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  • The Sopranos – Does it get better?
  • Premier Icon dawson
    Full Member

    It’s a series I missed when it was first shown, so have started watching it.

    Currently part way through the second series, but can’t say that it’s really grabbing me.

    Does it get better?

    For reference, I watched all of The Wire before starting with The Sopranos.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    You lasted a whole series longer than me!

    Premier Icon jambourgie
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    I think it’s one of the best. Part of the holy trinity: Sopranos/Breaking Bad/The Wire.

    Premier Icon montylikesbeer
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    It’s phenomenal, stick with it it’s a journey and a half

    Premier Icon DezB
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    Why stick with it if you don’t like it? Not that there’s not a massive choice these days. Just watch something else.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
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    It’s utterly fantastic from start to finish

    If you’re not loving it by now then it’s probably not for you. It’s very consistent throughout so don’t expect much to change

    Premier Icon fasthaggis
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    I think my attention span has changed, I seem to give up on more TV just now and find myself stop starting lots of box sets rather than giving things time to develop.

    I loved the Sopranos and the characters, but at the time I watched it there wasn’t so much around so probably stuck through the flat episodes. Breaking Bad was the same, there were times when it was hard to stick with it,but as a complete series I ended up enjoying it a lot.

    Premier Icon sc-xc
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    I’m yet to watch sopranos. I’ve tried watching the wire 3 times but not managed to stay the course, funny, because breaking bad got me straight away.

    Premier Icon dawson
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    Hmm, as you say if I’m not into it by now it’s probably not for me.

    Premier Icon monkfish
    Free Member

    I’ve watched the first series, I don’t know how many times and never got any further. I want to like it but it never quite hooks me in. Whereas the wire I went from start to finish without skipping a beat.

    Horses for courses I guess.

    Premier Icon boxwithawindow
    Free Member

    Best series ever.

    Premier Icon grum
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    I really struggled with breaking bad I think around series 2-3 but I’m glad I persevered. I’d say it’s worth it with The Sopranos too.

    Premier Icon IHN
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    It’s the best thing I have ever watched on television, in fact it’s pretty much ruined telly for me as nothing has ever been as good. Have watched it through twice, with about a six year gap in between, loved it both times.

    Saying that, if you’re halfway through the second series and it’s not got you, it’s unlikely to.

    The Wire is a close second. Could watch that a second time too.

    Breaking Bad was good, but not great.

    Premier Icon shortbread_fanylion
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    Yep, deffo part of the Holy Trinity of TV dramas. Breaking Bad is definitely third for me and I flip between the Sopranos and the Wire as one and two.

    Premier Icon perchypanther
    Free Member

    I tried to watch through the Sopranos twice and just couldn’t get in to it. It was too slow, too violent and had too much unnecessary swearing.

    Tried it for a third time and was completely hooked in. One of the best tv series ever

    Maybe you’re just not ready yet?

    Premier Icon Pigface
    Free Member

    Loved it, great characters and you can’t help rooting for Tony even though he is a vile human.

    Same with the Wire

    Couldn’t get into Breaking Bad, won’t force it, the time may yet come.

    Premier Icon Merak
    Free Member

    That series when he’s in the hospital is poor in comparison to the rest. Loses its way somewhat.

    Strong finish though.

    Premier Icon carbonfiend
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    The greatest TV programme ever. The character development and story line depth has yet to be equaled never mind bettered IMHO. Must have watched the entire series 5 plus times and now just on the last episodes of season 6 and still finding nuggets that I missed all the previous times. The dark humour is so good and the violence is utterly brutal at times portraying the shocking ruthlessness of the character’s.
    All the other classic TV shows of recent times are excellent but none of them had James Gandolfini.
    For those that know – Pine Barrens 😂

    Premier Icon locomotive
    Full Member

    I remember struggling to engage with the early seasons of Sopranos, then became hooked. I recall thinking it was too focused on Tony bickering with his Mum at the start, once she was out the picture it was much better*

    (* Its **** obvious thats coming eh?…so hope thats not a spoiler)

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
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    I’ve recommended it before, but the Talking Sopranos podcast is absolutely fantastic. Hosted by Steve Schrippa (Bobby Baccala) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti)

    They go through each episode, have guests on that started in it, wrote it, directed it etc. The amount of subtlety in the show is quite staggering and they share so many insights about making it.

    Premier Icon derek_starship
    Free Member

    I watched the 1st ep of breaking bad and killed it.

    Premier Icon b33k34
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    Breaking Bad is definitely third for me and I flip between the Sopranos and the Wire as one and two.

    Likewise. Also really enjoyed David Simon’s Treme and The Deuce.

    theres a film prequel of the Soprano’s due this year starring James Gandolfini’s son as young Tony.

    Premier Icon PiknMix
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    I watched it in the first lockdown and was massively underwhelmed. I just don’t think it’s aged well.

