Monday, June 11, 2007

The Sopranos Finale

Dear Mr. David Chase:

I saw the very first episode of The Sopranos the night it aired, and I've since been one of your biggest fans. Thus, I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology for not having written
The Great Ones That Failed years ago, because it would have done you a world of good.

What is it about mobster franchises that they always screw up the ending? This may have been the most indecisive, cowardly, chicken-shit ending to a television show I have ever had to witness. I would’ve respected you more had you actually made a decision about Tony’s demise and stuck by it.

Makes me want to write mobster franchise just to show you how it’s done.



GimmeABreak said...

For the same reasons I wasn't a big Godfather fan, I never saw a single episode of The Sopranos. Speculation was rampant on the morning shows about Tony's impending demise. How'd he bite it?

Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Stop the presses. MM and I disagree!

As I commented in your Cinematic Storytelling post, I loved the ending of Sopranos and don't think it was a copout at all! Tony doesn't have to die to complete this tragedy. In fact, I think the way it ended is more tragic than him dying.

He sucked his kids in, the FBI guy in, reduced Carmela to an empty shell...

The only person who escaped was Dr. Melfi, but you know she's gonna suffer for her emotional involvement with him for the rest of her life.

I thought it was brilliant and wonderful. Psychological in the extreme. It displayed his toxicity perfectly.

Mystery Man said...

I was happy until we got to that final scene. Oy vey...

That pussy should've been staring at a photo of David Chase.



Ann Wesley Hardin said...

I think the final scene was a metaphor for the rest of his life, however long or short it would be.

He'd always be watching and waiting for disaster to get up and use the toilet. LOL. (and herein I got to plug my book, Coffee, Tea or Lea? where I used that line for my air marshal hero. See how clever I am? ;)

You're not the only person who feels that way. But I have to say the ending reminded me of The Godfather. I genuinely loved it.

Joshua James said...

Hey MM, I'm wit' ya and if you wanna write another mobster franchise and do it right, lemme know, I'm your guy for 'dis thing of ours . . .

Christian M. Howell said...

I kind of have to agree with Ann. I thought the last 5 minutes was a brilliant piece of cinema.

The buildup of Meadow parking the car, the thought that maybe Phil got a guy to cap Tony anyway. Great.

Sure you would think that there would have to be some kind of climactic ending filled with Tony et al riddled with a hitman's bullets or the sight of Tony, as Meadow says, being dragged away by the FBI.

But this ambiguous ending could perhaps create a spin off.

The way they had Phil's head get run over by the car and the youth puking was also a highlight.

I think they did a good job of taking Tony all the way back to the first shows.

Sil mirrors Jackie Aprille. AJ is back to his doomsday mentality - with a heroic twist.

Meadow and Tony eat together like in the first shows. Tony shows how comfortable he is with a large gun.

I was half-expecting to see the ducks come back and Tony passing out.

The scene with the FBI guy rooting for the death of Phil was also a real interesting turn.

I thought it meant that the agent was going to use it against Tony when the rat testified.

True I may have done something else but it was handled well.

There was just enough ambiguity for 10 different people to have 10 different endings.

Thumbs up, I'd say.

David said...

Bravo, MM. I felt like Chase flipped me, and every other fan, the bird. Plus, if you're going for that kind of "life goes on" ending, don't spend two episodes creating setups that you have no intention of paying off.

Ann Wesley Hardin said...

But it wasn't a "life goes on" ending! Wah!

Didn't anyone else see the subtle changes in Carmela--she got vaguer, almost to the point of being completely frail. She was making all sorts of inappropriate comments.

AJ, who had been depressed (and milking it--perhaps like dear old dad?) when he was trying to be "normal", suddenly jazzed right up when he entered his father's milieu. And Meadow changed her career because of the unfairness of daddy getting carted off by the (now thoroughly corrupted) FBI. She used to SEE this shit. But she blinded herself to it.

Tony used his toxic powers to gather them all back after he lost a bunch of his men. All their lives were forever changed.

I actually expected a "life goes on" ending, because it's so true and I think Chase really strives for that. But this went so much deeper. Yes, life goes on to an extent, but Tony's family ultimately and subconsciously altered their realities to make it go on, and in so doing, totally deepened the pit of dysfunction that defines them. When the show first began they struggled with these issues. Now, the mind-fuck is complete.

Am I making sense?

Script Demon said...

MM? A Sopranos fan? BLASPHEMY! I can understand how you could have felt disappointed and let down, but seriously, dude. You missed the whole point!

I just posted my thoughts on my blog. You're welcome to read them.

I'll have to go with Ann as my feelings are exactly the same.

This was brilliant CINEMA.

And guess what? I can't wait to see the motion pictureS. This has FRANCHISE written all over it.

It had to end this way, MM. How else could it have?

Mim said...

I never got into the Sopranos. I missed the first 2 seasons because I didn't have HBO and then never caught up. Now it just seems too late.

If you want a real cop-out ending, try dedicating most of your life to the Dark Tower series and then seeing how that ended up.

Talk about disappointing.

Mystery Man said...

Ann, Christian, & SD - Those are all really great comments, especially yours, Ann, with the metaphor about the rest of his life. I really enjoyed that. I certainly won't argue with those points.

And I've read just about every other article out there about this.

I'm open to changing my mind but, well, I still hate it.

If you're going to offer an inconclusive ending, then don't make fans wait 21 months to see it.

If you write a story with an unresolved, inconclusive ending, don't ask me to give you feedback.

In a recent interview, David Chase said, "We did what we had to do." Aka, sold our souls to greed with the hope of a movie or spin-off. Writers who really care about their creations in an artistic sense will kill off the main character in order to prevent spin-offs and sequels. This was the most artsy cop-out and sell-out in television history.


Script Demon said...

PLEASE, DAVID CHASE, SELL OUT! I want more Sopranos and I'm not going to rest till I see a series of feature films a-la Star Trek franchise.

MM, with all due respect, you really don't understand. Sopranos is part of our fiber...well, most of us...those who dont' have much of a life anyway.

Honestly? If you asked me why I'm such a fan, I'd answer you I don't really know 100%. I just loved every minute of it. It got me where not very much gets through. And I'm Italian, so shoot me.

Mystery Man said...


Okay, that was pretty funny.