6/11/2007



Too bad about The Sopranos. The second part of Season 6 had been almost flawless, with carefully doled out moments of revealing raw emotion and violence arising organically out of the narrative situations. But the finale was an awful disappointment. After jerking our chain for an hour with hints and allusions (the orange and the cat said Godfather to me) and false starts to fill us with dread, after stretching to make banal political points via A.J.'s laughable identity crisis, after squishing Phil Leotardo's head under the wheel of his own vehicle in a move more worthy of splatter films, after cranking the Journey and planting the notion that Meadow might parallel park them all to death, the screen just goes black and the sound cuts out, and that's it for Tony and Carm and Med and A.J. and everyone, dead and alive. Does Tony live or die, does he go to jail? Yeah, one of those. An end but hardly an ending. Not artful but arty, and totally unlike the classic novels to which snooty critics would so often compare the show. The show's comedy is typically darker than black, but now it's at our expense. That's it; like the characters might say, what are you gonna do?

6 comments:

Chuck said...

See I kind of liked the way it ended, and AJ's identity crisis was a little overdone, but even that seemed to work for me. Maybe I bought the hype a little too much. Or maybe I'm (un)consciously resisting the critical consensus on the finale.

zp said...

I was going to post on this, but maybe its just worth a comment - my mother didn't understand why TNY had such a dour summer cover or what said cover depicted.

michael z newman said...

Chuck, it seems like many "sophisticated" critics liked the ending, so I don't know that there is consensus. A day after posting this, I have more sympathy for the viewpoint opposite mine. But I haven't changed my mind or anything.

zp, is it that the Tina B. era is going strong, what with all these pop culture references? Also, I had a HS English teacher who said the point of going to school is to be able to understand the cartoons in the New Yorker. That was the 80s. Now to "get" it school might not cut it if you don't also get HBO.

zp said...

On a related note, I might read that Diana book.

A recent very much back burner issue for me was why does The Queen get a prestige picture and all Di gets is a string of tabloid covers and TV docs and so on . . .

Jason Mittell said...

Mike - I share your disappointment. In fact, ...

Digital Arts and Culture at UWM said...

Professor Newman,
I personally found the choice of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' enthralling, and the cut to black inevitable, pragmatic and pregnant with he narrative that Tony Soprano survives, but as a paranoid adrenaliniac.
More like, too bad about Phil Leotardo. What are you going to do?
Forget about it.