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August 12, 2014
[tv] The 1979 “Rockford Files” Episode that Inspired “The Sopranos” … David Chase was trying out characters and situations used in the Sopranos twenty years prior to the start of the series … ‘In Just a Coupla Guys, Tony the mob boss (Antony Ponzini) is a doting father who also happens to be a killer. Anthony Jr. (Doug Tobey) is a good kid acting up to get his dad’s attention. Jean (Jennifer Rhodes) is the long-suffering mob wife, trapped in a suburban mansion. And Mr. Lombard (Gilbert Green), is an aging former boss who may or may not have lost his marbles. There’s even a Catholic priest (Arch Johnson), although he’s nowhere near as attractive as Father Phil, the clergyman who caught Carmela Soprano’s eye.’
June 24, 2013
[tv] Clive James on The Sopranos‘The abiding complexity of Tony’s character lies in the way he must bring into balance two different considerations. Outside the house, his powers are unlimited. Inside it, he can affect the behaviour of others only to a certain extent, because they know he won’t kill them. Vivid as it is, this is a real conflict, genuinely subtle and complicated, continually surprising. Tony’s wife, Carmela, and his children A. J. and Meadow, are for ever cutting down to size the very man who would take a long knife to them if they were not his property.’
June 21, 2013
[people] James Gandolfini, 1961-2013 … David Remnick remembers James Gandolfini …

Gandolfini was the focal point of “The Sopranos,” the incendiary, sybaritic neurotic who must play the Godfather at home and at the Bada Bing but knows that everything—his family, his racket, his way of life—is collapsing all around him.

As the seasons passed, Gandolfini gained weight at an alarming pace. His death, at the age of fifty-one, in Italy, does not come entirely as a shock. But that makes it no less a loss. Gandolfini was not a fantastically varied actor. He played within a certain range. Like Jackie Gleason, he’ll be remembered for a particular role, and a particular kind of role, but there is no underestimating his devotion to the part of a lifetime that was given to him. In the dozens of hours he had on the screen, he made Tony Soprano—lovable, repulsive, cunning, ignorant, brutal—more ruthlessly alive than any character we’ve ever encountered in television.

April 17, 2008
[tv] Every Single Sopranos Death … absolute bloody mayhem (contains serious spoilers) … (more…)
September 6, 2007
[sopranos] 9 Minute Sopranos — a complete amusing summary of all seven seasons of the Sopranos. ‘…if you’re lucky, you’ll remember the little moments like this …that were good.’
June 17, 2007
[tv] Everything I Know About Design I Learned from The Sopranos … ‘On the unintended consequences of technology: “It sounds to me like Anthony Jr. may have stumbled onto existentialism.” “Fucking internet.”‘
April 2, 2007
[sopranos] 7 Minute Sopranos — brilliantly done summary of six seasons of the Sopranos … Christmas with the Sopranos: ‘Tony and Carm are racist. A.J. resents his Dad. Carm is pissed at her Dad. Bacala’s kids hate Janice. Tony is pissed at Chris for banging that Chick. Meadow’s moved to California and Chris is back on heroin.’ [via Metafilter]
March 28, 2007
[tv] Farewell Tony, a modern Everyman — Preview of the Last Series of the Sopranos … ‘Unlike most crime boss anti-heroes, Tony Soprano has vulnerabilities. The first episode of the pilot for the series, made two years before the show was picked up by HBO, opens with Tony staring at a statue of a naked woman. He is sitting in the psychiatrist’s waiting room, where he has come for his first session following his collapse from a panic attack. The tone for the 77 episodes that have followed was set: Tony was a modern wise guy, shackled by the responsibilities of both families, and caught at home between the demands of mother, wife, mistress and shrink.’
September 1, 2006
[tv] E4 Sopranos Ad on YouTube — a nicely done parody of the opening credits of the Sopranos. [via Tom]
August 31, 2006
[tv] Till Death Do Us Part — the Guardian takes a look at the Sopranos as Season 6 begins in the UK … ‘Many fan pages in cyberspace claim Chase has planted within the drama a systematic symbolism involving food. These web-heads note that when a character eats or breaks eggs, death almost always follows: Tony, for instance, accidentally steps on a carton just before ordering the murder of his cousin. Chase, when I interviewed him recently, insisted that these people were talking out of a hen’s behind: there is no intentional omelette sub-plot. Dr Melfi, however, would perhaps conclude that all this egg stuff is welling up for some reason from Chase’s subconscious.’
May 21, 2005
[tv] Gandolfini’s temper is nothing like Tony Soprano’s — update on Series Six of the Sopranos … ‘One major character that could bite the bullet is Tony Soprano’s wife, Carmela, played by Edie Falco. Though the two feuded considerably in the last season, Falco doesn’t see it happening. “That would be unlikely,” she says. “Who would cook?”‘
March 8, 2004
[tv] Married to the Mob — preview of Sopranos Series 5. ‘…if season five has an overall design, it is that of things falling apart, and there is every indication, particularly as episode four draws to a close — on a devastating shot of Carmela entering the house that has become the most iconic television manor since Southfork — that Chase will now tackle the subjects of separation and perhaps divorce with the same uncommon understanding he brought, in previous seasons, to our collective fear of psychiatry, the perils of raising children and the long shadows cast by parents. Where this will all lead is anybody’s guess.’
October 26, 2001
[search requests] People keep visiting via Google searching for this — so here you go…

The Sopranos... Just tell us where bin-Laden is and fuhgedaboudit...

