Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dude, marathon's over

Well, I did it. 65 hours of "Sopranos," squeezed into about a week and a half's worth of viewing. And what did I learn? A few random points:
  • The digitally-generated ghost of Nancy Marchand scene is seventeen kinds of awful. I had forgotten just how frequently her hairstyle changed and her head grew and shrunk. Maybe with today's technology, Chase could have stuck Andy Serkis in a ratty housecoat and pulled it off, but they would've been better with a flashback.
  • People bitching about "The Test Dream" have apparently been watching some show in a parallel universe, because I counted more than a dozen dream sequences, some of them major (the various dreams in "Funhouse," the season two finale, add up to almost the same running time as the test dream).
  • I finally realized why so many people were unhappy with season four: because it sucked. Okay, that's not fair. Plenty of good things in that season -- Ade getting destroyed by the FBI, Tony killing and disposing of Ralphie, the worst intervention of all time, Johnny Sack's vendetta over the 95-pound mole joke -- and the breakup finale "Whitecaps" was so brilliant it covered up a lot of sins. But, for the love of God, we got back-to-back episodes where the main characters were Artie Bucco and Assemblyman Zellman! And let's not even get into Furio's bizarre transformation from icy tough guy to Sensitive Ponytail Man. Gah. The lack of whacking wasn't the problem with that season; it was the meandering pace, no real closure to anything (except, temporarily, the Soprano marriage), and, in case I forgot to mention it, back-to-back freaking episodes about Artie Bucco and Assemblyman Zellman.
  • One other great season four moment that merits its own bullet point, but only because I'm, like, twelve: AJ ending a conversation with Meadow by ripping a fart and declaring, "Oh, dude, meeting's over."
  • The actor who plays Vito "Big Gay Yankee Fan" Spatafore, Joe Gannascoli (aka "Celebrity Fit Club" star Joe Gannascoli), pops up in season one's "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti" as a different character altogether, one of the customers at the bakery where Christopher shoots off the counter guy's toe. Quite possibly question number one when I have my seasonal audience with David Chase.
I have more observations, but I'll have to save at least a few of them for the 27,000 stories I'm being asked to write for the week leading into the season six premiere, every one of which will be lovingly linked to here.

1 comment:

Toby O'B said...

When it comes to that digitized scene with Nancy Marchand, I think it would have worked a lot better if it had just been her voice saying those lines over a phone conversation with Tony.

We didn't need to see her; we knew who she was.

At best, if they had to show her after that, maybe there was some excess footage of her on the gurney that could have been used to visualize her dying?