Author Topic: The Sopranos  (Read 9945 times)

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Offline JdelaCruz

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Re:the sopranos
« Reply #60 on: Mar 08, 2004 at 11:16 PM »
'Sopranos' return with a vengeance
Mar. 8, 2004 12:00 AM

by Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic

It was worth the wait.

It always is.

The Sopranos, HBO's mob hit, kicked off its fifth season Sunday night after 15 months away. For any other show such a gap would be unthinkable; for Sopranos fans, it's simply the price we pay for brilliance.

Creator David Chase trusts not only our patience but also our intellect. We, in turn, trust that he'll mete out payoffs from the seeds he's sown in his own sweet time. It's always been TV for smart viewers.

Sunday was no exception.

After their shattering fight at the end of last season, Tony (James Gandolfini), the conflicted, therapy-seeking mob boss, and his wife Carmela (Edie Falco), are separated. Yet they're still a part of each other's lives, mostly as mutual irritants. Tony offers his sad summation of the legacy of their marriage to Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), his former psychiatrist, with a dismal, "Couple of healthy kids. Other than that . . . "

Their lives have changed. He's living in his late mother's house, while Carmela holds down the home front with an increasingly obnoxious Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler).

Chase offers cues aplenty. If you didn't notice the newspaper Tony picks up at the bottom of the driveway lying unread, you can't miss Chase's other nod to change. The bear that menaces Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) in the back yard is clearly a reference to the ducks Tony was so fond of in season one, and whose migration landed him in Melfi's office. (The way Anthony Jr.'s been behaving, Carmela would be forgiven for letting the bear eat him.)

The bear, of course, threatens the family, where the ducks were - for Tony, at least - a surrogate for it. It's a rare misstep, too heavy a hand where Chase usually applies a lighter touch. The unkindest cut: Tony's duck food is what attracted the bear in the first place.

The big news is an infusion of new blood. Chase read a newspaper account about mobsters arrested in the 1980s being paroled and sent back onto the streets. That gave him the perfect opportunity to introduce new characters that add a freshness to the show it lacked the past couple of seasons. Steve Buscemi and Robert Loggia lead the pack.

Buscemi's character Tony, Tony Soprano's cousin, is introduced next week, and he makes a career choice that befuddles his former cohorts for all the wrong reasons. Without giving it away, it's a great twist, though the way Tony looks at his mob-boss cousin, you wonder how long happiness will last.

Loggia, meanwhile, is fantastic as Feech, an old-guard hood who wants back in on the action. His long-winded reminiscences grate on Tony. It gives nothing away to say that he won't suffer in silence for long.

Indeed, Chase often uses the first couple of episodes to set the stage for the rest of the season. I can't imagine even the hardest-to-please fan not enjoying Sunday's season opener. But no matter what you thought, know this: I've seen the first four episodes.

And it only gets better.

----- end of article ----

This means a year give or take a few months for The Complete Season 5 DVD.  Deep sigh.

Offline kubrikk

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Re:the sopranos
« Reply #61 on: Mar 15, 2004 at 04:30 PM »
sopranos rocks!!!i bought season 2 n 3  i tnk wowow will show season 4 april

Offline boyethampi

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #62 on: Apr 19, 2004 at 11:49 AM »
The Sopranos season 4 is now shown every Friday 11 PM at Wowow.

 ;D

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #63 on: May 18, 2004 at 04:24 PM »
Heard Tony had an epic 21-minute dream sequence last Sunday.  I'd've loved to have seen that one.  Any of you Stateside Peeps have any comment on it or on the season so far?  Can't believe there's only three more episodes left.  On the good side, the DVD can't be that far away!

Something on how the season's been faring:


'Sopranos' have many fascinating emotional moments
Friday, May 14, 2004

By Tim Goodman / San Francisco Chronicle


Although “The Sopranos,” which has only three episodes remaining, has always been a series with a split personality -- mob violence on the one hand, and television’s best use of subtlety on the other -- it’s clear that people who watch “The Sopranos” for the gun play and physical mayhem are missing all the best parts.

With only three hours left, “The Sopranos” is wrapping up a brilliant year, its sense of humor as out there as ever and its sense of the small emotional moment as sharp as any previous season. Oh, and yes, there’s a sense of dread gurgling up in the series as well, not just because the injustices, no matter how slight, have consequences, but because the writers are steering this ferociously great series to its climax.