    That said I thought the wire and breaking bad were equally as bad so I guess those genres just aren’t my thing.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    I recall thinking it was too focused on Tony bickering with his Mum at the start, once she was out the picture it was much better*

    I thought his relationship with his mother was one of the highlights of the whole thing. She was an amazing character, played brilliantly (not that she was alone in that, they pretty much all were)

    For those that know – Pine Barrens

    For those that know – “You again, with the rape of the culture” 🙂

    Premier Icon MSP
    Free Member

    I loved it when first released. Bought the complete box set on itunes a couple of years ago and haven’t been motivated to plough through much of it.

    I think it was ground breaking at the time, that and the west wing really raised the game for television to compete with movies for big budget quality. But many of the themes and characterisations have been repeated and done to death since that it just feels old and nothing special anymore.

    The wire took me a few episodes to get into, and while well done it is the pacing that really makes it stand out, The acting, dialogue and characterisations are good but not great, it would have just been an average cop show, but the pacing of the plot was exceptional and just left you wanting to find out what happened in the next episode every time.

    Breaking bad I never liked and only managed a few episodes.

    Premier Icon johnners
    Free Member

    Currently part way through the second series, but can’t say that it’s really grabbing me

    The Sopranos is pretty consistent all the way through so if you aren’t into it by now it’s maybe not for you.

    “Pine Barrens” makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

    The wire took me a few episodes to get into, and while well done it is the pacing that really makes it stand out, The acting, dialogue and characterisations are good but not great

    The dialogue is the most outstanding thing about The Wire. Next you’ll be saying you don’t think the dialogue in Deadwood is up to much!

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    I watched it when it first came out. It redefined TV, led to numerous inferior copycats of the tormented antihero genre. Amazing cast, great dialogue. If you aren’t into it, then you aren’t into it, but it really was groundbreaking. It goes top of my list for greatest TV shows ever because it did it first. The Wire was generally excellent, season 4 was probably the best season of TV ever, but season 5 was a bit lazy and cliched and season 2 was a bit slow.

    Tony Soprano’s mother was an amazing character, you start off feeling sorry for her because she’s a demented old lady, then you realize what a monster she is.

    My favorite line from the whole show, Quasimodo:

    Also the “stigmata” line

    Plus, Pauli’s ranting about wet shoe laces.

    Premier Icon carbonfiend
    Free Member

    @IHN Yeah indeed – Tonys relationship to his mum is central to the whole of the series. I think this is where people might struggle with The Sopranos as opposed to other TV dramas where in the loosest sense ‘action’ is the attraction. The Sopranos is the story of a hugely dysfunctional family that happen to be mafia and how they justify and cope with all its aspects on day to day basis. How this is crafted by David Chase & the writers is genius. So many lines.
    “..from beyond the grave…”😳😂

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    I wonder if it seemed so great at the time because there was nothing else like it, and … most importantly… you had to wait A WEEK! before the next episode came around..!
    Then you’d get that anticipated “scratch” noise at the end of Got Maself a Gunnn and away, back into the mafioso world. It just ain’t the same watching one after the other, skipping over the theme music..
    I wouldn’t consider Breaking Bad in the same class. It was ok, but just a whole bunch of silliness in comparison. Only got round to watching BB during the first lockdown, out of boredom.
    Only thing that sticks in my mind was how bad the episode chasing a fly around the lab was. 😆

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
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    Tony Soprano’s mother was an amazing character, you start off feeling sorry for her because she’s a demented old lady, then you realize what a monster she is.

    How this is crafted by David Chase & the writers is genius

    SPOILER ALERT: David Chase’s mother was an absolute nightmare, and he created The Sopranos because of this.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    Currently part way through the second series, but can’t say that it’s really grabbing me

    The Sopranos is pretty consistent all the way through so if you aren’t into it by now it’s maybe not for you.

    Agreed, there’s no point dragging yourself through 90 hours of TV if it’s not for you, just because it’s popular.

    I personally love it, it’s not quite in the same league as The Wire for me, but I must have watched it through, 4-5 times. I don’t want to sound like a Hipster, but I actually watched it the first time on VHS, buying a tape at a time (2 eps on each) because they were only showing it in the early hours on some mad Sky channel at the time.

    It’s easier now, lots of TV is like this but back in the day (I can’t believe it’s more than 20 years old now) it was hard to really fathom, there’s no one to cheer for. Tony is a murdering, petty, nasty psychopath. His Wife, who is probably the most evil person in the whole series, seems nice at first, but you soon realise she’s a complete narcist. His kids are horrible, the most decent people are probably his crew, at least they’re mostly honest about their horribleness.

    It’s more realistic than most TV, no one is 100% good, and no one is 100% bad. Even the worst characters occasionally get a few moments of being decent.

    Even now, 20 years and 5 rewatches in, when I put an episode on there’s always a detail I missed (or maybe forgot).

    I’m looking forward to the Prequal Film, whenever it comes.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    So many lines.

    “Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this”

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    His Wife, who is probably the most evil person in the whole series, seems nice at first, but you soon realise she’s a complete narcist.

    Whaaaat?!

