The Sopranos

Crusaders

Moderator
Been watching it for a few weeks now, two season left.

A lot of people rate it as the best show ever, so I decided to give it a watch. I've got about two seasons left. Honestly, while it is definitely one of the top shows I've ever watched, I think its hype is due to its time and subject matter. People love gangsters and a well done drama about gangsters was always going to be a pretty big hit, plus TV like this just didn't really exist in 1999 like it does today. You could argue this show is one of the main reasons TV has become what it is, and I would probably agree. However, comparing its writing, dialogue, storytelling, etc. to other shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, early seasons of Dexter, Six Feet Under, even House of Cards and Boardwalk Empire, I simply don't think it matches up.

My biggest complaint is probably how the show almost constantly brings up conflicts and then quickly pushes them out and ignores them. The biggest one, for me, and this will be a spoiler of sorts, involved the Russians. The Sopranos probably should have been caught in a pretty brutal conflict there, but it just simply disappeared only to be briefly mentioned in passing like 2 seasons later as part of a story conversation between characters. There are multiple times where a huge conflict is avoided through pretty convenient means. At times it simply feels like the writers were just sitting back protecting characters instead of letting the story conclude naturally.

And what they did to Silvio by giving him asthma attacks was just terrible writing, IMO. For 5 seasons there isn't even a peep about asthma and then bam. It's an obvious attempt at giving probably the most level-headed, and honestly, most fit-to-be-boss character in the Soprano "family" a major weakness. The writers were simply protecting Tony, IMO. Weaksauce.
 
 
Silvio reprised his role as a mafia guy in the Netflix comedy Lilyhammer, so his "acting" career is type cast. He definitely should stick to the guitar.
 
I have to say Sopranos and Breaking Bad are the best yet. Just started watching Boardwalk. Pretty good so far. Madmen? Just a soap opera for office folks. Dexter had it's moments, but I got tired of the same repeating thing. Never saw House of Cards or Six feet under.


IMO Breaking Bad was and is the best series I've yet to see. But Sopranos is up there. It gets a little more dramatic and urgent the last couple seasons.
 
I like Mad Men more than any TV drama I've ever seen. Breaking Bad ranks behind it. Both are excellent though.
 
It's definitely not a bad show. Not even close, but if it were to come out like 3 years ago instead of 15, I really don't think it would get the praise it does.

After this I'm thinking about watching The Wire, probably the most critical acclaimed series ever.
 
I haven't seen The Sopranos, but I'd like to. The Wire is awesome. That could possibly be a show I prefer more than Mad Men, but it's close.
 
Because of Matt Weiner the Sopranos and Mad Men are actually linked series and share a lot of similarities; especially in plot arc and writing style. In particular they both focus and the dual lives of the main protagonist; you have the work aspect and the family aspect. Up to that point in TV you didn't really have the family side getting as much time on screen as the work side. What show would have the mob boss at a girls soccer game rooting on his daughter and then taking her on a college visit only to find a rat then killing him with his own hands? Add in the use of trippy dream sequences, flash backs to show character development, hip music to set the mood, and ancillary characters showing up after being gone for multiple seasons and you have a winning formula for a good TV series.
 
When I saw the opening episode, and they had Paulie in jail in Youngstown, and he wanted to visit Dean Martin's birthplace in Steubenville before he came home, I knew I would like it. But, after about 2.5 seasons... ehhhh.
 
When I saw the opening episode, and they had Paulie in jail in Youngstown, and he wanted to visit Dean Martin's birthplace in Steubenville before he came home, I knew I would like it. But, after about 2.5 seasons... ehhhh.

That's in like season 3. You may have missed some of the show.
 
Silvio's asthma was just proving a point that was made earlier in the show, Tony said it after either Johnny Sac or Phil Leotardo took over in NY. "Some people are better off as #2's".
 
It's interesting you bring up writing because some of those shows you listed have writers that worked on Sopranos too. So perhaps there is a link as to why they are so good.
 
The asthma thing was completely contrived. IMO, it would have been more interesting if Tony's words turned out to be true for him, not Sil.

Matt Weiner was one of the writers for The Sopranos in the later seasons, but it was David Chase's show.
 
It's still the best show ever IMO. It will withstand the test of time unlike many of the current shows on now. I doubt many of the current shows will be remembered a decade or two from now.
 
It's definitely not a bad show. Not even close, but if it were to come out like 3 years ago instead of 15, I really don't think it would get the praise it does.

After this I'm thinking about watching The Wire, probably the most critical acclaimed series ever.

Crusaders the Sopranos was a breakthrough show that set the standard and pattern for all the shows that followed. I suspect that the reason you think it wouldn't get the praise if it came out today is because of how good the cable drama have been the last few years. The problem is that the high quality of today's cable dramas owe a big part of their existence to the Sopranos. From story ark to subject matter to acting, the Sopranos showed that you could be BOTH commercially and artistically great!

The Soprano's led directly to Deadwood, The Wire, Rome, Breaking Bad, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, Game of Thrown's, etc, etc,.....Not only did the Soprano's inspire these series to strive for high quality and to take narrative chances, Tony Soprano and Company showed the industry that you could make big MONEY with these long running hour long productions. It's impressive when a series can set the creative and financial standard for what follows.

The way I look at the Soprano's is how amazing it is that this show holds up so well after 15 years. It truly is a timeless classic.

Also, by all means check out the Wire! This is an absolutely riveting series. The characters will blow you away!
 
Crusaders the Sopranos was a breakthrough show that set the standard and pattern for all the shows that followed. I suspect that the reason you think it wouldn't get the praise if it came out today is because of how good the cable drama have been the last few years. The problem is that the high quality of today's cable dramas owe a big part of their existence to the Sopranos. From story ark to subject matter to acting, the Sopranos showed that you could be BOTH commercially and artistically great!

The Soprano's led directly to Deadwood, The Wire, Rome, Breaking Bad, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, Game of Thrown's, etc, etc,.....Not only did the Soprano's inspire these series to strive for high quality and to take narrative chances, Tony Soprano and Company showed the industry that you could make big MONEY with these long running hour long productions. It's impressive when a series can set the creative and financial standard for what follows.

The way I look at the Soprano's is how amazing it is that this show holds up so well after 15 years. It truly is a timeless classic.

Also, by all means check out the Wire! This is an absolutely riveting series. The characters will blow you away!

I know. I went over this is my initial post. Oz was actually the first HBO show of this kind, and in some ways is better than The Sopranos. However, The Sopranos had the advantage of a more widely interesting subject matter. The show is good, but people give it a little too much praise, IMO.
 
I know. I went over this is my initial post. Oz was actually the first HBO show of this kind, and in some ways is better than The Sopranos. However, The Sopranos had the advantage of a more widely interesting subject matter. The show is good, but people give it a little too much praise, IMO.

Who cares?
 
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