So far, creator David Chase has asked HBO for only 10 episodes instead of the usual 13 for season six, the final one (so they say) for “The Sopranos.” If that holds, fans have exactly one full season left, going into this week -- and that brings on a certain depression over lost creativity. (Although, odds are Chase will seek three more episodes to finally close the door on Tony and his two dysfunctional families).

What this season has brought to the fore so far is the writing staff’s almost relentless pleasure with characters using or pronouncing words incorrectly. They take boundless glee in these Jersey muscle heads brutalizing phrasing, foreign words, interpretations and meanings. This is nothing new in the series run, but the sheer number of slips has turned this into the season of the Mobster Malapropism. Last week’s episode, “Cold Cuts,” took its title from Tony telling Dr. Melfi that old-school Mafia didn’t have the hotheadedness so prevalent today -- they just smiled and got payback later. “You know what they say: Revenge is like serving cold cuts.” When Dr. Melfi corrects his usage, Tony is annoyed.

Which, of course, is another long-running theme played out with increased presence and brutality this season. Dr. Melfi keeps coming back to the fact that Tony -- and, as we know, everyone else, including sister Janice -- has a short fuse. Tony fondly remembering the old days of Mafia lore is just another contradiction in how he lives his life: He could never serve revenge cold. As this season’s episodes stack up, it’s been a litany of short fuses igniting rage. A lot of people tune in for that rage and get disappointed when it doesn’t manifest itself in a gun going off.

But what’s also evident this season is how the modern-day Mafia, as represented by “The Sopranos,” is so thin-skinned. It’s one thing to break into a rage at perceived injustice to one’s manhood -- boys will be boys, after all -- but “The Sopranos” has built an empire on petty grievances and hurt feelings that go far beyond having someone whack your shylock or embarrass your family. Just last week Christopher recalled how he was picked on by Tony and cousin Tony Blundetto -- a grown man holding on to childhood cruelty. Christopher ends up driving home in tears -- even though he just dug up the bones of someone he murdered. It was a typically superb example of the dichotomy of emotions, nonsensical as they often are in this series, playing out artfully.

These insignificant personal affronts are never taken that way by anyone in either Soprano family. The small, personal needles -- like when Blundetto makes fun of Tony’s weight or when Tony finds out his father gave his dog away instead of sending it off to a farm, or when Carmela tells Father Phil he reminds her of someone she thought was gay -- are wonderfully juxtaposed with grown-up slights like turf wars, lack of respect when honoring someone in a position of power, lessening someone’s value to the Mafia (Tony’s) by referencing where he lives (Jersey), or the incessant tit-for-tat game of revenge Tony and Carmela are playing on each other.

Who needs to see Joey Peeps get shot in his car when all of these verbal gymnastics and small-time embarrassments are unfolding?

In that sense, season five is and has been exceptionally good. There are still some of the nagging “Sopranos” faults -- story lines developed, then abandoned, not enough material for everyone, etc. But there should be confidence in the writing team and Chase’s leadership over one of the biggest nags from viewers -- direction of the series.

Chase and his writing team have proven adept at stalling what will probably be inevitable -- Tony’s stone-cold bluesy, if not operatic, downfall -- by simply pumping the series full of additional small moments, more dense interpersonal affairs and, the series trademark, emotionallydevastating quiet moments.

But now, intertwined in the goofy mispronunciations and the tone-shifting bits of humor, is a glimpse of where “The Sopranos” is potentially heading: family warfare. The hints of Soprano family self-implosion are less obvious (than in season four and five), but it’s hard to ignore that New York and New Jersey (and Miami, too) are not getting along, and something’s either going to go terribly sideways or blow up altogether.


Offline xage

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2004 at 08:09 AM »
What in the blue hell Annette Benning is doing in the latest Soprano season?
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Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2004 at 03:53 AM »
I hear the dream had a "Bugsy" reference, hence an Annette appearance.  I hope she was nekked.

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2004 at 10:06 PM »
Heads up to you Stateside peeps.

