- For once in my life, I should have jumped on a band wagon, because this was actually a band wagon WORTH jumping on. But I waited, years later to watch, because I hate band wagons, because band wagons are usually always boring and overrated, but NOT this one!!!!!!!!
Author’s Note: Review originally published, June 13, 2013
Starring – James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Steven Van Zandt, Robert Iler, Drea de Matteo, Joseph R. Gannascoli
Created by David Chase
“Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.”
Me too! Who knew I had so much in common with a fictional mobster?! 😉
Possibly the best show EVER on television. I waited a few years after The Sopranos went off the air before I decided to give this series a go. At the time, I didn’t have HBO (where it originally aired) and although I love shows and movies about “The Mob” it isn’t something that I go out of my way to see, so I decided to just take a pass on this series instead. I just couldn’t believe that this show was as good as the hype. That just never happens. But not only was this series as good as the hype, it surpassed it far and beyond my wildest expectations. My absolute, most favorite part of the series was when Tony (James Gandolfini) was having therapy sessions with his psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Sexy Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). I have had a HUGE crush on Lorraine Bracco for years (she’s got one of them sexy overbites), but I also was so impressed with how realistic those scenes were. I have been in therapy for well over a decade now and I have seen many different therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists (it’s a long story that I am writing a novel about, so maybe one day you’ll get to read all about it), but I have never seen anything on TV or the movies that portray therapy sessions so realistically. I often felt like I was getting therapy right along with Tony.
So enough about my mental health issues, what is gay about this awesome show? Well Vito Spatofore (Joseph R. Gannascoli) is gay. His character is introduced in Season 2, but we don’t find out that he is gay until Season 5. It’s one of the best and most realistic gay/coming out stories that I have ever seen. Yes, a mob series came up with a fantastic, even though it is ultimately tragic (this is The Sopranos, you know), gay storyline that had me going, “Now why isn’t there more of this kind of quality gay entertainment on my TV?” There are also various scenes of women and strippers at parties for the gang and they usually make out with each other (the girls kissing other girls, that is), but only for the boys’ benefit. It is never portrayed that these ladies kissing on other ladies are actually lesbians or bisexuals. Oh well. I guess the best show on TV can’t have everything. 🙁
Update: 3/6/2017 – Well, ever since I watched The Sopranos for the very first time in 2012, every year now, I turn on The Sopranos and watch the whole damn thing all over again (much to my poor, I really, really hate violence and blood on my TV, wife’s chagrin), and I mostly do that now because I have gotten the best therapy ever from this show. Yep, 20 years and counting in therapy now and doing everything and anything and all things that can be done to get one well (as in not being suicidal and/or uncontrollably crying and having breakdowns all the damn time, and instead being an actual, functioning human being who laughs more than she cries) from severe, debilitating, lifelong depression, and I have discovered since 2012 that the only good therapy I have ever gotten in my life is from my wife, a friend who is a therapist, Lama Surya Das, and Dr. Sexy Melfi. Well, TV always did save me and always did give me great therapy before The Sopranos ever existed and before I ever got around to watching it, so it makes sense that some of the best therapy I have ever gotten has been from a TV show. A TV show that is so real and so raw about what depression really, actually, horrifically looks like, it is almost frightening. And sometimes when I watch the show, it reminds me of how my dad must have felt when we saw Born On The 4th of July in the movie theater together and it made him break out in cold sweats because it threw him suddenly into a PTSD flashback to when he fought in Vietnam, where, quite frankly, he should have died, since he was a radio operator and they always were the first to get killed, so I don’t blame him for not being able to handle that horror all over again on the big screen. I sometimes relive some of my own personal horrors by watching how The Sopranos so realistically deals with depression and suicide. Yes, suicide really does look that awful and it is that frightening and yes, you usually DO NOT want to die once you set it into action. I find myself sometimes, like my dad was that day in the theater, suddenly thrown into a PTSD flashback from some of my most horrific breakdowns when I watch Anthony Jr. go through his horrific depression cycle that happens towards the end of the series. So real. So raw. So frightening. But I put myself through this torture/therapy because it helps me to see that I’m not a crazy person, I’m just severely depressed thanks to a horrific childhood. That is how brilliant and real this amazing series is from start to finish. And I even loved the ending. I thought it was brilliant. The show started off in the middle of everyone’s lives, and then it ended in the middle of everyone’s lives, just like real life, really. Fucking genius.
Another Update, this time the date is 5/6/2017: I’m hopping around The Sopranos this year, instead of watching it from start to finish, like I normally do every year, and so this year, I have discovered that I am conveniently hopping to all the episodes (and maybe just only the scenes, but only just maybe) that have the most of Dr. Sexy Melfi, Edie Falco and, to my surprise, but really it should have been a big ole DUH!, Adriana. Now why in the hell did I NOT notice BEFORE NOW that I have the hots for that sweet and sexy lady??!! Poor Adriana. She was so sweet and so naive. (Been there, done that, still doing it too. And boy, does it ever get you into trouble.) She didn’t know what the hell she was doing, but GOD DAMN, she looked good doing it! 😉
P.S.: This show was where, after years and years and too many years of therapy, I finally learned that depression is anger turned inward. When I first saw the episode Cold Cuts and Dr. Sexy Melfi tells Tony that depression is rage turned inward, a BIG OLE LIGHT BULB WENT OFF IN MY BRAIN!! I have since discovered that I am indeedy, a very pissed person, so no wonder I am so depressed. I now work on that anger, so thank you, Dr. Sexy Melfi for that light bulb turning on advice that a real, actual therapist that I was actually, really seeing should have told me eons ago, but I was told when it was the right time for me to know and I got a sexy lady with a sexy overbite to do it to boot! 😉