Saturday, 6 October 2012

The end is near...

Next week I've gotta say goodbye to a few good friends. We've been hanging out for over a year - every Wednesday night - like clockwork. Ok, I admit, I've missed a few of our meet ups, but I've always caught up on them later... . I often wished I had the time to devote an entire day to them. I feel I've been loyal - passionate even, about them and yet, we have come to the end of the road.

In truth, I often don't like them. One by one they've been 'offed' or they've behaved in such a way that my understanding and support of them has wavered and I remember what cold ruthless killers they all are.

Well, all bar the real family of the boss, Mr Soprano.

I've got 3 more left and then, after 6 series and 86 episodes - we are done.  I'll be bereft. Never again will I watch Carmela flirt with the big nosed Furio, or rustle up some cawfee, or scrap with her brute of a husband - wrestling not only with him, but her conscience - how does the big T really make his money? Or listen to the banter at the Bing... always filled with an unspoken tension - which at any moment could erupt from 'I was just breakin' his balls,' to a a full scale beating - that at a later date would be excused, because that's just what happens, whadyagonnadoaboutiteh? Nor will I be privy to Tony's long sprawling conversations with Dr Melfi - where he would attempt to explain away his sociopathic tendencies, his egotistical need for control and his inability to remain faithful to his wife.

I miss Chris-toe-fuuuuuuuuuuurrrrr already - even though I've never really forgiven him for grassing up Adriana. Poor sweet lost Adriana... the moral compass for a show without morals. I held my breath for that whole car journey - with her sad little pink case on the back seat.. the one that ended in the thick of the woods.... Where Sil reminded us that in 'duh family' there is no room for sentimentality. Not where a FED informant is concerned.

It hasn't been an easy watch at times... I found series 3 particularly harrowing - Melfi's rape followed by Ralphie brutally murdering his stripper girlfriend Tracee in the carpark almost had me switching off forever. Misogyny in The Sopranos was rife - but the casual way women were discarded like pieces of glittery trash turned my stomach. A slap here, an almost strangulation there - getting into bed with the mob wasn't a walk in the park even if you were the fairer sex.

Of course I was never going to walk away. When you sign up, you're in for life. Between the whacks and the broken friendships, the veiled threats and the acts of revenge, were moments of incredible humour. You don't believe me - watch 'Pine Barons' (series 3 - episode 11. When Paulie loses a shoe in the snow after trying to murder an incredibly tall Russian, I almost wept with laughter.

My feelings about the boss are complicated - sure, I love the old bear - for his attempts at humanity (even if they weren't humane - when he murdered Ralphie I cheered) and his love for his family. For struggling with what was expected of him, and what he expected of himself. For his unfortunate ability to pick the craziest gumars on the planet to have affairs with and his loyalty to tragic Vito.

I'll miss the meals at Arti's, the family gatherings, the afternoons at the Bing and the shady deals done down by the river. Most of all I'll miss the subtext laced through each scene - so long after an episode ended I was still making sense of what the real story had been - not the one I was told, but the one I saw. For Sopranos never explained, never fed you the happy ending you so wanted. Stories just floated off, words unspoken, characters not sewn up. It left you to fill in the cracks. To mull over why they did what they did, and how they could live with themselves for doing so. Because deep down they all had a conscience. Tony had to go to Melfi to uncover his, Paulie's was with the lord, and Sil's manifested itself in panic attacks when he temporarily was the boss. At one joyful point Christopher was clean and rational and a movie producer (Cleaver - amazing - just hilarious) - with a family and sense of obligation. Then he shared a shot with Paulie and... well, it was never going to end well was it?

So 3 more eps and it's goodbye. I'm gonna my Wednesdays. I'll raise an Italian red and salute them all. It's been a blast.

What you gonna do - eh? 

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I feel your pain! May i recommend The Wire, Breaking Bad and most of all - Deadwood. I love your blog! Thanks for writing.