David Letterman's guest list for Monday night includes "The Cast of the Sopranos".  Whoa!!!  My favorite show on my favorite show! Let us know how it turns out.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2004 at 10:27 PM by JdelaCruz »

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2004 at 12:20 AM »
Top Ten Things Never Before Said on "The Sopranos"


10. "You don't have any money? That's cool"
(Dominic Chianese)

9. "Screw this home cooking -- I'm going to the Olive Garden"
(Aida Turturro)

8. "In addition to disposing of bodies, you'll need to know how to use Powerpoint and Excel"
(Steven Van Zandt)

7. "Wasn't that the guy from Springsteen's E Street Band?"
(Robert Iler)

6. "I just hooked up an illegal cable box. Now I'm getting free HBO"
(Jamie-Lynn Discala)

5. "Tony, I'm gonna need to leave early today for Rosh Hashanah"
(Tony Sirico)

4. "I want a bigger part -- what are you gonna do, kill my character?"
(Drea de Matteo)

3. "Hey Paulie, how about you and me going up to Massachusetts and getting married?"
(Michael Imperioli)

2. "I can't go to prison -- Martha Stewart will eat me alive!"
(Edie Falco)

And the number 1 thing never before said on The Sopranos...



1. "I just whacked myself"
(James Gandolfini)

Offline DViant

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #68 on: May 29, 2004 at 02:10 AM »
Season 5 isn't that good. Watched episode 1-12 already. Waiting for Sunday so I can get it. :)

Offline xage

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #69 on: Jun 07, 2004 at 02:32 PM »
Wow... They killed Adriana! after confessing to Cristopher that she is in cahoots with the Feds!...

Well sad to know the sexiest lady in the Soprano Series is dead.. but fans of Adriana be thankful.. she may be dead in HBO channel but you can see her resurrection in NBC as she plays a major role on the upcoming Friend's spinoff >> Joey ;D
« Last Edit: Jun 07, 2004 at 06:01 PM by CrUzSACK »
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Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #70 on: Jun 08, 2004 at 10:58 AM »
Yep xage, that's indeed jaw-dropping news.

SPOILER ALERT: This article pretty much sums up what happened in Season 5, which many critics claim to be more than satisfying if not the best so far.  If you're stateside and just catching the finale for the first time on reruns this week, or if you're local and just waiting anxiously for the Season 5 DVD, read at your own risk.  You have been spoiler-warned.



A dream of a `Sopranos' season

PROGRAM FINALE IS TV AT ITS FINEST

By Charlie McCollum

Mercury News, Posted on Tue, Jun. 08, 2004


In a wonderful end to what has been one of its finest seasons, ``The Sopranos'' brought its fifth year to a close Sunday night with a finale that was funny, morally ironic, appropriately violent, full of psychological insight and loaded with surprises.

Even the most devoted fans of the HBO mob drama must have been caught off guard by some of the twists. Just when you thought the saga of Tony Soprano, his family and his Family was going one way, the series took off in another direction, leaving many unanswered questions to chew over during the months before it returns for its sixth and final season.

In a vibrant episode played out to Van Morrison's perfectly ironic ``Glad Tidings,'' Tony (James Gandolfini) -- seemingly on the verge of totally losing his grip -- somehow ends up back on top.

He personally takes out his cousin Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi) after deciding Tony B's death was necessary to keep his family of felons under control. The FBI helps, very unexpectedly, by taking down the Lupertazzi crime family, including menacing underboss Johnny Sack (Vince Curatola), who was on the verge of triggering a war with the Soprano clan. Tony actually seems to have reached domestic understanding with wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and a reconciliation with nephew Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli).

It was, in many ways, the perfect grace note to a season in which ``The Sopranos'' has been to television what Barry Bonds is to baseball: an unstoppable force of nature operating on a higher plane than mere mortals.

It was fairly obvious early on where creator David Chase and his writers were taking ``The Sopranos,'' although viewers may not have realized just how much of a thrill ride it would turn out to be.

Messy home life

For boss Tony, the wheels were starting to come off. His home life was a wreck, and his co-dependent relationship with Carmela was in tatters. What had been ``Scenes From A Marriage'' had turned into ``War of the Roses,'' mob-style.

At the same time, his grip on his other family, the one that hangs around the Bada Bing strip club, was shaken by the arrival of a bunch of aging mobsters released from prison after serving 20-plus years on various federal charges. They didn't think much of Tony, particularly legendary wiseguy Feech La Manna (a wonderful Robert Loggia), who mockingly refers to Tony as ``the Godfather.''

To make matters worse, some of these returning veterans of the organized crime war helped to spark a power grab within the New York mob, which ultimately put Tony at odds with Johnny Sack.

