Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Sopranos - Season 3

I can see why The Sopranos might appeal more to an older audience than it does to me. The family issues it covers can resonate with anyone in America, but it's all told from a more mature perspective. I don't know what it's like to see your kids move out or get in trouble or see close friends pass away. Most of the younger characters on the show are unlikable, especially the ones involved with the mob business, who are almost universally portrayed as worthless idiots who mess up and then get killed. The youngest one who hasn't screwed up yet is Chris, but he gets made partway through the season so he's no young pup. Carmella's (Tony's wife) character is very prominent, and everything she deals with, how to cope with a criminal husband she still loves and her two very different children, are something I have no reference with. Still, the show is very good even if it wasn't made with me in mind.

There's a lot to deal with in the third season. An obnoxious relative moves on but another takes their place. Another prominent underling emerges who Tony butts heads with, this time played by the enjoyable Joe Pantoliano. The FBI's making a stronger push to compile evidence on him. His daughter has problems with boys and his son with school. He meets a new girlfriend in a place that should worry him, his psychiatrist's office. It's all balanced very well. Sometimes other shows try to give you snippets of all the plot threads being juggled all the time, but usually here they just pick one or two per episode to give real attention to. One aspect of the show I like is how frank it is with the violence and how things can quickly get out of hand in their line of work. In one episode, a simple trip to pick up owed money turns into an altercation and then a whole day getting lost in the woods, chasing after prey that could potentially be very dangerous. They definitely don't flinch showing the rough stuff. I'm gonna keep watching to see how wrong things get.

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