The Sopranos, Season 6

And yes, we need a SPOILER ALERT already…

Perhaps it’s just me, but I found myself intensely frustrated with Sunday’s season opener. I’ve felt shades of this frustration during the first episodes of previous seasons as well; the lengthy hiatus between seasons requires the show to catch us up a bit more than I’d like, not just reminding us of who all the key players are, but giving us what feels like a fifty-minute long stream of machine-gun fired exposition, one speeding little bullet following right behind, but entirely separate from, the other. Maybe it’s just me — R. seemed not to have this problem — but the episode felt entirely disjointed, bouncing frenetically from one thing to the next, unable to settle itself either into a narrative or into a rhythm.

And then, boom: Junior shoots Tony. (Hey, I warned you!) Which left me so shocked that I found myself wondering whether the bouncing around of the first fifty minutes of the episode wasn’t intentional, designed to keep us off-kilter, before dropping the narrative big one.

Or maybe not. Maybe I just want this season to work, and so am seeking a way to rationalize what was fundamentally a weak episode. We’ll see how next week goes.

(And incidentally, I want to give it another week before I comment on Big Love, except to say that there is a heck of a cast.)

3 thoughts on “The Sopranos, Season 6

  1. /rant on

    I’m with you – the premiere was a big mess. But I see it as more typical of the series in recent years than one off episode. While the first season of the show was as good as TV gets, the program has gone consistently downhill over the last five years. The premiere of this season was the most jumbled & fractured hour of dramatic TV I’ve seen in a long time, making 24 look downright coherent (no mean feat). Look back at a 1st season episode of The Sopranos (I show “College” in my courses as a model of TV storytelling) ‚Äì each episode is perfectly crafted, with interweaving & thematically parallel plotlines, all resolving in ways that are both satisfying and move long-term arcs forward. This week’s episode seems to jump from story to story with no purpose, with only the Gene hanging plot offering anything like coherence or clear significance to the broader themes & arcs. Sure, the acting’s compelling, but the best episodes of Sopranos haven’t approached an average episode of Six Feet Under, Buffy, Angel, West Wing, Veronica Mars or Lost in years ‚Äì The Sopranos is no longer the best show on TV in part because TV’s gotten so much better since its debut! It’s a once-great groundbreaking program that sacrifices coherence and emotional connection for the self-indulgent whims of its creator, as fed by the non-stop accolades of critics who don’t watch other TV. I sincerely hope when the history of 2000s TV is written in twenty years, Six Feet Under will loom as the much more significant and artful show, but we need to end the cycle of celebration now.

    /rant off

  2. Must just be me but i think it was a good episode, definately not the best but did a good job covering some of the gaps. I think some people just want to see this show turn into a stereotypical mafia show where everyone gets whacked or goes to jail, but that is not what has made this show great in the past. Granted, it was defiantely sweet to see Pussy get popped and the attempted assaination of Tony in season 1, but what give the show life is the reality of the show. The mafia gangland of the 20’s is almost nonexistent, while the mafia is alive and well they are getting back to the Gambino ways of secrecy and not the Gotti ways of notariaty. Basically what i am saying is that while there are those few extremely aggrevating shows (like the dream sequneces every season) that suck its the type of epsiodes like this seasons opener that keep the fans tuning in every week to see what happens. Sorry for the rant but it seems like alot of people are coming down on this episode because it was so jumpy.

  3. I feel that the current season six has not had the spark that season five had. Some people can agree with me that the start of sea six was very sudden, as said before, before you know it, boom and tony is shoot by jr, and the rest of the start of the season is situated inside the hospital. to be honest with you, i think that it has started with a bad start and a sappy storyline.

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