``There's lots of potential for bloodshed,'' said one mobster in an early episode this season, foreshadowing what would be a very high body count by season's end.

But the real joker in this deck of wiseguys turned out to be cousin Tony Blundetto. First played for comic relief, Tony B. turned out to be disloyal and vicious and a threat that almost led to the implosion of the Soprano Family.

Faced with this array of challenges, Tony Soprano lost it -- plain and simple.

Partway through Sunday's season finale of ``The Sopranos,'' Tony lamented to his longtime shrink, Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), that his life was a ``mess'' and that ``all my choices were wrong.''

Tony would spend time staring at the TV set in a swirl of ennui and angst. He beat a Bada Bing bartender senseless for no real reason. He verbally (and viciously) abused his troubled sister Janice (Aida Turturro) just when she seemed to have found a calm spot in life.

He ordered the hit on poor Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo) -- and then laid a whipping on her grieving fiance Christopher. In a particularly grim scene, he lashed out at Johnny Sack, which seemed to all but ensure a blood bath between the New York and New Jersey families.

And in one late episode, Tony had a fever dream that -- while controversial among ``Sopranos'' fans -- was a true creative tour de force, a 21-minute acid trip.

All of the dead came back to haunt him: Big Pussy Bonpensiero, Ralphie Cifaretto, Richie Aprile, Gloria Torres, even Pie-O-My, the race horse. The dream took him to a dinner with corrupt cop Vin Makazian (bumped off in Season 1) and actress Annette Bening, playing herself and managing to invoke her roles in both ``Bugsy'' and ``American Beauty.'' It alluded to films ranging from ``The Godfather'' to ``Frankenstein.''

Masterful dream

It shouldn't have worked, but it did. It could have been an exercise in artistic self-indulgence, but it wasn't.

In fact, the dream sequence is just one measure of how brilliantly Chase and his writers executed the past season.

They gave superb moments to Gandolfini and Falco, who have reached a point with their characters that they can express more with a shrug or a glance or the blink of an eye than most actors can do with pages of dialogue. They produced scenes for De Matteo and Imperioli that all but assure them Emmy nominations. They created a string of memorable minor characters such as La Manna and the vengeful Phil Leotardo (mob-movie veteran Frank Vincent).

And, somehow, they managed to make the bloodiest season of ``The Sopranos'' its funniest, with more laughs than even the best TV sitcoms managed this year.

In Sunday's finale, for example, there was a rich bit of dark comedy when Carmela called Christopher, looking for the now-dearly departed Adriana.

When Christopher says they've broken up and she has moved away, Carmela asked, ``Is there a number?''

The reply: ``Not that I know of.''

Now, the long wait begins.
 
Given Chase's perfectionism and the film and theater schedules of Gandolfini and Falco, ``The Sopranos'' won't be back with those final 10 episodes until at least the fall of 2005. And there are growing signs that we won't get the answers to all the questions posed by Sunday's finale, or find out what fate holds for Tony Soprano and those around him, until early 2006.

But Season 5 has suggested that it will be worth the wait.
 


--end of article--
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2004 at 11:02 AM by JdelaCruz »

Offline deweyfinn

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Re: the sopranos
« Reply #71 on: Jun 20, 2004 at 09:59 AM »
The Sopranos season 4 is now shown every Friday 11 PM at Wowow.

 ;D

Maybe you mean Sunday 11 pm...caught the eppy "Mergers & Acquisitions"...something to do with Joey Pants' racehorse and Tony getting into the pant(ies) of JP's mistress....

Oh how deeelicious.....lalo na da mistress....

Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #72 on: Jan 24, 2005 at 12:45 AM »
The Sopranos just won this year's Norman Felton Trophy for Best Drama Series at the Producers Guild of America Awards. It bested other nominees CSI, Nip/Tuck, Six Feet Under and The West Wing.

HBO must be really disappointed that the show has only one more season to go.
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Offline boyethampi

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #73 on: Apr 05, 2005 at 03:41 PM »

The first episode of the 5th season of the Sopranos was shown last Sunday 12MN at WOWOW after CSI Miami - NY crossover episode.

 8)

Offline deweyfinn

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #74 on: Apr 05, 2005 at 05:58 PM »
The first episode of the 5th season of the Sopranos was shown last Sunday 12MN at WOWOW after CSI Miami - NY crossover episode.

