Friday, August 1, 2008

What happened to Gary Cooper?

Well, I am finished with summer work, so I came back to the suburbs to kill some time. I’m at my mom’s right now which is a place I’ve come to enjoy. Aside from my mother and her dog I’m always happy to spend time with her Sopranos DVDs.

Surprisingly I haven’t mentioned this already, but The Sopranos is the best show that was ever on television. Ever. And while I’m at my mother’s (or should I say “my muddah’s”) and have each episode at my fingertips, I thought I’d share with you my favorites.

Season 1 Episode 1: “The Sopranos” From the very first, anxious session between Tony Soprano and Dr. Jennifer Melfi, I think everyone could tell that there was something special coming. Granted there are some growing pains. James Gandolfini doesn’t have the Jersey accent down, yet. The direction is nothing to write home about. But the moment Tony utters the words “waste management” to the uneasy doctor, you’re hooked.

And by the time Anthony Jr. cries out, “so what no fuckin ziti?” you know that you’ve seen the inception of a classic.

Principle characters—in all their glory—are introduced. Plot lines and themes which will extend throughout the six seasons are set. The ducks. Gary Cooper—the strong, silent type. The sad clown.

I’ll always contend that each Sopranos season, but what is unfortunate about seasons 3-6 is the absence of Tony’s mother, Livia. Of course this was because of Nancy Marchand’s untimely death, which certainly speaks volumes of the series when the only complaint I have is based off of something out David Chase’s hands. But Livia, the source of Tony’s depression was an unbelievably written character. Written out of Chase’s own experiences (poor guy), she was a manipulative, conniving, evil sad-case. She drove the show early on, as we learned the deep-rooted psychological damage she inflicted on Tony. Driving Junior against T. Having her around longer would have been interesting to say the least.

Also worth noting: The music for the closing credits is Nick Lowe’s “The Beast In Me”

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