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Old 09-21-2017, 12:07 AM   #211
teh b0lly!!1
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actually you know what, this last point i made was something i had wanted to respond to Killtrocity's post with. this part:

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Sopranos frequently changes perspective, even for single shots at times ("I found Jimmy Hoffa!") and in doing so gives a much broader commentary on society as a whole, but also suffers at times from lack of direction (the episode where Carmela goes to Italy with Rosalie comes to mind, Melfi's rape comes out of nowhere and is never discussed again, some of the Ralphie stuff, much of Meadow's bullshit). Sopranos also is not afraid to kill of characters which is a plus. Jesse should have been dead in season 2.
both of those examples you had described as 'lacking direction', i thought were really great writing excursions that branched out in an interesting way, while also conveying to the audience something new about the characters at hand. actually, as a sweeping statement, i would say Sopranos excelled in never boring the viewers with insignificant or redundant plot lines (very unlike many, many, many other shows) - nearly everything that was put on the screen was interesting or engaging in some form or another.

the Dr. Melfi rape was one of the highlights of the show for me, because it:

a) enabled us to get a rare glimpse into Dr. Melfi's own struggles, wants and desires as a human being. and the reason that's so beautiful is the sharp contrast between her personality as a therapist. as a psychiatrist, she is mostly a "non-person" - she puts up this big opaque chrome wall over herself, and is almost exclusively there (that is, in the sessions) as an unbiased, neutral therapeutic figure. she was tried, and was able to get through the ordeal by staying true to her moral compass - that makes you respect her more on a personal level, not just as "Tony's Generic Therapist".

b) it developed and deepened her character, and made us (the audience) realize what kind of considerations having such a high-profile patient entails, and what kind of responsibility that demands of a highly moral and functional person who, unlike most of the other protagonists on the show, refuses to cut herself any slack and take the easy way out (asking Tony to justly brutalize this lowlife Employee Of The Month).

c) it gave us this most beautiful moment of seeing such a capable, intelligent, strong therapist break during a session with a patient. and more importantly - it shone a light on this grey area, of ethics and personal morals and what is just, vs. what is vigilantism.


same thing goes for Carmela's trip to Rome with Rosalie. the contrast between the two characters - Rosalie being decidedly prosaic, very grounded and blocked off emotionally, opposite Carmela who is so emotional, like an open wound, soaking up everything she sees and diving into philosophical thoughts that highlight her struggles and difficulties in all this constant stream of shit that comes with living alongside Tony.

the scene where Carmela stands there and touches a wall that dates way way back, and thinks about all the lives that were once there, and "washed away". that was just so powerful (with yet another flawless acting performance by the amazing Edie Falco) and profound.

for me, if we're talking about half-baked storylines, i always felt the Tony B arc was kinda odd, and left a lot of loose ends that could have made great, great plot developments. missed opportunities. it just seemed like there was something better to be done with that plot. but eh, it really is hard to complain when a show is THAT good.

Last edited by teh b0lly!!1 : 09-21-2017 at 12:17 AM.

 
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:28 AM   #212
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I mean it's been a long time since I saw it but from what I remember Tony had given Chris a ton of chances and instead of having to deal with cutting him out of the family business he saw a way to not have to deal with it and took it
Yeah, I think ultimately it was a bit of both. Like as if he thought "oh shit, Chris is fucked", cause they make a point of Tony looking distraught as Chris is gushing blood from the mouth and then they show him dialing 9-1-1 and then thinks "hmmm maybe him dying would be for the best, and he's probably fucked and gonna die anyways, I'll put him out of his misery".

That's why they make a big point in the script for the doctor to say, "it was bad, but if he would have came in right away he would have lived" and then they show Tony kind of twitch.

 
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:29 AM   #213
teh b0lly!!1
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ok just one more thing and i'll shut up -

re: all the Breaking Bad vs. The Sopranos conversation itt, i think it's worth noting that there has NEVER (at least not to the best of my knowledge) been a more uncompromising antihero protagonist than Tony Soprano.

even Walter White begs more sympathy than him; he was a good person, a devoted father, a particularly brilliant man who simply snapped after receiving devastating news. those are character traits designed to make you give this character a chance - they're qualities that make you sympathetic to him from the get go.

but Tony Soprano - he's the same deeply flawed person from the very beginning to the very end. he's a hypocrite, he's violent, he has no respect for women, he's ruthless. it's only up to an incredible actor like James Gandolfini to breathe life into him, and somehow manage to make him a person you can watch for 6 seasons without feeling intense hate for him. he's very charming, very convincing in the way he walks the tightrope between being the psycopath who looks for excuses to justify his destructive behavior, that leaves a trail of tears and blood in his wake, and somehow being an endearing person who you actually believe cares about the people he loves, and who deals with his shit the only way he knows how.

the script is very adamant about never trying to get you to like Tony. he is who he is, with no sugarcoating it for "unpure" reasons, like making it the show more accessible. it's this weird alchemy and combination between a perfect set of actors, great script, and great execution and presentation that makes all this work.

that's also one of the reasons the finale was so good - they had built up this sense of impending doom, without really fully getting there. but they make you realize the wheels have been set in motion. and it almost tries to say, right at that last shot of tony looking up - "can you really continue to justify this person?"

