Friday, March 10, 2006

I hate "The Sopranos."

So last summer I wrote about "The Sopranos" filming in my neighborhood, and admitted that I don't watch the show. So now that it's all over the media in light of Sunday's season premiere, can I admit I hate it?

First let me say that I have watched it. I saw the first two episodes when they came out on DVD. And I was immediately turned off, not just by the excess violence (I can stop watching a show that has a lot of violence and still respect its quality) but by the way the characters embraced that violence. Yeah, I know, it's about mobsters, and they are violent people, right? Well, then, they are not people I'm interested in getting to know. I don't want to be inside the head of someone who could be that cruel and vicious. A friend told me that it's not all about that - it's about Tony's struggle to reconcile his family troubles with his career, about the way being a mobster has screwed up his life and that of those around him, blah blah blah. Well, I have a solution: QUIT. Stop killing, raping, beating, maining. And if somehow that means you wind up dead, because you can't quit being a mobster without risking your life? Still more honorable than continuing to do it and grousing about it.

I also have issues with the way the show has glorified the "profession" - not that it's been the creators' (or HBO's) intention to imply that this is a lifestyle that should be emulated, but the reality is that the phenomena around the show has made mobsters popular. A young nephew of a friend, who is 1/4 Italian, has suddenly developed a passion for his ancestry because now he thinks it's cool. Too bad he wasn't as impressed by Leonardo da Vinci, or Umberto Eco, or Dante, or Pavarotti, or Fellini, or Verdi... or any of the other multitudes of accomplished Italians I personally don't mind claiming a common heritage with. And what's an eleven year old doing watching "The Sopranos" anyway?


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