October 17, 2001
[tv] Edie Does It — William Leith interviews Edie Falco (Carmela from the Sopranos). ‘If you haven’t seen The Sopranos yet, you should. Filming is about to begin on the fourth series and the third will air on Channel 4 in November. How good is it? Well, the New Yorker magazine recently reported a conversation between two real-life mobsters who were being bugged in just the sort of police operation you see in The Sopranos. One mobster says, ‘What’s this Sopranos? Is that supposed to be us?’ The other replies, ‘What characters. Great acting.’ ‘
August 27, 2001
[distraction] Tony Soprano Soundboard — flash soundboard with soundclips … ‘Two years ago I thought RICO was a relative of his.’ — Dr. Melfi.
June 18, 2001
[tv] The King of New York — Interview with Michael Imperioli (Christopher from The Sopranos). ‘…amid the plaudits heaped on the cast’s shoulders, it’s Imperioli’s performances that have provided many of the show’s greatest moments. Sure, James Gandolfini’s Tony may be The Sopranos’ (a)moral centre: but it’s Moltisanti, with his neuroses and screenwriting aspirations who’s walked the most dizzying tightropes, his development littered with audacious segues from the hilarious (greeting Martin Scorsese with the words “Kundun – I liked it!”) to the just plain brutal.’
May 19, 2001
[tv] Tony Soprano’s female trouble — excellent profile from Salon of The Sopranos. ‘If you haven’t seen “The Sopranos,” which this Sunday will conclude its third season, you’re missing something extraordinary. It’s arguably the cleverest and most entertaining extended drama that’s ever been on TV. Tony is expertly played with a gruff masculinity by Gandolfini; his emotionally and morally compromised wife, Carmela, is done to a ruined turn by the infinitely expressive Edie Falco; mother Livia, now departed with the death of actress Nancy Marchand, exhibited oceans of pain and scorn in a massive, equine face; proud and bitter Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese), forced to cede power to his nephew Tony, is a study in aging gracelessly.’
April 23, 2001
[tv] My Mobster Days Are Over — interview with James Gandolfini from The Sopranos. ‘Although the Soprano family is a fictional one, its doings are closely monitored by its non-fiction counterparts, who do not hesitate to pass their verdicts on the show and let the actors know if their behaviour does not ring true. “I talk to some gentlemen who have friends who are these poeple and most of them enjoy the show,” says Gandolfini. “They get a good laugh out of it, although once when I wore shorts in a barbecue scene it was relayed to me that it was not something these gentlemen would do, even at a barbecue.”‘
March 17, 2001
[tv] Mob Rules. Interview with Sopranos creator David Chase. ‘The one big problem with a TV series — and let’s take The Sopranos out of it, because one hopes this doesn’t apply to it — is that the leads of a TV series aren’t going to die. They just aren’t. And they’re certainly not going to die after the fifth week. So once life and death is taken out of a story about life, how pressing is it? In our lives, there’s life and death all the time. We’re afraid we’re going to get sick, we’re afraid we’re going to get hit by a bus, or someone we love is going to die. But in television that fear doesn’t exist, so the whole thing becomes rather . . . uninvolving. You have cops running around getting shot at, but by and large you know that these cops are not going to get killed.’ [via Guardian Weblog]
March 15, 2001
[tv] The Sopranos – easily the best thing on TV at the moment…. ‘Uncle June and I, we had our problems, with the business. But I never should’ve razzed him about eating pussy; this whole war could’ve been averted. Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.’ — Tony Soprano. [Related Link: Ray Liotta Turned Down ‘Sopranos’]
March 12, 2001
[tv] Tony Soprano must die. Another interesting profile of the next season of The Sopranos. ‘There’s more symmetry in the resemblances between the Feds and the wise guys: each have their rituals, their uniforms, their beer guts, their professional argots, their codes of masculinity and their fatal delusions. And both value systems, Chase suggests, are equally full of shit, with Tony whacking whoever needs to be whacked and the FBI breaking the very laws they’ve sworn to uphold in order to nail their man. Their crudity and invasiveness very nearly puts us on Tony’s side.’
February 28, 2001
[tv] Sympathy for the (Jersey) Devil. Salon looks at the start of the third series of The Sopranos… ‘…the first season’s cunning plot architecture rested on the clash between Tony’s patriarchal mob world and his matriarchal family world. At work, Tony was a virile thug; with women, he was soft. His mother pushed his buttons, Carmela nagged him to be a modern, sensitive father and Melfi forced him to get in touch with his freakin’ feelings.’
December 31, 2000
[watching] The Sopranos ‘Unlike Francis Coppola’s operatic dramatisation of Mario Puzo’s Godfather epic, The Sopranos sustains a poignant, even mundane, intimacy in its focus on Tony, brought to vivid life by James Gandolfini’s mercurial performance. Alternatively seductive, exasperated, fearful, and murderous, Gandolfini is utterly convincing even when executing brutal shifts between domestic comedy and dramatic violence. Both he and the superb team of Italian-American actors recruited as his loyal (and, sometimes, not-so-loyal) henchman and their various “associates” make this mob as credible as the evocative Bronx and New Jersey locations where the episodes were filmed.’ [Related Links: Official Sopranos Site]
October 17, 2000
[movies] Guardian Unlimited profiles Peter Bogdanovich. ‘[…]only time seemed to separate him from legendary status in Hollywood. But then he fell. “I felt that by the mid-70s I’d blown it,” says Bogdanovich, now 61, sitting in a deserted Thai restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “William Friedkin had blown it, Robert Altman went into eclipse, one flop after another, Coppola went crazy, even Raging Bull didn’t do any business. Everybody kind of blew it in varying shapes and sizes.” ‘ [Related Links: Bogdanovitch at IMDB, Sopranos Web Site]