The Sopranos was, in my humblest of opinions, the best TV show ever. Some people say Breaking Bad, but some people are wrong. Tony Soprano is the best character in TV history, for me.
It was one of the first TV shows that I actually watched and followed properly. Like, before box sets and Netflix, when you had to watch the adverts and wait a full week for the next episode.
Some people I know who haven’t watched it have said to me that they assumed it was like Goodfellas the series, and a gangsta romp throughout, which it wasn’t. It was more than that. It was essentially the three sides to Tony. The family man, the mafia boss, and the emotional wreck that goes to a psychiatrist. I loved everything about the show. Even when AJ was annoying as fuck and Meadow was in her pain in the arse teenage girl phase. Which was worth sticking with… Steve Buscemi turning up and being a masseuse. Paulie Walnuts in general.
When it ended, it sparked a LOT of debate. Only recently I was having a discussion with a good mate about it. SPOILER ALERT: I was saying he got killed, he was saying that he didn’t. If you ain’t seen it, then go watch it ASAP, you’re missing out massively. If you’ve forgotten the last scene, here’s a reminder on YouTube.
The show’s creator, David Chase, was speaking to DGA Quarterly (the Director’s Guild magazine) recently:
I said to Gandolfini, the bell rings and you look up. That last shot of Tony ends on ‘don’t stop,’ it’s mid-song. I’m not going to go into [if that’s Tony’s POV]. I thought the possibility would go through a lot of people’s minds or maybe everybody’s mind that he was killed. He might have gotten shot three years ago in that situation. But he didn’t. Whether this is the end here, or not, it’s going to come at some point for the rest of us. Hopefully we’re not going to get shot by some rival gang mob or anything like that. I’m not saying that [happened]. But obviously he stood more of a chance of getting shot by a rival gang mob than you or I do because he put himself in that situation. All I know is the end is coming for all of us.
I thought the ending would be somewhat jarring, sure. But not to the extent it was, and not a subject of such discussion. I really had no idea about that. I never considered the black a shot. I just thought what we see is black. The ceiling I was going for at that point, the biggest feeling I was going for, honestly, was don’t stop believing. It was very simple and much more on the nose than people think. That’s what I wanted people to believe. That life ends and death comes, but don’t stop believing. There are attachments we make in life, even though it’s all going to come to an end, that are worth so much, and we’re so lucky to have been able to experience them. Life is short. Either it ends here for Tony or some other time. But in spite of that, it’s really worth it. So don’t stop believing.
The full breakdown of the final scene is over on DGA, and I strongly suggest you check it out. WELL worth a read.
If you have never watched it, the box set will be the best 50 quid you spend this year. If you already love it, then check out some of the quotes on Twitter. What is your favourite? I have too many to choose from to be honest.
Paulie- "In the midst of death, we are in life" Meadow- "I think it's the other way around" Paulie- "Either way, you're halfway up the ass
— The Sopranos Quotes (@TheSopranoQuote) March 15, 2015
Tony- "So, how was Florida?" Phil- "Hot and sticky, like my balls."
— The Sopranos Quotes (@TheSopranoQuote) February 26, 2015
Silvio- "Well we still gotta find somebody to play Santa." (Everyone stares at Tony) Tony- "The fuck outta here."
— The Sopranos Quotes (@TheSopranoQuote) December 26, 2014
"You're my nephew Christopher, and I love you. But that's the only reason you're alive right now." – Tony Soprano
— The Sopranos Quotes (@TheSopranoQuote) December 13, 2014
I was gutted that The Sopranos ended, but I think they timed it just right and ended it perfectly.