 8)

Ang galing..."The Two Tonys" ang pamagat roon.

That's where Tony tries to carry his relationship with his shrink to a whole new level (ngayon hiwalay na siya ng kanyang esmi)  In coming eppys expect to see more of Steve Buscemi's char as Tony's cousin.   

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #75 on: Apr 06, 2005 at 03:44 PM »
Lucky you.  Is it censored in anyway?  Dubbed?  Bleeped? 

Waiting for the DVD set of this season.  Any word on when it comes out?

Offline deweyfinn

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #76 on: Apr 06, 2005 at 07:14 PM »
Lucky you. Is it censored in anyway? Dubbed? Bleeped?

Waiting for the DVD set of this season. Any word on when it comes out?

English, no subtitles....I don't think it's censored much kc WOWOW e.

Replays are on Sundays, 11 pm

Offline boyethampi

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #77 on: Apr 07, 2005 at 03:19 PM »
Lucky you. Is it censored in anyway? Dubbed? Bleeped?

Waiting for the DVD set of this season. Any word on when it comes out?

Amazon made mention that the 5th season of the Sopranos is coming out June 7,2005.  Just two months away.  :)

Offline deweyfinn

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #78 on: Apr 11, 2005 at 04:03 PM »
Last Friday's eppy....The Rat Pack

Lumitaw na si Steve "Mr. Pink" Buscemi as Tony's cousin

Drea de Matteo is sure HOT.......

Offline krets pulpol

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2005 at 11:10 PM »
wowow still airs the latest season during late night sundays, walang censored dialogues and kita b**bies ehehe
 ;D
what?! are you talkin' to me!!!

Offline JanMike

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #80 on: May 25, 2005 at 12:43 PM »
I'm about to begin watching this series starting from Season 1. Hmmm, this show looks interesting! I can't wait to begin this weekend.  ;)

Offline xage

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #81 on: May 27, 2005 at 10:53 AM »
I'm about to begin watching this series starting from Season 1. Hmmm, this show looks interesting! I can't wait to begin this weekend.  ;)

You will have a great ride watching the zany adventure in the 2 families of Tony Soprano!
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Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #82 on: Jun 08, 2005 at 02:24 PM »
A Soparanos Season Seven?  Read on.

From Yahoo! News

A "Sopranos" Stay of Execution?
By Sarah Hall
Tue Jun 7, 2005 6:30 PM ET

It seems The Sopranos may not be sleeping with the fishes as soon as expected.

Despite creator David Chase's claims that the upcoming sixth season of the show would be the last for his gang of merry mobsters, the Sopranos mastermind appears to have left the door open for a possible seventh season.

At a media breakfast for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications last month, Chase was asked whether the sixth season would mark the conclusion of the hugely popular HBO series.

According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Chase indicated that he felt the show had run its creative course, but said that there could be a seventh season without altering the outcome of the sixth season already in production.

Chase's admission seemed to be the first clue that the show's protagonist, Tony Soprano (     James Gandolfini), would avoid getting whacked in the near future, leaving the door open for a seventh season, as well as a rumored Sopranos movie.

At the DVD release party for the fifth season of The Sopranos Monday, Chase again said he was mulling the idea of extending the show's run.

"I'm ambivalent," Chase told reporters. "HBO wants me to do it, and I can't deny that there's a certain pull on me from the cast."

It's not the first time the Emmy-winning Sopranos creator and executive producer has given the show a stay of execution.

Chase has wavered about bringing the show back ever since the fourth season when his initial contract expired.

After HBO made him an offer he couldn't refuse (pegged at somewhere between $15 million to $20 million), Chase agreed to return for a fifth season, with the caveat that it would likely be the last.

Just when he thought he was out, HBO pulled him back in for a sixth season deal--just 10 more episodes instead of the customary 13.

Apparently, the allure of the mob is hard to resist--even the small-screen version.

Chase said he would decide whether to add a seven-episode seventh season sometime this month.

The sixth season of the show will premiere in March 2006 with 13 new episodes.

Some 11 million viewers tuned in for the fifth-season closer last June, which featured Tony Soprano putting a bullet in the brain of his cousin, Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi).

--- end of article ---

Amazon.com is shipping out Season 5 DVDs now.  Get 'em while they're hot.  Mine's in the mail. :gloat:

Offline vinnov4

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #83 on: Jul 28, 2005 at 08:30 PM »
Anyone here who has the season 5?

