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Sopranos

SPOILERS. (I'm all caught up, including the finale last night.)

Is EVERYONE trying to be Joss with his NFA ending? Because David Chase, you are no Joss. Which isn't to say that I hated it. Thinking more of the abrupt ending is shifting my thoughts, while earlier I threw my hands up and cried HACK. (Note: I've heard rumors that a 2 hour movie is being made. I'm going under the assumption that's all rumor.)

I like that nothing's concrete, that everything is tense and left to the imagination, but I also HATE THAT. Because it left on an incredibly tense note. Is Meadow about to get a bullet in her head? Is AJ going to out psycho Tony? Is that guy on the phone getting confirmation before whacking them all? What about those two guys that came in? Does Pauly Walnuts use fourteen cans of Rave Hairspray to get his skunk wings just so?

Things I loved:
* Tony really seeing Uncle Junior for who he's become.
* Reconfirmation that Janice is her fucking mother. (God, that character gives me CHILLS. Those mobsters think they're scary? Huh. Nobody has nothing on Janice Soprano Baccaleri.
* AJ doing an about face when his parents step in and do for him. (What a prick that kid is. And what a PSYCHO. I mean, CHILLS AGAIN when he was describing the SUV blowing up and his delight in the heat. Hello, Arson.)
* Uncle Junior looking so incredibly frail, and the realization that yeah, he's not faking.
* OH MY GOD PHIL LEOTARDO GETTING HIS HEAD RUN OVER. I had to look away, actually. I don't look away. *shudders*
* The teenager with the hard asses watching and throwing up from the gore. Not so hard, are you, kid? (NO ONE should be that hard, oy.)
* The absolute ramped up fear that permeated the entire episode. (Did anyone else think that the surveillance camera was showing someone coming in with a gun? I re-watched that three times to be sure I didn't see something that wasn't there.)
* The CAT obsessed with Christophuh's picture.
* Paulie's fear of the cat, ahahaha.
* Meadow jumping her dad's shit, "Is that all I said? Is that all I told you?" I love that girl. She should have been used more.
* Carmella's abrupt shutting up when Meadow's friend mentioned how she was in her 2nd year of med school - juuuuuuust what she wanted for her doctor.
* Meadow's awesome comeback to her dad about, "If I hadn't seen those FBI drag you away all those times, I'd probably be some boring suburban doctor." Booyah.
* AJ freaking BEAMING as his car blew up.
* The FBI guy being as dirty (in his own way) as the guys he used to go after.
* How everything went back to normal - Carmella redecorating their hideaway, AJ being babied by his folks, Meadow going about her own goals, the mob still chugging along, no matter who's in charge.


But it just jumping to black like that? Right as the tension is at its tightest? I think honestly, that's hacky. Even though I didn't want Tony whacked (but I kind of did, because it would have been SOMETHING) it would have been cool to see some half-wit mobster pulling - or starting to pull - a gun from his pocket. SOMETHING. There's just TOO many loose threads, and I think it's a bit much. Keep in mind that I loved the ending to Angel and Veronica Mars, even though I was very sad to see both of those shows go (which should go without saying.)

(I was so sad at how Christophuh - I can't say it any other way - died. Freaking brutal. I was so sad at how Bobby died, too. How wonderful was that shot of the speeding train, then it derailing as he feel, filled with lead? I know these aren't in the final ep. Just had to say it.)

I dunno. Maybe I need to start over from the beginning and pick up on some subtleties I've missed. Or maybe I'm right, and he's just trying - in his own way - to rip off Joss. (Did Chase do Deadwood? There was another unsatisfying ending. Gah. I don't want a neat bow, those endings piss me off. I just feel like this is an Alf-level "whoops, it's over." ending.) Thoughts? Comments? Beverages I can share?

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
beer_good_foamy
Jun. 11th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
LJ ate my comment. Grrrrr.

The FBI guy being as dirty (in his own way) as the guys he used to go after.

How fucking great was that scene with him squeeing like a fangirl upon being told of Leotardo's death? That guy has been spending WAY too much time with Tony Soprano.

Anyway, I'm pretty much with you - including NFA comparisons. I'm honestly not sure why; it feels like a very Sopranos ending, it was always the show about mafia bosses doing mafia bossy things and yet having to rake their own lawns and dealing with their kids' grades, yet somehow... there's something missing. Maybe they should have sent the last two eps as a double, the first had the action, the second the family-and-neurosis bit. It's funny, maybe I'm just poisoned by all the standard clichés used by every other TV series, but there's some little part of me that goes "If I want realism and everything-goes-on, I wouldn't need fiction, would I?"

