Let the Sopranos Mourning Begin
It's a more than a week before The Sopranos begins its final run of nine episodes, and I'm already bummed out.
Not just because I've seen the first two new episodes, provided to critics last week, and they seem about as tedious as ever (more on that in a future post). But because this series, when it was firing on all cylinders, was about as good as TV has ever been. And in a few months, it will be gone.
Tell you what won't happen: mob boss/star character Tony Soprano is not going down in a hail of bullets. And he's probably not going to get arrested, either. Creator David Chase and his crew have worked hard to confound every expectation for this series, so I'm no expecting it to end in a way that anyone can easily predict. (Check out this story on a roundtable discussion featuring all the actors who played notable characters who got whacked on the show, moderated by Bryant Gumbel)
In a few weeks, I expect we will ask you all to chime in on how you'd like the series to end (feel free to get started in this space today). And I've got a way-cool analysis of the show's importance to TV itself set to run on Sunday -- it's pretty much the entire Floridian section -- complete with my list of the coolest deaths and most maddening loose ends.
To whet your whistle, here's some quotes from some well-known Sopranos fans that didn't fit in my Sunday story.
“The key, I believe, is the fact that he examines himself with a psychiatrist. That is the most revolutionary idea that they had – let’s get inside this guy…We know (Tony Soprano) in ways that we do not know other classic characters, including Hamlet and Stanley Kowalski...What they did that was so clever, was to permit us to go inside that office, where no one is permitted.”
--- James Lipton, host of Bravo's Inside the Actors’ Studio.
“What we admire about it is its consistency. It’s just consistently good and always getting better as the characters ripen and mature… One of the things we try to do is trust the intelligence of the audience…I think The Sopranos in a dramatic fashion has been a master of that --- understanding a reality of life and drama; that you don’t necessarily have to resolve every little thing.”
--- PBS documentarian Ken Burns.
“I get into arguments with people about this all of the time. After the first three episodes (of 2006), I was walking around saying all the awards are taken (by The Sopranos) this year – writing, directing, acting – its done. Now, I’ve spent the last four weeks saying what the hell is going on?”
--- longtime Sopranos fan and Rescue Me star Denis Leary.
Clooney Denies Ratting Out Russell
I know, this is a film story. But Clooney's statement to the tabloid TV types that he had nothing to do with circulating the current video clip of Lily Tomlin and director David O. Russell's expletive-laden fight on the set of I (Heart) Huckabees, gives me an excuse to post this amazing spat here.
His statement, as reported by Extra: "Contrary to popular opinion, neither the sound man, Ed Tise, nor yours truly sent in the David O. Russell tape. I saw it when we were working on "Ocean's 12," and there have been quite a few copies traveling around town for the last couple of years. Any rumor that either of us put it on the internet is simply false. And I'd offer a million bucks to anyone who would prove otherwise.
Here it is as embedded video: