The Sopranos

How To End A Beloved Series

tvJune 10th has been circled on my calendar for a while and now that date has arrived. Tonight I'll be watching the series finale of "The Sopranos".

Series finales can be tricky. Expectations are often pretty high and everyone's looking for some type of closure. The last time I said goodbye to a show I loved, it was "Six Feet Under" and their final 6:48 left me feeling totally fulfilled. Click that link to watch it.

I hope David Chase was up to the challenge. I hope I'm not left bitter and disappointed after tonight's episode. I hope it's great.

Everyone's waiting...

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The Great Wait For Tony S.

sopranosFor fun, I just read all the entries I wrote three years ago. What caught my eye was this entry about The Sopranos I wrote on June 6, 2004.

The Sopranos
Published June 6, 2004 @ 21:58 in Television

The SopranosI just finished watching the season five finale of The Sopranos. Another brilliant episode of one of my favourite television programs and things are set up very nicely for their final season.

I know a lot of people who read this site haven't seen the finale yet and don't want me to spoil it for them so I'll just say a couple of lingering issues were tied up tonight. It was once again television that's far too good for tv.

What frustrates me the most is the length of time I now must wait before I can view another new episode. The delay between season 4 and 5 was well over a year and it looks like we're in for a similar delay before season 6. Hell, Michelle will be walking before I see Tony again. Marron!

Go ahead and read it again, I'll pause for effect. Three years ago I was writing about how there was one season to go on The Sopranos. I jokingly stated that Michelle would be walking by the time this was settled. At the time, she wasn't even born yet. And walking? She's practically driving.

They managed to wait a couple of years to air this final season, and then they broke this season up so we're only finishing it this week. That's three whole years between season finales.

I've been thoroughly enjoying the series for years, but the waits were long, brutal and inhumane. After Sunday I'll never have to face another two year wait. Tony Soprano will either be wearing cement shoes, in the witness relocation program or laying low in Woodbridge. I'm done waiting. Three more sleeps...

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And Then, There Was One

sopranosAwesome Sopranos episode tonight... damn I'm going to miss this series.

Next Sunday at 9pm I'm unplugging all the phones and boarding up the windows. The end is here and there's no telling which way the wind is blowing.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end.

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Two More Nights of Paulie Walnuts

sopranosWe were treated to another strong episode last night, which leaves us with two more in the series. I have no idea how this is going to end, but I'd bet it ends badly for Tony. I'll miss Tony, but not like I'll miss Peter Paul Gualtieri.

Peter Paul Gualtieri, or Paulie Walnuts as we know him, is my favourite character on The Sopranos. Ask Taryn how much I cherish every word he utters. That delivery, those words, that persona - it's perfect. It's a shame I only get to spend two more nights with the man, assuming he survives for the finale on June 10.

A fan put together a little "Best of Paulie Walnuts" video, which seems appropriate at this time. He's one hell of a good Waste Management Executive.

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Tony Plays Monopoly

sopranosThe Sopranos is half way done their final season. It's the home stretch with but four episodes remaining. As a long time fan, I must say I've been disappointed thus far this season.

Everything that transpires seems to be a set-up or a red herring. There's little excitement, just build up to what better be one helluva final episode. The inactivity has gotten so bad, I give the episodes Dick and Jane type names after each airing.

These aren't really spoilers, but if you're sensitive about such things you might want to abort. There was "Tony Plays Monopoly", "Tony Watches a Movie", "Tony Goes Fishing" and last night's ep, "Tony Gambles on Sports and Loses". It's a whole lotta nothing from what used to be the best show on television.

There isn't much time. This had better end with a significant corpse, or two. I'm not a violent man, but if Tony, Christopher, Silvio and Paulie Walnuts are all breathing when this thing ends, I'm gonna be pissed.

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Born Under A Bad Sign With A Blue Moon In Your Eyes

sopranosNext Sunday is the beginning of the end. Last March I wrote about the two year wait for new episodes of The Sopranos, but we only got 12 of the final 20. Next Sunday we start the last eight episodes of this fabulous series.

I recently ranked it #3 on my list of favourite television shows of all time. I've seen every episode that has aired, but many of you might need a refresher course before Sunday. If that's you, or if you just want to view a cool seven minute recap of the first six seasons, watch this.

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Surveying the Television Landscape

tvI don't watch a lot of television. I watch every Leaf game and any decent flicks that make their way to TMN, but not a lot of television proper. A couple of shows I do watch, "Rescue Me" and "Weeds", concluded their seasons this month leaving me with "Dexter", "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", "The Office" and my 90 minute block of toons on Sunday night. Yes, I even watch "American Dad" and I dig it.

There are a couple of shows I love that are currently on hiatus, so I hit Wikipedia to learn when I'd see them next. The final eight episodes of "The Sopranos" will air in March. That's a show that isn't afraid to make you wait because they know you will, cocky bastards. The sixth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will air sometime in 2007, but that's as specific as HBO will get.

Leaf games, documentaries, movies and the six shows I do watch will tide me over until then. It's always a good idea to survey the television landscape now and then.

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Woke Up This Morning...

SopranosIt's been over two years since I celebrated the return of Tony Soprano. In that entry, I had the audacity to complain that it had been over a full year since I last saw a new episode of "The Sopranos". In July of 2004, I got the bad news. HBO had confirmed we'd have to wait until 2006 to see another new episode.

Here we are in March 2006 and guess what's on TMN tonight? It couldn't come at a better time because I'm itching for some quality television. "Six Feet Under" is finito, as is "Arrested Development", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" wrapped up their season in the fall, as did "Rescue Me" and "Weeds", there's a definite void here that needs to be filled.

Here's the deal fellow fans. This season will run for twelve episodes, followed by an eight-month hiatus. Then, we'll see the final eight episodes putting the grand finale in March 2007.

Reviews of the first four episodes are outstanding. Col tempo la foglia di gelso diventa seta.

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My Ten Favourite TV Shows of All-Time

TVTelevision shows seemed better when I was a kid. After school, I could become immersed in crap like "The Facts of Life", "Who's The Boss?", "Growing Pains" or "Silver Spoons". Then, there were old-school favourites like "The Dukes of Hazzard", "WKRP in Cincinnati", "Three's Company", "Night Court" and "The A-Team".

Over time, as one ages and matures, sit-coms lose their allure and formulaic dramas lose their zest. Shows you really, really like grow fewer and far between. Your newly defined list of your ten favourite television programs rarely changes.

Here is my current top ten:

  1. The Simpsons
  2. Six Feet Under
  3. The Sopranos
  4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  5. Oz
  6. Seinfeld
  7. The Larry Sanders Show
  8. Kids in the Hall
  9. Arrested Development
  10. The Family Guy

Agree or disagree, just keep in mind how completely subjective this practice is.

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Bonus Eight

TVDavid Chase has more to say than he can fit into 12 episodes. The result is a bonus eight pack for fans of "The Sopranos". In March we'll get a season of twelve and then the final eight in January 2007.

With "Six Feet Under" a couple of episodes from the grave, it's great to squeeze another eight out of Tony and the gang. Ba-da-bing!

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