(Did you notice how everyone has trouble parking? Nobody manages to stop and stand still? That's the whole episode; you try to stop, and the car just keeps rolling over people's heads.)

Still, David Chase and his actors created living characters and kept them alive, some more than others, and it would have felt even cheaper to have them all go out in a blaze of glory or tossed in a jail cell like Seinfeld. One of the best TV series ever walks across the finish line, still a lap or two ahead of everyone else. Hat off.

Now for the big 6-season rewatch.
stoney321
Jun. 11th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, man the FBI guy! "We might win this thing!" Uh... which side do you play for? ;)

And yeah - the last shot of Tony on his deck (all the winter imagery was nice, too) raking his leaves, but peering up at the weak son (DUDE) and smiling? That's nice. But still... left me flat.

I love your point about no one being able to stop/park their cars. And I get that with the final images, it just... It's like they were trying to be artsy and it just fell flat for me. But yeah - here we are talking about them, and will be for some time. So they achieved that much with this ending. I still freaking love this show. (And in my opinion, it became a different show when Livia Soprano died. Hoo boy.)
moosesal
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Deadwood is David Milch (behind the new show John from Cincinnati). And it was canceled because of costs. There might be 2 Deadwood movies, but HBO hasn't really confirmed that and with Milch doing this new show, it makes it feel even less likely. The ending sucked because it wasn't really supposed to be the end. *sigh*

Chris and I looked at each other last night and wondered if our satellite had gone out. Seriously, the black screen was just a little too abrupt. We were not amused. I like open-ended, but good grief.

I think my fav thing about AJ and the car situation is when he's getting in his new M3 and talking about the mileage. I figured Mr. "we need to be less dependent on foreign oil" would want a hybrid. *snerk*

As the ending was building I really thought that Tony, Carmella, and AJ were going to get whacked while Meadow was trying to park the car. I like to think of her as the lone survivor. Carmella has really annoyed me this season. I just don't get how they've been writing her -- it's like she's not always all there. Oh well.

And Christopher and the cat was brilliant. And poor Paulie's reaction to the cat.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
Damn that popular name of David... :D

And yeah, we thought the same thing about the black out, and we have satellite! I like open-ended/questioning things, but GOOD HELL. I didn't like that ending at all.

And yeah - I love that he got the M3 BMW. Uh... that's the one with the lowest gas milage and the faster engine. :D What a little shit he is.

Oooh, how Carmella would just get that weird eye thing when she'd look at people? Yeah - the "not all there" thing. Weird. She was becoming a chariacature of her original self. (And I was thinking Meadow would get whacked, which would be the big blow, as she's the most together of the Soprano clan!)

Paulie Walnuts. What a freaking weirdo. And what a freaking great and original character.
alizarin_nyc
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
I'm not a Sopranos fan, but I've followed the general gist of the series and watched my share. I watched last night. I still didn't care about the characters and found their banter banal, which is a typical reaction and not unexpected entirely.

I thought the ending was pretentious.

Everyone at work who is religious about the show thought it was brilliant.

"That was the ending we all deserved," said one.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
I didn't get a pretentious vibe at all. More of a heavy handed director who didn't quite know how to end. Now the ending for Six Feet Under? I classify that one as the very definition of pretentious. (That was... well, I started laughing, and I don't think that was what they had in mind.)

"The ending we all deserved?" Nah. Maybe that yahoo. (heh heh)
alizarin_nyc
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Interesting. I bawled my eyes out at the ending for Six Feet and everyone I know generally thinks of it as the most brilliant thing ever done.

So, A, there's just no accounting for taste and B, probably us New Yorkers are a pretentious bunch ourselves!
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:13 pm (UTC)
"there's just no accounting for taste" Wow. That could easily be read as an insult directed at me. I'm going to ignore that, however.

This post wasn't about 6 Feet Under. This post was about The Sopranos. I don't get why you'd bother to negatively comment when you clearly don't like a show that I clearly DO like. And kind of shit on it (the show that I clearly like.)

