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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


hold on to that feeling

after nearly eight years of creating the finest drama in television history, david chase utterly failed to deliver a worthy finale to the sopranos. expectations were insanely high, no doubt, but chase didn't even have the stugots to try something memorable, or powerful, or meaningful. it was one of the most boring hours of television i've ever seen - and that's quite possibly the most disrespectful thing that could have been done with a series that was always taking risks, merciless in its treatment of its characters, if it could help the story, the emotion, be 1% more potent.

highlight for spoilers:

easily the most disappointing element was the way the creators had built up unbelievable tension over the past several episodes - with the deaths of chris and bobby (and probably sil), a.j.'s suicide attempt, and tony in the crosshairs... every fan of the series has been dreaming of how chase was going to explode the balloon, and it turns out he just lets the air out, very slowly. excruciatingly slow - the new york feud dissipates quickly, and far too easily... sure, phil gets taken out (one of the only memorable parts of the episode), but by a guy that's only been around for like five minutes of the season... they made some halfhearted attemps to wrap up the storylines of the surrounding cast... all of it just came across (to me) as a complete letdown, incredibly unsatisfying.

the final five minutes burns me up to watch - i've gone over it a few more times, trying to figure out what the heck it means. chase once again sets up enormous tension - watching meadow screwing up her parallel parking job is one of the most effective ways i've ever seen to force the audience's blood pressure up - and then tony watching everyone that comes in the door... following the guy going into the bathroom... the abrupt cut to black...

i just got it. david chase was manipulating us. it was one last little poke at the audience - "look how badly i can screw with you". people in forums are talking about whether or not the dude came out of the bathroom and shot tony - or if it was someone else in the restaurant - but i don't buy any of that. if tony got killed, chase would hopefully have the decency to show us, to end this brilliant, iconic character with some dignity and respect. take him out, send him to jail, do something worthy of the show's namesake.

**update** ok, i've read a decent amount of analysis this morning. lots of other people pissed about this show. i think i've been convinced that tony's dead, that everything went black just like he & bobby talked about... but i'm also convinced that chase knew exactly how this was going to be received. the vast majority of the audience is pissed, and the only people lauding it as genius for the way he "didn't do what was expected" and "got everyone talking" are critics and some highbrows who think they're more educated than everyone else.

which is a bunch of crap, IMHO. those folks say that we're pissed cause he didn't end it with a bloodbath or a terrorist attack or a suicide... no, we're pissed because he didn't end it at all. there was no closure at all and it's cheap. he didn't "do what was expected" only in that people thought he'd make a good finale and he didn't. he "got everyone talking" about how terrible it was. anyone can make a great show and then screw up the ending and people will talk about it.

nope, there was absolutely no dignity or respect in this finale, one that will likely go down as worse than seinfeld's. stories about the mob are tragedies, they're supposed to end badly, and the only tragedy was this: chase and HBO, cowardly worrying about disappointing some of his fans with an ending they wouldn't like, instead disappoints all of them.

and JOURNEY? seriously? years of incredible music in this show and they ended with steve frickin perry?


for this post

Blogger ryanham Says:

Don't stop believing...

But seriously though, I've heard it hinted that perhaps Chase was showing us (the viewer) that really, in the end, it's a boring life. Maybe something happened, maybe nothing did...maybe it ended the way it ended because things mostly don't happen.

Kinda like watching real reality TV...it's boring if it's not edited properly.

On the flip side, there's a new HBO series coming out called "John from Cincinnati." I know about that much about it as I've seen only one commercial, but it's got Cincinnati in the title, so that's at least kinda interesting to me.

Tranformers soon.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

John From Cincinnati was pretty tasty actually - some very interesting characters, so-so writing, a good enough set up for the series that i'll watch a few more episodes.

Ed O'Neill SHINES in this show, BTW. his character is absolutely hilarious.

Blogger B-Call Says:

if its a show that has anything to do with Cincy, but its not a spinoff of WKRP, I'm not watching.

Blogger Davie Says:

You mocked Journey. I freakin' love you.


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