Monday, June 11, 2007

Where's my payoff?

"In the midst of death, we are in life. Heh? Or is it the other way around?"

I've watched the Sopranos for something like 8 years. I waited through interminably long breaks sometimes. Breaks that made wish for the cancellation of the show so I wouldn't have to wait. When they announced that this would be the final season I was glad. I never liked Tony. I despised the corruption. I was hoping that him and his whole dirty mob would be whacked. They are bad, bad people. I wanted that to be the moral of the story. You get involved w/the mob, here's how it ends. Umm, of course I was highly entertained by the show. I just despised Tony. I wanted him to get what he had coming.

So where's my payoff for all those years of viewing? My first reaction to the ending was "we were used!" David Chase is laughing his ass off. John said make your own ending. That's bogus! I don't want to make my own ending. But at three o'clock in the morning I woke up and thought wait a minute, I did get my payoff. All the suspicious people in that diner. The FBI after him. Taping the funeral, listening in on phone calls. There's an indictment hanging over his head. So many of the players are dead. His Uncle Junior is a ruin in a mental institute. That's a payoff for me. Even though they are sitting in the restaurant having a seemingly normal family dinner no matter how you look at it they are headed for disaster. There is no happy ending for them. David Chase did it right. It would have been boring to end it how I originally thought I wanted it. This way I had to think.


Blogger Antonio said...

I think the last two lines of your post summed it up perfectly. And I think the finale was good and went right along with the whole series.

6/11/2007 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Tony needed some more heart and compassion like Paulie had, huh? ;)

6/11/2007 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

I've read a few blogs today that have been disappointed with the ending. I agree with you, Tony is a prick, but then I thought all of them were. I'm not bagging the show, I'm a huge fan, I just don't like any of them.

PS I haven't seen it yet.

6/11/2007 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger JM said...

I'm glad you were able to accept this ambiguous and unsatisfying ending. I've been revisiting it and hoping that I'd be able to change my mind from my initial "WTF?" reaction, but alas, I haven't made peace with it like you have. Actually, if the episode had ended right after Tony visited Uncle Junior, I think I would have been happier and more satisfied.

6/11/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Antonio- It's just the word 'finale'. I wanted BIG things.

Donnie- They all needed to get wacked IMO. But I mean, I loved the show.

WT- You're right, they all are. They all got it coming. I just had it in for Tony. Hmmm.

JM- I did have to go over it and over it. There are alot of subtlties going on that you have to catch. I think. At 3 AM I seriously thought I had it all figured out then when I went to blog about it I had to keep revisiting it.

6/11/2007 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dusty said...

The fact that it was a diner and not some fancy restaurant said a lot for me.

But Chase did rip us tidy endings..oh doesn't always have those either :)

6/11/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Carla's Husband said...

You got us into the Soprano's Mary, it is your fault!
We got you back with the Wire though :-)

Carla and I sat and watched it and were as stunned as the rest of America was I expect. We probably sat for a full minute in silence and for anyone that knows Carla, that is saying something. It felt very unsatisfying at the time.

I think Chase took his show back with that last episode. I have always felt that the Soprano's was a character development story more than a mob story. After however many seasons it did start to evolve into a weekly Goodfellas, but with this last episode Chase kind of brought it back to square 1.

Every viewer of the show got a feel for what it must be like in Tony's head in that last scene. Because we knew "something" was going to happen, we examined every person who walked into the restaurant, tried to gauge their threat level and guess their intentions. It was a pretty good insight into the character's day to day, and I think that is how the show initially started.

Hated it then, like it in retrospect.
And I also think Chase was laughing his @ss off Sunday night.

6/12/2007 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Dusty- You're right. I think I had to let it sink in.

Carla's Husband- (oh how I love that moniker) Thanks for your analysis. I was going to call you right after the show when John and I were sitting with our mouths hanging open. I knew you'd have a good take on it.

6/12/2007 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Ya know, I never watched but one ep of the Sopranos. I moved around too much in the past large-chunk-of-decade and generally didn't have HBO wherever I was (and still don't) - figured I'd watch it on DVD at some point. But yet, I already know so much about the show!

I heard a comment on NPR yesterday that I think was an interesting interpretation of the ending (- and btw you're not the only person I've heard have that 3am sudden realization...) anyway, the woman said she remembered them speculating about what it would be like when you died - that you probably wouldn't even hear anything, it would just go black, to nothing.

and that's how the show ended!

so bring your own conclusions ;-)

I'll be renting the DVD set whenever it comes out.

6/12/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

GAP and I used to have a back-to-back Sopranos dvd nights. Granted Tony is an evil guy, but that kept us always reverted on our seats, didn't it? ;-)

6/13/2007 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger deuddersun said...

I lived that life, believe me, the ending was perfect.


6/15/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger No said...

I think that they were all whacked.

6/24/2007 09:42:00 PM  

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