    His kids are horrible,

    Eh?!

    There you go, complex characters that can be read differently by different people

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    The dialogue is the most outstanding thing about The Wire

    It’s certainly one thing about the Wire I love, I love it because it’s hard to watch.

    It’s not like most TV when a character has to awkwardly explain to another what a re-up is, or a gel cap, or why in Balitmore someone is “a police” or if they’re really good “natural Police” in fact, it’s more like “Po-lease”.

    It’s minute one of episode one, with McNualty talking to Peanut about how “they’d didn’t have to do him like that” as he caulks off Snot-Boogie because he got clapped for grabbing up the ground pot. It takes about 3 episodes to work out wtf he said in the first one, and that’s only after you get an ear for the accent.

    Premier Icon supernova
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    I loved the Sopranos but The Wire is off the scale better, truly a modern epic.

    The bit where the kid goes off with the smack head horse people, the bit where the girl gangster asks if her hair looks good before being killed, the death of Omar, even the very end when Marlow realises he can’t escape his violent tendencies though he’s now rich. Wonderful.

    Premier Icon carbonfiend
    Free Member

    I can highly recommend Donald Glovers ‘Atlanta’ think it’s back on iplayer. For me this is now second to The Sopranos as I’ve rewatched it numerous times and as with The Sopranos ‘the action’ is in the writing, characters and its breathed of context & nuance. Its also very funny but deeply moving & poignant.

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    McDrunky from The Wire

    Drunk Bunk

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    His Wife, who is probably the most evil person in the whole series, seems nice at first, but you soon realise she’s a complete narcist.

    Whaaaat?!

    Yup, 😉 this is not a stance I’ve taken lightly or come to quickly.

    My problem with her is she believes she’s an innocent, the old “butter wouldn’t melt act” as my Mum would say, as she lives in her ghastly plastic palace.

    As the series progresses, we learn she’s not as innocent as she’d like to think, it’s subtle as first, but it’s clear when Tony is forced to explain to her that someone has been killed, it’s not a new thing, it’s a shock, but it only takes her a few moments for her to rationalise it as she’s done many times before.

    Within a few series we learn she knows it’s all paid for with theft, extorsion and murder, but she chooses to live in denial. If that was it, she probably wouldn’t make the top 10 of Evil in the Sopranos, but she’s much worse than that. She’s a good Church going Christian, until the moment some small inconvenience comes her way, when she’s more than willing to ask, in fact nag and force Tony to use his influence to lean on someone to get her way, knowing that it could, in fact will likely mean violence and even murder.

    She enjoys the odd pity party now and again, she cries about Tony and “where he gets his money” as if she doesn’t know, but she does, but it’s only ever after she’s been embarrassed by his infidelity, which she’s accepting of, unless it embarrasses her socially and they separate for a time, but she’s unwilling to give up the material gains from all the violence and murder.

    The one time she speaks to someone outside of her social bubble, who all are accepting of violence criminal acts, if with a heavy dose of denial (I include their usual Priest) an African-American Priest who explains that whilst Divorce is a sin, it’s a greater sin to continue to live with a Violent Criminal and benefit from his evil, and she should not only divorce him, but free herself from the trappings of that life as she has blood on her hands, she quickly snaps out of it, and takes Tony back. Tony’s apologies come with very expensive stolen jewels which she loves and a new Porsche 4×4, which she can’t wait to clumsily show of to someone she usually doesn’t socialise with, because her Husband, who was senior to Tony has been arrested and they’re in a Legal and Financial crisis.

    The efforts of the entire Sopranos crew are focuses towards giving money to Tony, Carmella benefits the most from, from most of the evil acts that happen in the series, but she claims to be innocent. She’s got as much blood on her hands as Tony, but she’s also a hypocrite.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    I loved the Sopranos but The Wire is off the scale better, truly a modern epic.

    The bit where the kid goes off with the smack head horse people, the bit where the girl gangster asks if her hair looks good before being killed, the death of Omar, even the very end when Marlow realises he can’t escape his violent tendencies though he’s now rich. Wonderful.

    Yep, it was especially hard seeing Dookie’s demise, he was an innocent, a smart kid with a Junkie mother. I liked the episode when he tries to get a straight job, but the former Corner Kid / Banger, has to explain he’s took young to work in a Sneaker Shop, so he’ll have to keep selling Heroin for a few more years until he’s old enough to get a legal job. You can tell he’s going to be the next Bubbles whilst he mate Mike is going to be the next Omar.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    the most decent people are probably his crew

    what like the guy who is a bit short on dosh, so raids his mother’s elderly friend’s under-the-mattress stash, only she comes home unexpectedly so gets strangled to death and then he jauntily saunters out with the cash? 🤣

    Agree the mum/kids are horrible people, not unexpected though given what they’re exposed to even if they started out decent. Made the show really interesting as there’s definite character progression (even if it’s all bad!) Don’t think there’s a single uncorrupted character by the end… didn’t even the FBI guy end up doing Tony a favour?!

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