Offline Reuven Malter

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The Sopranos
« Reply #84 on: Feb 28, 2006 at 07:12 AM »
i believe its one of the most, or maybe the most imporatnt show on TV for the past 10 years!..the writing is excellent, the cast superb abd the direction nearly flawless

so are there any sopranos fans out there? who are your favorite characters and episodes?

bada bing!

Finally got around to see this. Worth the wait! I enjoyed every minute of the marathon from seasons 1-5. Malapit na final season.

Thanks for the heads up from bespren, X & J. I did enjoy College from Season 1. It did hook me to the series. I wasn't really pulled in by the first episode. Other favorite episodes are Employee of the Month (Season 3), Pine Barrens (Season 3), Whitecaps (Season 4), and Long Term Parking (Season 5).

Still on Sopranos... :-[ (Hi! I'm CrUzSACK and I'm a Soprano addict  ;D)

Wanna know your mob nickname? CLICK HERE.  I've got the most unfitting mob nickname - The Lone Drinker. Hehe.

Hello! I'm Reuven and I'm also a Sopranos addict. I'm also known as the Rooster hehe.
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2006 at 07:18 AM by Reuven »
Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose!

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #85 on: Mar 08, 2006 at 11:36 AM »
This Sunday the family returns...

'Sopranos' Creator Is Still Family Boss

By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
Tue Mar 7, 5:18 PM ET


NEW YORK - Even as "The Sopranos" returns Sunday with its first new episode since June 6, 2004, long-deprived fans can be pardoned for wondering: What took David Chase so long?

Clearing his head? Racking his brain?

It turns out that, whatever Chase was up to as he prepared to push beyond the 65 installments aired thus far, the "Sopranos" mastermind spent his time well.

To judge from four previewed episodes, the season that awaits us (9 p.m. EST Sunday on HBO) is richer, deeper and more thrilling than ever as it probes the world of New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano.

How has Chase done it?

"I give a lot of weight to luck," he says.

A slight man with sad, seen-it-all eyes and a wry sense of humor, Chase has greeted a reporter to the "Sopranos" production offices at Silvercup Studios in Queens. The airy loft space is the polar opposite of the tomblike back office frequented by Tony (series star James Gandolfini) and his crew at the Bada Bing! strip club. Here are 30-foot ceilings and broad windows displaying the Queensborough Bridge arching over to Manhattan.

But despite the cheery setting, "don't get too comfortable" stayed on Chase's mind as he crafted this sixth season.

"We are here for a certain period of time," he says, trying to sum up the season's overriding theme, "and how much of your life are you gonna choose to spend with distractions? How do you make your choices? What is important?"

Sounds like, on some level, the end is closer than we think. Gulp.

Of course, fans are full of end-is-near talk concerning the show. Somewhat premature? A dozen episodes are ready to go, then another eight air early next year. That means almost one-fourth of the ultimate 85-episode "Sopranos" canon is yet to be seen.

Cold comfort for insatiable "Sopranos" fans. And in direct proportion to our growing dismay that the series must, indeed, eventually conclude is our gnawing curiosity: How will it all end?

Years ago, Tony Soprano imagined his options during a gloomy psychiatric session: "dead, or in the can."

But it will be Chase -- who has a writing or co-writing credit on some 20 episodes and supervises all the rest, along with every other detail of the series -- who will make that final call. He is the supreme being who concocts The Chart, from which all narratives and scripts emanate. The Chart, whose episode-by-episode and character-by-character coordinates pin down "The Sopranos'" destiny. The Chart is finished, Chase says.

Granted, it's subject to revision.

"Usually I try to stick to my first impulse," he explains. "But it could be that we get close to what I thought was gonna be the ending we planned, and something better will come along into our heads."

He notes that shooting will continue through December. Post-production won't wrap until next March.

So maybe the end ISN'T closer than we think.

Elsewhere in the Silvercup complex -- Studio X -- it appears to be business as usual. In the Soprano living room the latest family crisis is erupting. Teenage son A.J. (played by Robert Iler) has screwed up again.

"So," rails his mom, Carmela (Edie Falco), "every time I said to you, 'How's work?' and you said, 'Fine,' you were having your own private little joke on me?"

"What's going on?" says Tony, entering through the front door.

