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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 April 2018 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I know Junior's response to the Feds 
offering him a deal smacked of pride and 
ego, but I think that was for show. Uncle 
Junior is old school, he's no rat and he'd 
never take a deal.
+++++++

Yeah, it’s obvious that the mobster code of ethics is Junior’s primary motive for not ratting, but the undercurrent of how that scene is played really comes across to me as him also angrily trying to save face when confronted with the idea that Tony is de facto boss.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 April 2018 at 10:00am
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 4:14am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Currently watching the show all over again. One of very few shows I can watch again. Great storytelling. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 4:59pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

“Do Not Resuscitate”.


An episode with a lot of moving parts, in regards to progressing and setting up subplots. The reveal that Big Pussy really IS a rat is a shocking one. Nice surprise to see Bill Cobbs appear as Reverend James, Sr., and it’sperhaps an even bigger surprise to learn that Tony and Reverend James, Jr. consipred to together to create the race-riot as an extortion tool. This is not the first time that the series has tackled the Italian/Black mob dynamics of New Jersey, and I have a feeling it won’t be the last.

The sight of Junior in the judge’s chambers—on oxygen, looking to get out of jail for flimsy medical reasons—is hilarious. Perhaps topped only by Janice’s fantasy image of Livia falling down to the stairs on the “in case of fire, use stairs” sign at the hospital. Not that it wasn’t already obvious, but Janice is very much a manipulative golddigger, and uses Tony’s anger against him to get exactly what she wants: a DNR for Livia. And, of course, she expertly ingratiates herself with Livia (and even brings out a pleasant side of her we haven’t seen before, to the point where she actually wants to return to the nursing home), until AJ innocently(?) spills the beans about the DNR. 

Lots of moving parts, here, and I’m only two episodes into the season. I’m eager to see where it all goes!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 April 2018 at 11:53pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

“Toodle-Fucking-Oo”.


Here we have the introduction of Richie Aprile to the show, and he’s quickly proven to be a major wild card in a show already brimming with tensions d subplots galore. He’s arrogant, casually violent, greedy, completely loyal to Junior, and still has the hots for Janice. Yikes. His extended assault on Beansie is both horrifying and quite funny in its level of overkill (complete with Richie playing “Shave and a Haircut” on his car’s horn before running Beansie down). And he’s also Adriana’s uncle.

Meanwhile we get some fun dynamics within the Soprano household, as Meadow pulls one over on her folks in regards to her punishment for trashing Livia’s house, with Tony and Carmella humorous discussing the nature of good parenting. Lotta great moments in this particular subplot.

Even funnier is Dr. Melfi’s run-in with Tony at the restaurant, and her subseqent dream of his car crash. This show is great at picking music to juxtapose against various scenes, and the choice of music from THE WIZARD OF OZ for the dream sequence is just perfectly surreal.

A really fun episode which lays a lot of groundwork that will no doubt later prove crucial, in terms of character dynamics and relationships. Richie has his fingers in a lot of pies, and his release from prison will clearly complicate an already tense situation.
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 3:36am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The mob boss of New Jersey and his wife,
lying in bed discussing how they need to
hide the fact from their daughter, that as
parents they are powerless to discipline
her, is one of my favourite scenes. :)

Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 29 April 2018 at 12:36am
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

You make me want to watch the show again, Greg (it would be my third time...). So many great moments and characters. Richie Aprile... excellently played by David Proval. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The mob boss of New Jersey and his wife, 
lying in bed discussing how they need to 
hide the fact from their daughter, that as 
parents they are powerless to discipline 
her, is ine of my favourite scenes. :)
+++++++

One of the best scenes in the entire run, thus far!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

You make me want to watch the show again, Greg (it would be my third time...). So many great moments and characters. Richie Aprile... excellently played by David Proval. 
+++++++

Interesting to learn that he originally auditioned for the role of Tony. I can see how that would have worked, but Chase apparently rejected him for being “too perfect”. Gandofini brings something less stereotypical and more charmingly eccentric to the role. Proval is still really good as a character who is pure force of will, though. 
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 29 April 2018 at 12:35am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Jim Gandolfini brought something to the
Tony Soprano role that I don't think any
other actor could have.
He makes Tony, a tough-guy who is somehow
very likeable and not-scary, even though
the show never lets you go that long
before you see Tony (and all of his
associates) ARE very scary.

