I have never been a big Sopranos fan. The acting on the show has been generally pretty good, but I never drank from the Sopranos well of dedicated fanaticism and I missed the first few years of the show when they originally aired.
I am now caught up on all the episodes and — after watching last night’s dreadful “Final Episode” — I am left, once again, wondering what all the fuss was about over a mediocre show.
I do not believe David Chase, the creator of the Sopranos, is a genius writer. I think he’s a lazy writer and he proved it week in and week out. He refused to provide any sort of cathartic resolution for the Pity and Terror
he has perpetuated on his show and that is the mark of the masochist.
You can always wind a spring tighter, but to never provide an emotional
or psychic release for those you have asked to watch your show and
provide an ongoing investment in your characters and story is nothing
short of cruel.
A perpetually tightened spring provides no energy or anticipation or
David Chase has contempt for his audience.
sharing universal memes, we need and crave form providing function.
We want to understand the world and our place in it and our
entertainment vehicles provide third-party values and morality for
contemplation and examination of the human condition.
Context provides meaning.
Catharsis creates a necessary release and resolution.
Without catharsis, drama is nothing but a tease and a selfish endeavor
where secrets are held from the audience in the name of “higher art.”
We are born with the ability to tell and understand a story and when
those genetic rhythms of storytelling are violated — on purpose — to
frustrate and condemn, we are required to stand as one and reject the
torture and the teasing by walking away from the trap of the “creative
genius” that really mocks our expected emotional investment in the
Art and craft demand a give and take between creator and
audience and to deny that living, reflexive, interaction is to create a
static mirror of one-way, reflective, dead, narcissism.
It is not particularly imaginative or daring to never end anything, and
to leave loose ends, and David Chase wallowed in the unknown and the
wholly kept secret.
Amateur writers create that kind of dramatic mess all the time because
they do not have the talent or the ability to find creative ways to
provide an audience catharsis.
Instead of sharing insight and resolve, young writers just let
characters and storylines wander off and fall away.
That is bad drama.
That is unfulfilling theatre.
That is insanity pretending to be craft.
That is the legacy of the Sopranos.
The final episode of the Sopranos points to one end only: More money
for David Chase in the perpetuation of a self-created mythos. While he
claims to be tired of the show, he has selfishly left open the
possibility of continuing the series at a later date — or making a
Sopranos movie — so people can pay over and over to experience a
mobius strip show that never ends, never begins and never gets started
in the first place.
There may be some sycophant minions who will continue to roll over and
pay to play in the land of the nothing never-ending that was, is, and
always shall be: The Sopranos. I won’t be one of them.