazing.
posted by vronsky at 6:25 PM on April 3, 2007


It made the NY Times.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:47 PM on April 4, 2007


The Old Grey Lady is a day behind the miss.
Advantage, lynnster.
posted by Dizzy at 7:27 PM on April 4, 2007




1. Holy shit, Mr_Roboto, well-played.

2. I do think that The Sopranos dropped a little bit in quality after the second season. It's still fantastic, and the first half of S6 has me hopeful that it'll go out in a blaze of glory, but jesus, those first two seasons are the most tightly-wound packages I've ever come across on television.

3. Nthing the suggestion for The Singing Detective. My wife brought it home one night, and I was baffled and resentful for the first half hour; by the end, I was convinced that a giant bust of Gambon should be carved into the top of Mount Awesome.

4. Random HBO drama question that's been bugging me: we just finished season 2 of Deadwood. Am I wrong in thinking that the dialog got more stylized in the second season?
posted by COBRA! at 8:49 AM on April 5, 2007


Thanks very much for posting that last clip, vronsky. That's one of my very favorite sequences from The Singing Detective; anyone who likes it should run right out and get the whole thing. And I can't really imagine anyone not liking it.
posted by languagehat at 9:49 AM on April 5, 2007


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