Last edited by teh b0lly!!1 : 09-21-2017 at 02:01 AM. Reason: grammar

 
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:10 AM   #214
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jesus i can't stop. forgive me for polluting this thread, but one thing i do have to criticize, is several inconsistencies with Dr. Melfi's character.

her sessions with Tony are, for the most part, very well written, insightful and profound, and fairly convincing as a depiction of real therapy. but then you have these little things that a real psychiatrist would never do, that Dr Melfi does on the show -

for example, at one point in the show she accepts Carmela for an appointment, even though Tony has been her patient for years! and iirc even talks to her about some of the things her husband has been talking about, breaking medical confidentiality. i mean isn't this at the very least conflict of interest, and crossing a red line as a mental health doctor?

and even worse than that, perhaps, is the last session with Tony. after building up this near-immaculate doctor persona through all those years, never judging Tony or surrendering to immediate impulse, their last session just has Dr Melfi lashing out at Tony, sneering sarcastic comments at him, being judgemental and abusive, and cutting him off therapy at a crucial time in his life (right after AJ's suicide attempt) without any notice. i mean it's well established that she does so because she thinks her practice is only enabling Tony to continue doing the things he does, but i don't know. it felt like a jarring change, and a sour note to depart with that character on.

reprise would probably know much more about what an actual therapist can and cannot do, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. especially after the character of Dr Melfi has been so stern for so long.

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Old 09-21-2017, 02:46 AM   #215
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first problem with dr. melfi is that she is either a psychologist who can prescribe medicine (only in a couple states this is possible and NJ is not one), or she's a psychiatrist who has zero medical equipment and looks in all regards like a psychologist. in reality, she should have had to refer tony out for medication

about carmela. when they were in session together, things are basically up for grabs as far as legally speaking, however melfi and tony should have discussed it first. however yes when she comes in alone, unless tony explicitly says they can talk about him, they can't. and once again, even if tony gives up rights to medical information, any good psychologist wouldn't give up information like she did without a really, really good reason.

she also lets it be known to her friends that she is seeing tony soprano as a patient. if something like that ever slipped out she would need to talk to a lawyer. she might be obligated to tell tony. she might be obligated to tell on herself to the medical board. she couldn't just be like well shucks oops

finally, the way she closes the sessions i think is ok. because she has been enabling him for a long time and instead of dealing with why she was seeing someone she knew was a psychopath and potentially dangerous to her she totally took the easy way out. of course professionally this is patient abandonment and not ok, but in the context of the series it makes sense why she reacted this way. seeing him was fulfilling some kind of need in her and when her cognitive dissonance became strong enough she dropped him like a hot potato.

 
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:17 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
even Walter White begs more sympathy than him; he was a good person, a devoted father, a particularly brilliant man who simply snapped after receiving devastating news. those are character traits designed to make you give this character a chance - they're qualities that make you sympathetic to him from the get go.
I'm picking nits here, but the thing about Walt was that his break wasn't just about one single event. It was a lifetime of being passed over, fucked over and marginalized. The cancer was just the cherry on top.

 
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:39 AM   #217
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yeah i could agree with that. it kinda started out as just snapping and then turned into an ugly monster.

but regardless, my point was that he had a sympathetic core to attract the viewers to. he wasn't a completely morally dubious character from the get-go like tony was.

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Old 09-22-2017, 05:55 PM   #218
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Oh yeah, definitely. That's why I was rooting for Walt right up until the bitter end, beyond when I knew I should be. I could just identify with so much of his "everyman being trampled on" persona.

 
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:54 PM   #219
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For all you Sopranos fans, the guy who plays Christopher guest-stars in the latest episode of "Dice" (Andrew Dice Clays show on Showtime) as himself. It's pretty funny and cool to see him again.

 
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:59 PM   #220
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They did another season?

Wow. That's unexpected.

 
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:18 PM   #221
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man i really murdered all conversation itt with my ramblings. sorry guys.

 
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:35 PM   #222
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They did another season?

Wow. That's unexpected.
Yeah man, I was just browsing around and there was 6 episodes added. I'm not sure if this seasons only going to be 6 episodes like the first season was, as the end of the latest episode doesn't really seem like it's a conclusion to a season... But who the hell knows.

It's pretty much just Curb Your Enthusiasm but from Andrew Dice Clays perception.

Dice is a pretty funny show, but it's nothing special... Still the scenes with Michael Imperoli (sp?) are priceless. Definitely a must see for any Sopranos fan.

 
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:38 PM   #223
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man i really murdered all conversation itt with my ramblings. sorry guys.
Nah man. Your write-ups were great!

Just don't really have anything to add

 
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:04 PM   #224
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my first time watching Michael Imperioli was in The Basketball Diaries

one of the first drug movies to corrupt my innocence. good times

 
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