* I also greatly enjoyed that Meadow,
despite being quite happy with how she
outwitted her parents regarding
punishment, comes up with her own suitable
atonement, and commits to it.

Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 29 April 2018 at 12:39am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 April 2018 at 12:46am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Jim Gandolfini brought something to the 
Tony Soprano role that I don't think any 
other actor could have.
He makes Tony, a tough-guy who is somehow 
very likeable and not-scary, even though 
the show never lets you go that long 
before you see Tony (and all of his 
associates) ARE very scary.
+++++++

Exactly. Gandolfini gives the impression that everything would be great, but for all of these other people mucking things up for Tony and both of his families. He plays Tony as if he’s a long-suffering guy who just wants things to go smoothly, and is constantly irritated because they don’t.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 May 2018 at 12:15am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

“Commendatori”.


A great episode which has a lot of interesting subplots and side-stories. We get that fun little vignette of the Mercedes’ theft, then cut to Tony looking at Polaroids of stolen cars, which highlights how removed Tony is from the street-level consequences of his criminal activities.

Meanwhile, it’s a hoot seeing the gang go to the motherland, and there’s some lovely Italian location filming in this episode. It’s neat to see the culture clash between the Italian-American mobsters and the Italian mobsters, and even Tony and his crew take pause at the casual violence they witness against a mother and her son on the street. And then there’s Christopher staying in a room and shooting up heroin for the entire trip, and Paulie trying to explore his roots, but ending up mostly indulging in food and hookers.

Tony’s flirtation with the lovely Annalisa (played by Sofia Milos of CSI: MIAMI fame) provides an interesting dynamic. They’re both attracted to each other, but Tony is smart enough not to mix business with pleasure, and, by the end, he is literally (and symbolically) holding a blue ball in the car on the way to the airport. Of course, the fact that it would be adultery doesn’t even enter the equation, since Tony is a serial cheater.

Speaking of which, there’s also Carmella’s subplot, which might be my favorite of the episode. The mob wives’ meeting—and Angie’s announcement that she wants to divorce Big Pussy—clearly touches a nerve with Carmella, and she spends the rest of the episode standing up for the sanctity of marriage, even when Janice (of all people) raises some good points. The final scene, in which Carmella has ambivalent feelings about Tony’s return from Italy (mirroring Angie’s confession that she wishes that Pussy had died rather than come home from Costa Rica) speaks volumes, and is a perfect ending for the episode. Angie’s confession has obviously planted the seed of divorce in Carmella’s head, but it’s a possibility she’s afraid to confront.

And then there’s Big Pussy, who protects his role as an FBI informant (and it’s a great touch that the episode begins on a freeze-frame of the FBI video-duplication warning on the boys’ bootleg DVD of THE GODFATHER, PART II) by...violently murdering Jimmy, the made-man Elvis impersonator who accidentally bumped into Pussy and his handler. With a hammer. Yikes. 


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 03 May 2018 at 2:58am
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Tony Tower
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Posted: 04 May 2018 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

You make me want to watch the show again, Greg (it would be my third time...). So many great moments and characters. Richie Aprile... excellently played by David Proval. 
+++++++

Interesting to learn that he originally auditioned for the role of Tony. I can see how that would have worked, but Chase apparently rejected him for being “too perfect”. Gandofini brings something less stereotypical and more charmingly eccentric to the role. Proval is still really good as a character who is pure force of will, though. 

****

Where'd you read Proval auditioned for Tony, Greg? I've seenseveral places that Michael Rispoli - Jackie Aprile - read for the role(as did Steven Van Zandt), but never heard this about Proval. . .

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