The Sopranos

The Bert and Ernie Christmas Special with Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa



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James Gandolfini, Dead at 51

In MemoriumJames Gandolfini was 51. He was the actor who most famously portrayed Tony Soprano on the series "The Sopranos."

When I listed my ten favourite television characters of all-time, Tony Soprano was there. It was a great character on a great show.

tony

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Ambiguous Movie Endings Resolved - Find Out What Happened to Tony Soprano

sopranosThe CollegeHumor.com folks are on a roll. When it comes to original comedic content for the web, they're probably the top dogs right now.

They call this clip "Ambiguous Endings Resolved". The final resolution is of The Sopranos and what happened to Tony Soprano after he looked up in that diner. It validates what I believe to be true.

If you want to read more of my ramblings about The Sopranos, check out http://www.torontomike.com/the_sopranos/.

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Tony Soprano Is Dead

Tony SopranoYou know, I still think about it. Every once in a while I'll revisit the final diner scene from The Sopranos finale in my head. As I wrote when it first aired, at first the episode angered me, then I accepted it and quickly saw its beauty.

I had to watch it a few times to be sure, but I believe Tony Soprano is dead. He was killed by the man in the Member‘s Only Jacket. Coming to this conclusion gave me closure and this definitive explanation of "the end" validates my theory. I highly recommend fellow Sopranos fans give that page a glance.

Bell rings, We cut to a shot of Tony’s face looking up to see who is coming through the door (this shot is about 2 seconds). According to the pattern, we should then see who is coming into the diner from Tony’s POV (this should be Meadow as we see her about to enter the diner a few seconds before the bell rings). Instead, the screen cuts abruptly to black mid-scene (at the exact spot where we should see Meadow from Tony’s POV) and the audio cuts off. All the viewer sees is “blackness” where Tony’s POV should be. This isTony’s POV because he is dead. We no longer hear Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” because Tony no longer hears it. If this was a normal ending we would see a fade to black followed immediately by the credits and we would probably still hear the music. Instead, the blackness and silence lingers for 10 seconds before we see the credits. This emphasizes the blackness, nothingness and eternal nature of death. Chase originally wanted no credits at all and the blackness to last all the way to the HBO logo (this was revealed by David Chase in the Ultimate Sopranos HBO book released in October of 2007). This would further emphasize the eternal nature of death. Tony is dead. He was shot from behind in the right side of his head. How do we know this?

You'll have to read that entry for more. If you want to read more of what I've written about The Sopranos over the years, visit my Sopranos category page.

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Hillary in 2008

politicsI don't get a vote, but if I did I'd vote for Hillary in 2008.

If you want to know why, watch this...

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One Hell of a Journey

tvMy favourite movies and television shows stick with me. Days after I've seen it, I'm still thinking about it. That's a sure sign I enjoyed myself. Once something I've seen bounces around in my head for a while, I'm a happy guy.

On Saturday night I watched The Sopranos series finale again. It's been eight days now since I first saw it, and I'm still thinking about it, formulating theories and gaining new perspective. It's been one hell of a journey.

Immediately after the episode originally aired, I wrote this. I initially felt screwed over, and then I warmed up to the ending. A couple of days later, I wrote this lengthy analysis in which I pronounced my love for the ending. I saw Tony and his family together, I had closure. Then, three days after I wrote that entry, I wrote this entry in which I wondered aloud if Tony was dead. That's a 180° turn on my part, further evidence of David Chase's genius.

After watching the episode again on Saturday, I'm certain Tony is dead. If you've been surfing around and reading analysis, you'll know why. Here's a great write up on the finale I strongly recommend you read, assuming you've seen the episode.

Tony Soprano, rest in peace. Now I have closure.

Cut To Black

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Is Tony Dead?

sopranosI had found peace with The Sopranos finale. I had closure. Tony and his family would live on without me, and I was okay with that. Now, I'm wondering if Tony in fact perished in the finale.

Web sites like this are popping up all over the place. There's a growing belief that it wasn't the lady Tony saw before it all went black, but the beast who would take his life. Many suspect it was the guy wearing the "Members Only" jacket. He went in the bathroom before Meadow entered, and we all know what happens when shifty looking characters come out of the bathroom. The biggest clue, in my opinion, is the flashback to Tony's discussion with Bobby Bacala. "You probably don't even hear it when it happens," Bobby said.

And neither did we.

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Weekly MP3: Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
Prior to Sunday night, I didn't think much of Journey's sappy power ballad "Don't Stop Believin'". The song wasn't in my collection, I had never gone out of my way to hear it and I would never share it as my weekly mp3.

Its prominence in the pivotal closing scene on The Sopranos changed everything for me. Now, when I hear the song, I can see every detail from that scene in my mind. The vibe is now purely positive, and I suspect I'll be a fan of this song forever as a result.

They say music is the soundtrack of our lives. For me, this is especially true. Songs take me back to a different time or place. I'll remember a song that reminds me of a special moment or a traumatic moment or a scene in a good movie or, in this case, my final moments with Tony. It's magic, and it's awesome.

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The Sopranos Series Finale

sopranosI intentionally waited a couple of days before writing this entry. Immediately following The Sopranos series finale on Sunday night I posted this entry which featured the song that played during the pivotal closing scene. In the comments, there was a discussion about the episode and I revealed some of my thoughts. Two days removed, I'm ready to go on the record.

Anger
When the episode cut to black suddenly, with Meadow walking in the door and the word "stop" heard in Jorney's "Don't Stop Believin'", I was ready for the credits to roll, but I wasn't happy about it. I was angry at David Chase, royally ticked that he would do this to us. There was no resolution, no closure, no sense of finality. It was total SNAFU and it will all continue to unravel, only I won't be able to watch. I was disappointed.

Acceptance
About twenty minutes later, I started to come around. To quote a comment I left on that entry at 10:17, "It's not what I was looking for, but it's probably what I needed." Part of what I liked about the Sopranos was that it didn't do things just to do things. It's a well acted, well written show and very difficult to predict. I never knew where we were headed, and I could accept that I'd never know.

Beauty
Two days later, I love the ending. I intend to watch that episode again in its entirety and I'll probably watch that closing scene a half dozen times on demand. Every shifty looking character in that diner had me on the edge of my seat. Every time Meadow hit the curb parking her car, my heart rate increased. This series had me riveted and that final scene was no different. The fact nothing happened is brilliant. Tony never paid for his chosen lifestyle. My boy Paulie Walnuts is still kicking. It is what it is, and why should it be anything else?

I've read theories as to what really happened in that diner. Some claim it's the Lady or the Tiger conclusion. Did Tony look up because he saw Meadow or did he see his killer? I have no doubt he saw Meadow. Tony, his wife and his two children were united for a typical family dinner out. Paulie Walnuts is probably breaking someone's gonads right now. I'm just sorry I can't hear the crack.

The Sopranos, it turns out, was never about mobsters and violence and organized crime. That's the family business, but this show was about Tony and his family. Tony's prime concern was keeping his family together and safe and at the end they're in tact and unified, for better or for worse. Perhaps that is closure...

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Don't Stop Believin'

musicHere's Journey performing "Don't Stop Believin'".

Those who know, know. Those who don't, don't.

Don't stop.

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