"I went to Blockbuster today to rent `Cinderella Man,'" Carmela fumes, "and guess what?"

"It still sucks."

"I found out that our son, the liar, had been fired three weeks ago!"

"From Blockbuster!" Tony is a mix of rage and bewilderment. "How the f--- do you do THAT? They got rhesus monkeys as managers there!"

But while shooting the scene, Gandolfini stumbles over a word. He lets out a frustrated growl. While the cameras reset, his meaty hand seizes his script (individually numbered and boldly labeled "CONFIDENTIAL") to check his lines.

The episode, airing late this season, is directed by Tim Van Patten, whose many "Sopranos" installments include last season's execution of beloved mob moll Adriana, as well as "Members Only," this Sunday's premiere.

A director of clearly diverse skills (his credits include 30 segments of "Touched By an Angel"), Van Patten is already waxing nostalgic.

"There's not gonna be a day I drive over the Queensborough Bridge and see Silvercup and don't think, 'Those were great days,'" he admits. "It's very strange to sense the end. No one says it out loud, but the actors are feeling it."

Steven Van Zandt feels it and he says it out loud.

The longtime guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, he made his acting debut as Silvio Dante, Tony's pompadoured consigliere. Growing reflective in his Manhattan office-studio (where he champions rock-and-roll on his nationally syndicated radio show, "Little Steven's Underground Garage"), he says he'll miss the "Sopranos" gig.

"It's such a mental vacation to be somebody else, to be out of my own world," he says. "Being Silvio is my meditation."

Thinking back on the lifestyle he has helped portray during the "Sopranos" run, Van Zandt can't help but laugh. For all the focus on the show's violence, much of how Silvio, Tony and the rest occupy themselves is playing pool at the Bada Bing! or sitting around in front of the pork store, reading The Racing Form.

"I think one of the most remarkable things David and the other writers have accomplished is turning a very mundane existence into something compelling," Van Zandt says. "When you look at what mob guys are doing today, it's not the Roaring Twenties."

It's just one more reason why "The Sopranos" was a very long shot to get a greenlight as a series, and no one knows that better than Chase. The premise: a basically unlikeable guy at the center of a mob drama. "How tired is THAT!" laughs Chase.

Even when the series got HBO's go-ahead, he figured it would air one year, tops. The first season's 13 episodes were in the can before the January 1999 premiere. And if a few plot strands were left dangling (item: where did "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero disappear to? Chase originally had no idea), he figured, who in the audience would care, or even notice?

Then "The Sopranos" caught on, but big. In Season Two, Pussy (a close Soprano operative turned
FBI informant) had to be accounted for, and was, to his ill fortune. Through the subsequent run of "The Sopranos," the narrative strands would multiply and the series would expand into a population whose ever-more-entangled connections defy even Chase's own immediate recall.

"There are other writers here who remember more than I do," he admits. "What I probably have, more than anybody else, is a sense of the family Tony Soprano came from."

After all, the 60-year-old Chase was the only child in a New Jersey Italian-American family whose difficult mother famously inspired Tony's hateful mother, Livia.

"I have Tony's background in my head very clearly," says Chase. "I keep creating his back story as we go along, and it seems like I'm the only one who can do that, or should."

He points to psychiatrist scenes where Tony recounts his past to Dr. Melfi (
Lorraine Bracco): "I think the other writers feel that I'm on more solid ground writing about that. Because they might go off some place where I would say, `THAT never happened' — not that ANY of it ever happened — more likely than I would say, 'I don't believe Tony would do this in the present day.'

"It's been enjoyable to see all those connections happen, and to have the history kind of branch out," he adds.

"I sort of made my bones on `The Rockford Files,'" he says, referring to the lighthearted 1970s drama about private eye Jim Rockford. "It was a great show to work on. But Jim never really changed, or his father, Rocky, or Dennis, the detective. Nothing interwove. That's how television used to be."

Chase would have been happy to keep "The Sopranos" a series of freestanding hours.

"HBO was more enamored of a serial structure than I was," he says, "but the first season I tried to keep the serial element to a minimum. My goal was to do a little movie every week about a different subject. That's always been what we tried to do. But over time, as the universe expanded, the serial elements have grown larger.

"I still hanker to do more stand-alone episodes," he says.

Indeed, this season's second episode, "Join the Club," which Chase wrote, sets in motion an underlying story of mistaken identity that could stand on its own as a modern "Twilight Zone" yarn.

