Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sopranos overload

Your guide to all of The Star-Ledger's "Sopranos" content that's been keeping me so occupied the last few weeks:
  • An essay about the overall greatness of the show, starting off by examining all of the parallel universe possibilities Chase and company avoided (Anthony LaPaglia as Tony? Lorraine Bracco as Carmela instead of Melfi?);
  • Matt Seitz making a special return visit to our pages for a column about "Sopranos" as a portrait of selfishness gone awry;
  • Three lengthy profiles of behind-the-scenes personnel: the first about the location manager and production designer and how they either find or build the places where Tony and company live and work; the second about the costume designer responsible for deciding which track suit goes to which wiseguy; the third about the stunt coordinator who has to make all those fights look so clumsy and authentic;
  • An interactive graphic guide to the show's characters -- not just the regular cast members and notable guest stars, but obscure people like Jack Massarone and Hal Melvoin (and I should note that most of the credit for this one goes to Angela Porter, who designed it, and Andrew Garcia Phillips, who took it from the page to the web);
  • And, in case you missed them, my preview of the first two episodes, and episode guides for seasons one, two, three, four, five and six.
Because I have the first two episodes in advance, the first two Sopranos Rewind posts should be up at by 10 p.m. tonight and next Sunday, at the same blog address where I've been doing the "American Idol" recaps. (I'll also be posting a link here immediately to give people an opportunity to comment.) The bosses want me blogging daily (or, five days a a week at least) about the show, with Rewind as the Monday post, me responding to reader feedback on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, and content TBD on the other days. We'll see how that works.


Anonymous said...

All I know is, that's a lot of Sopranos related content.

ginab said...

You say over to ABC news, in the entertainment section, "Edie Falco will get other work, even if it's just on the stage".

even if it's just on the stage.

Right. Since when has anything televised been better than live theatre? What is more challenging, do you think? What is, erm, 'higher'? Do you believe the more people that watch the better a show?

Holy goodness.

On what scale? Lighting?

Alan Sepinwall said...

All I meant was that her options are going to be much better on Broadway, where age and gender bias isn't nearly as big a deal, than they will be in the movies. "Just" was not a diminishment of the theater, just a limiting of her options.

dark tyler said...


Excellent essay by Matt, by the way. And Alan... be strong. That seems like A LOT of work.

Toby O'B said...

Maybe it's appropriate for the show, but all of this effort seems like overkill to me. 'Sopranos' is way past its prime and has been around to long to maintain its "great" status. It'll always be among the shows regarded as "very good", but "great"? It should have had a shorter lifespan and a tighter storyline.

I'll still watch it, of course, because I still enjoy it. I'm just not one to worship it to the point where I want to read everything I can about it....

Alan Sepinwall said...

Maybe it's appropriate for the show, but all of this effort seems like overkill to me

Hence the winking subject line, Toby. And I see what you're saying about the reduced enthusiasm for the series lately, but at the same time, I do write for The Star-Ledger, the show's hometown paper, and love (and hate) of the show is magnified much greater around here than it is anywhere else in the country.

SJ said...

Hey Alan, the first episode was somehow leaked onto the internet a few days back, and it took great restraint from me not to see it early...I plan on watching it tonight with some friends of mine. Entourage is especially fun with a lot of people.

I was wondering how the whole screener process works. Do they make you sign something? And if they find out the person who leaked the video what happens?

I remember the whole 'Wire' debacle too. The whole season was on the internet just a few weeks into the season. I bet HBO is not pleased right now.

SJ said...

"It'll always be among the shows regarded as "very good", but "great"? It should have had a shorter lifespan and a tighter storyline.

I'm sorry, but The Sopranos is definitely among the finest TV ever created. The only show which I can think is better is perhaps the unmatched The Wire.

Sure, season 6 was a bit disappointing, but really is there anything better? Nothing on network TV will ever compare to it (Please don't mention Lost, 24 or basically anything else). The Sopranos is ground-breaking TV.

Alan Sepinwall said...

HBO allegedly watermarks each and every screener they send out with the recipient's initials, so if an episode of Entourage were to show up on YouTube, they could narrow down the suspects. Other networks have started doing this, too, and Fox has even gone so far as to include warning notes threatening legal action should one of these screeners end up online or on eBay.

In a way, I wish I could have waited until tonight to watch the episode, because this will be my first season with a high-def TV.

John said...

I liked the interactive character guide a lot, but it was interesting that Tony's other sister was missing. We've seen her briefly a few times, right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Whoops. I'd like to blame this on confusion over the two different actress who have played Barbara, but we just forgot her.