I watched the Sopranos episode by weekly episode as it came out. I’ve rewatched it at least twice since. All of it. I still marvel that Melfi only figured out Tony was a psychopath in the next to last episode. After the first viewing I’d thought it was much earlier. But the joke was on all of us, wasn’t it? That we watched, enthralled, as this evil man committed murders and so many other crimes. It was definitely foreshadowing for our current state of affairs where we have over 700,000 dead and yet we watch as ‘influencers’, themselves vaccinated, question the vaccine to their followers so they can gain profit and influence. The power of the psychopath should never be under-estimated.
Prequels are harder than sequels. Because in a prequel, we know what’s ahead. I enjoyed the Deadwood sequel. It tied up a lot of loose ends, particularly giving the antagonist his come-uppance. But a prequel? It has to reveal some truly insightful and shocking things. Unfortunately, The Many Saints of Newark reveals little we didn’t already know.
In fact, watching actors imitate their future characters was irritating. It must be difficult for an actor to act an actor rather than a character. You could really see them trying to pull it off, which made it very, very uncomfortable to watch as you remember the original.
We saw the relationship between Tony and his mother, which we already knew, sucked. Hell, she tried to have him wacked. We saw baby Christopher scream when teenage Tony wanted to hold him and the wise, old Italian woman prophesizing that babies can see the other side or some other BS; we know Tony kills Christopher later. Even the Christopher voice-over tells us that. Duh.
They tried layering on the race riots and a black power movement but it didn’t go very far, nor was it particularly insightful. Yes, there are criminals of all persuasions.
The only revelation was who killed Dickie Moltisanti and really, who cares? Tony didn’t know in the series, but used the mystery to get Christopher to kill someone else.
I’m from the Bronx and my sisters still have the accent. I’ve been told my accent is sort of Bronx-Southern since I left at 17 and roomed with guys in the military who were from the south. But the Jersey accent these people are using? Gimme a break.
As you can see from the poster for the show the big hook was supposed to be: Who Made Tony Soprano? Well, David Chase did. The reality? He was born from bad genes, had a father who went to prison, a mother who was borderline, and a man who was a murderous psychopath as his mentor.
Oh yeah. There is also a literal TOO DUMB TO LIVE moment when Moltisanti’s goombah (sp?) reveals something to him on the beach. They share a very happy moment and she gets what she wants (a beauty parlor– hey, it’s Jersey) and she then feels compelled to tell him something. It is perhaps, one of the stupidest moments in television history.
The popularity of The Sopranos impelled me to watch this, but that well is now dry. Let’s not try this again, shall we?