Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Sopranos sleeps with the fishes now

That's my Sicilian message after nearly a month of watching all the six seasons of The Sopranos, the great gangster TV series. Nothing else can perhaps convey my sense of relief as the last few minutes of the 21st episode of the sixth season rolled on. Relief that finally there were no more episodes to watch, that the story finally ends after much blood, gore and misogyny. Yet, I watched. I stayed fascinated with this violent story of a mob family that plundered through the lives of people, killed and slaughtered.

I can say I was obsessed. Every day as I came back from work, it was always to the next episode of The Sopranos. Coupled with a beer or two, I was like an addict writhing for my next shot of heroin. After hours of watching episode after episode, I went to bed with a strange sense of nothingness, as if everything that was in my head had emptied itself out. In more ways than I can comprehend, I felt relief over that emptiness too. I no longer had to think about anything that was bothering me.

Which brings me to the question about The Sopranos. What made this TV series such a landmark in the world of entertainment? Of course, it was a deep commentary on the American society. But what was it trying to achieve in its narratives of some wiseguys who were often robin-hoodesque? They were ruthless in their business dealings and unforgiving of betraying associates. Yet, they gave their money and time generously to all who they loved. They were deeply sentimental often yet grotesquely unintuitive to the pain caused by their sociopathic ways.

Vanity Fair's Peter Biskind gives an incisive critique of the series in An American Family

No comments:

Post a Comment