Like most, that episode is sparked with dialogue where characters reveal themselves (to the audience, at least) as either clueless, or lying, or hiding from the truth.

In a tender moment, Carmela tells Tony, "You're a good father. You care about your friends."

Say what?!

Chase chuckles. "The best part of writing the show is that whatever the person is saying is not the real world. Everything is a lie, or at least 80 percent of it. 'I love you, T!' The character is habitually saying that which isn't. And that's fun."

Fun for the writers, and fun for the audience, who catch the oh-so-cagey characters as they expose themselves repeatedly.

So perhaps the viewer has been put on notice: Look for no grand lessons here from Chase, other than the human penchant for commingling untruths with the real thing.

And don't try to second-guess him on how the series will end. Not when Chase, who oversees perhaps the most meticulously executed show in TV history, can say, "Control is an illusion."

But even so ... er ... how about a few tea leaves for fans to read?

"I guess," Chase offers, "the question is: `Do we really believe that crime does not pay?'" He shrugs. "That's what we're told. That's what most gangster films have told us. Is there justice in the world?"

So, whatever it is that Chase happens to believe, that might have some bearing on the series' grand conclusion?

"Yeah, I think so," he says, mulling it over. "I think so."

--- end of article ---

I don't know how I'll be handling this season.  What I did before, I usually kept myself from reading Sopranos news until the DVDs come out and ship from Amazon, which I watched an episode a night, beer and popcorn and all.  Keeping it fresh had been easy to do since only the most devoted in the industry press reported plot developments and only when something earthshaking happens, like the death of a character. 

This time since it's the last season, I think any major movement (and presumably there will be many) will be news everywhere from Good Morning America to ET to Letterman. It's going to be hard to stay ignorant. 

If somebody posts eps on the BT sites, I'll probably bite.  Then just buy the DVD for the extras and to complete the set.
« Last Edit: Mar 09, 2006 at 12:29 AM by JdelaCruz »

Offline Reuven Malter

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The Sopranos
« Reply #86 on: Mar 09, 2006 at 01:53 PM »
Five things you need to know before you watch the new season:

Almost as much ink as blood has been spilled in the course of The Sopranos' five seasons. But it's been a long time since we've seen our favorite mob family. So a brief remembrance of things past is in order as the show launches its sixth and final (and long, drawn-out) chapter.

* Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola) got nabbed by the feds in the final episode of season five, shifting power to volatile lieutenant Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent).

* Carmela (Edie Falco) came to the conclusion that jewelry and new cars sure beat nagging Tony (James Gandolfini) for the cash to live in the manner she has become accustomed, so she let him back into the house.

* Uncle Junior's (Dominic Chianese) RICO trial ended in a hung jury after the capos got to a juror. So Uncle June may not be confined to house arrest anymore. He's become increasingly senile, however.

* Tony whacked his cousin Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi) with a shotgun blast to the face to save him from being tortured by Phil, who was looking to avenge Blundetto's murder of Phil's brother Billy.

* Tony had Silvio (Steve Van Zandt) whack Adriana (Drea de Matteo) after her fiance, Christopher (Michael Imperioli), revealed to Tony that she had been talking to the feds.


-- Marisa Guthrie (NY Daily News)
« Last Edit: Mar 09, 2006 at 01:54 PM by Reuven »
Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose!

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #87 on: Mar 14, 2006 at 11:19 PM »
I do a news search to find out how Ep 1 went down and I see without really reading -- you know, to keep things fresh -- headlines and quotes like "one of the most shocking moments in recent prime-time TV history" and "Sopranos Shocker" and "Sopranos Shock for TV Fans" and "startling twist" and "surprise ending".  Good God, what happened?!  That's it.  Fire up the BitTorrent.

Offline Phobos

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #88 on: Mar 14, 2006 at 11:27 PM »
Relax. It's more like a cop out than a twist if you ask me. It's designed to shock some fans, but if anybody with half a brain is watching, they'd know everything will be OK the next episode.

Offline JdelaCruz

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Re: The Sopranos
« Reply #89 on: Mar 15, 2006 at 08:29 AM »
Relax. It's more like a cop out than a twist if you ask me. It's designed to shock some fans, but if anybody with half a brain is watching, they'd know everything will be OK the next episode.

That's good to hear... isn't it?  Can't wait for this download to be through.