...no "kind of" about it, actually. Your initial icon even read "Why Do I Even Bother?" O_O
alizarin_nyc
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
Dude, not at all... we all have different tastes and take away different things from everything we watch/read/engage with. Please don't take my comments in a negative spirit. Not intended to insult at all! [if so, many apologies, indeed.] That's what I like about fandom -- someone could see something and have a completely different reaction from me, which then makes me think differently about it. It opens my mind, if you will.

Everyone at work watched the end scene again this morning on the computer and you know what? I think I like it. I definitely think that something that has us talking about it two days later is meaningful -- it made an impression.

And then there's the New York Post which has page after page of people crying for David Chase to be whacked, and saying that the finale was a "disgrace." Whatever anyone may think, it didn't leave people immune, and isn't that what art is all about?
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, I have no problems with disagreeing, opening things up for discussion, etc. Not at all. But you clearly aren't a fan of the show (according to how you have always found it lacking and therefore didn't watch it) so I don't see why you felt the need to use words that insulted the show when I like it. But I will take the apology, recognize you weren't purposely baiting me, and we can move right on past that.

This is a sore spot for me, as I have routinely gotten comments that like to pooh-pooh things that I clearly am posting about with affection. I just don't understand the need to put something down that others enjoy. Which is why I didn't go to my friends' "6 Feet Under" posts where they went on about how much they loved the show and say that I thought it banal and ridiculous. That would just hurt and inflame them, and to what purpose? My $.02.

But yes, the fact that people are talking and talking about the ending means he at least accomplished what all TV writers/producers want: for the fans to keep on when the credits roll. As a devoted watcher of the show from the beginning, it just left me a little flat with the abruptness, that's all.
alizarin_nyc
Jun. 12th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
The show is complicated and controversial enough that there are many schools of thought on it, and even if I didn't go whole hog on it, I certainly recognized it as "art" and something that raises the bar on TV in general. (And I know Michael Imperioli, so I did see a lot of the series and felt invested.)

For me, I find my own reactions and everyone else's reactions VERY interesting. Otherwise I wouldn't have jumped in to discuss -- I too, hate people who rain on my parade and I'm sorry you've got a sore spot from people doing that to ya! [and shame for my role this time *shamed*]

As for 6FU, I really AM intrigued by your reaction. I was not saying anyone's reaction is good or bad, there's no argument about that, in my mind, which is what I meant by tastes not being able to be easily classified. But rather, it's fascinating. Why does one person cry when another person laughs? Why does one person's favorite character completely annoy another person?

It all depends on where we're coming from and our expectations of things.

What do you think of the theory that David Chase intended the ending to mean that the viewer got whacked? I heard that today.
leighm
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
My perception of the ending is that it has come full circle. Back to the beginning. All of them together and there always being possibilities. Of someone about to whack any of them, of Tony always living this life, of uncertainty.

I would have been upset if they would have killed Tony. I love that fat, bald man. Like seriously:P

AJ is a little twerp. He's weak and really not a whole lot like his father. I think Meadow is more like Tony than AJ could ever be. She has some balls.

I will really miss this show. Oh and the cat staring at the picture? Hilarious how it bothered Paulie like that.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
Oooh, I think we're under-estimating AJ. I mean, we're SUPPOSED to think that, right? But that's what Paulie said about Tony over and over when he was getting started, not to mention how his dad treated him. I wouldn't be surprised to jump ahead 10 years and find out that he's the go to guy for blowing up buses and buildings and shit, you know? Like, seriously twisted and weaselly.

But yeah, I think Meadow is the most like her adult dad as he is when the show starts, but with a more developed sense of ethics and morals. Even if she doesn't always follow them.

Hahahaha, the cat! I may have to rewatch those scenes just to laugh. :D
dlgood
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
It's not just NFA - there was a John Sayles movie - Limbo - that ends on a blank screen just like that.

Actually, I think it's a bit different. In NFA, you have blanks to fill but know they're going to fight a dragon. Chase didn't even give that.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
I don't know that movie! Ill have to get the gist of it - I love learning references like that, it makes the show better.

And I thought I would be understood that this ending WASN'T NFA. Like, Chase maybe admired that type of ending, the "it goes on" ending, but - imo - couldn't pull it off like Joss pulled it off, that's all. But yeah - Chase didn't give us the dragon, the troll with clear intent and a mace in his meaty paw. We just have a trio of goombahs leering, but then, they were in a neighborhood that had a few. How do we know they're not just the type that like Members Only jackets and pimp chains? :D
dlgood
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)
I hear he had a big shocker ending planned, but Suzanne Pleshette was unavailable.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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