We are just over a month from the 20th anniversary of one of the best television programs ever made: The sopranos, which may be the most copied series since I love Lucy. Peak TV would not exist without Tony, Carmela, Paulie Walnuts and friends.
In the course of writing The sessions of the sopranos, an upcoming book about the series (with essays on each episode and a new series of interviews with the creator David Chase), my co-author Matt Zoller Seitz and I had an excuse to go back and watch the whole series and remember how Bloody Bloody both that was. Such famous and influential works of art can suffer when they are revisited years later in an environment that they helped to create. The sopranos, although it stayed phenomenally well, not only in the performances of James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, but in the deep reserve of emotions that Chase and company could take advantage of despite the fact that many of their characters are reprehensible sociopaths.
Since Matt and I already have a history of ranking lists, we thought we could offer competitive options for the top 10 Soprano episodes never Matt's choices are here; Mine are below.
(Note: although the show officially has only six seasons, the last batch of 21 episodes were actually two seasons produced separately and labeled as one to avoid awarding the cast and crew members their obligatory guild raises. nine episodes that aired in the spring of 2007 to be the seventh Soprano season, and us too.
10. "The Second Coming"(Season 7, Episode 7)
The controversy over the final scene of the series tends to hide the memory of how tremendous the final batch of episodes was. Chase and the company do a masterful job of taking the life of Tony (Gandolfini) in parts, cutting off many of their closest relationships and showing off their destructive narcissism like never before. As the poem that gives title to this episode says, things fall apart; the center can not sustain And as the boss's job seems to be close to a catastrophe through the war with Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent), he barely avoids a tragedy in his personal life, immersing himself in the family pool to rescue a depressed AJ (Robert Iler) of a suicide attempt. All the misery and anguish that Tony has visited in the world now returns to him with an implacable force.
9. "Join the Club" (Season 6, Episode 2)
The series had previously made extended and polarizing dream sequences. What happens after Tony was killed by Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) in the previous episode, feels different and disturbing. "Join the Club" alternates between tragic earthly concerns while Carmela (Falco, who is particularly disconsolate here) prepares for the idea that her husband could die, and a more cosmic alternative reality where Tony is a salesman who begins to lose so much The physical and mental identity the longer you are trapped there. They are the two stylistic extremes of the program in an incredible package.
8. "Who did this" (Season 4, Episode 9)
From the moment the show featured Ralphie Ciffaretto, disgusting Joe Pantoliano, in the third season, the fans seemed to be counting the days until Tony attacked him, especially after the caporegime He murdered a stripper in Bing's parking lot at the "University" of that season. Instead, the program delayed our bloody gratification for more than a year with this shocking oblique angle entry, where it deals with death related to the fire of Tony's beloved horse, Pie. O-My that finally causes Ralphie's skull to be struck, then cut. The graphic, extended sequence of corpse disposal is one of the most influential things the program did, even when the time and manner in which Ralphie's murder was committed are unique. Soprano.
7. "Amour Fou" (Season 3, Episode 12)
Nancy Marchand died before the production of this season began, stealing from the series the best nemesis of Tony. But the spirit of his mother remained during this year with the presentation of the electric Annabella Sciorra as Gloria Trillo, a sexy saleswoman who would look much darker and self-destructive than Tony imagined when they met in the waiting room of Dr. Melfi. This time puts an end to their toxic relationship (at the same time it endangers the life of Jackie Aprile Jr. after it was a great comic relief), since a suicidal Gloria offers Tony the opportunity to finish the job that is not could with Livia at the end of the first season.
6. "The Knight in Satin White Armor" (Season 2, Episode 12)
Even more surprising than Ralphie's disappearance was the way the series got rid of its predecessor as Tony's professional thorn. Much of the second season suggests that Richie Aprile, Tony and David Proval, will go to war. Instead, Tony's impulsive sister, Janice (Aida Turturro), shoots Richie after he hits her in the face, saving his brother without realizing it and giving the series one of his most iconic moments. Almost as memorable: the last real interaction between Tony and Livia, which ends with her once again laughing at her suffering.
5. "Pine Barrens" (Season 3, Episode 11)
This masterpiece of black comics, where Christopher (Michael Imperioli) and Paulie (Tony Sirico) are stranded in the homonymous landmark of Jersey after an attempt to collect a debt of a Russian gangster goes terribly wrong, is a kind of drug of entry for the whole series. The elements of the gangster out of the water were so surprising at that time and have been so imitated in the following years that the other plot of the episode, about the things that are beginning to sour between Tony and Gloria, possibly has aged better. But the growing desperation and stupidity of these two thugs in the desert is never do not Funny, and the snowstorm that hit the Garden State just before filming began gives the director (and future cast member) the Steve Buscemi operation to create some of the most shocking images in the series.
4. "Whitecaps" (Season 4, Episode 13)
The longest episode of the show is also his best showcase of acting for Gandolfini and Falco. After a frustrating flirtation (for her and the viewer) of the season with Furio is not going anywhere, Carmela is ready to explode when she finds out about Tony's latest infidelity, and finally dares to order her out of the house. The problem is that she only has so much power over this monster that she chose to marry, and the two continue to separate emotionally after he moves into the pool house. Theatrical, raw, brilliant.
3. "Dream with Jeannie Cusamano"(Season 1, Episode 13)
As for the family in the face of family conflicts that drove all early marketing, the series peaked with its first season. No future opponent could unite the two halves of Tony's life better or more painfully than his mother and uncle. The end of that bow develops spectacularly: Tony explodes when Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) tries to make her see the danger that her mother poses. She then goes to the retirement community with a pillow in her hand, and Livia is saved only by a conveniently timed blow that Tony (rightly) believes is false.
2. "Long-term parking"(Season 5, Episode 12)
The sopranos He did not win his first Emmy for the Outstanding Drama Series until the end of his fifth season. This heartbreaking episode, the climax of a multi-season arc over Christopher's girlfriend, Adriana (Drea de Matteo), who became an FBI Cooperator against her will, is solely responsible for that victory. The series was never so interested in being a Mob drama as simple as some of its fans desperately wanted it to be, but episodes like this showed how perfectly that could happen when history demanded it.
1. "College" (Season 1, Episode 4)
This was the episode he did. The sopranos in the phenomenon in which it became, and the purest distillation of the Family / Family themes of the program and the ways in which Tony's work in the first blemishes completely the latter. On a tour of the New England universities with Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), Tony has the chance to get revenge on a mafia informant hiding in the middle of nowhere. Back home, Carmela and her trusted priest, Father Phil (Paul Schulze) experience a night of mutual temptation, inspired by their distrust of a criminal and partying husband. Tony acts on his impulses; Carmela does not do it. But both are condemned for their actions and their decision to stay with him. HBO was reluctant to show Tony murdering a man in cold blood, but Chase argued that the show would sound empty if he did not. He was right, and the episode, and the series, turned out to be a masterpiece.