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The Sopranos is an Americanmarker television drama series created and produced by David Chase. It premiered on premium cable network HBO in the United States on January 10, 1999 and ended its original run of six seasons and 86 episodes on June 10, 2007. The show has also been broadcast on A&E in the United States and internationally. Set in New Jerseymarker, where it also was produced, the series revolves around mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads.

A major commercial and critical success, The Sopranos is the most financially successful cable series in the history of television and is acknowledged as one of the greatest television series of all time and a seminal dramatic production.The series is noted for its high level of quality in every aspect of production and is particularly recognized for its writing and the performances of its lead actors.The show is credited with bringing a greater level of artistry to the television medium and paving the way for many successful drama series that followed.It also won numerous awards, including twenty-one Emmys and five Golden Globes.

A staple of 2000s American popular culture, The Sopranos has been the subject of much parody, controversy and analysis, and has spawned books,a video game,high-charting soundtrack albums, and a large amount of assorted merchandise.

Production

Conception

Before creating The Sopranos, David Chase had been a television writer for over 20 years. He had been employed as a staff writer/producer for several television series (including Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Rockford Files, I'll Fly Away, and Northern Exposure)and had created one short-lived original series, Almost Grown, in 1988.Before his success with The Sopranos, Chase had won two Emmy Awards: one in 1980 for writing the TV movie Off the Minnesota Strip, and one in 1978 for his work on the The Rockford Files (shared with fellow producers).

The story of The Sopranos was initially conceived as a feature film about "a mobster in therapy having problems with his mother." After some input from his manager, Lloyd Braun, Chase decided to adapt it into a television series. In 1995, Chase signed a development deal with production company Brillstein-Grey and wrote the original pilot script.Drawing heavily from his personal life and his experiences growing up in New Jerseymarker, Chase has stated that he tried to "apply [his own] family dynamic to mobsters."For instance, the tumultuous relationship between series protagonist Tony Soprano and his mother, Livia, is partially based on Chase's relationship with his own mother. Chase was also in therapy at the time and modeledthe character of Dr. Jennifer Melfi after his own psychiatrist. Chase had been fascinated by the Mafia from an early age, having been raised on classic gangster films like The Public Enemy and the crime series The Untouchables as well as witnessing such people growing up. The series was named after high school friends of his. Chase thought the Mafia setting would allow him to explore themes such as Italian-American identity and the nature of violence, among many others. Chase is Italian-American himself, his original family name being DeCesare.

Chase and producer Brad Grey, then of Brillstein-Grey, pitched The Sopranos to several networks; Fox showed interest but passed on it after Chase presented them the pilot script. Chase and Grey eventually pitched the show to then-president of HBO Original Programming, Chris Albrecht, who recognized the originality and potential of the show, and decided to finance the shooting of a pilot episode. Albrecht is quoted as saying:

The pilot episode (called "The Sopranos" on the DVD release but commonly just referred to as "Pilot") was shot in 1997. Chase, having previously directed episodes of The Rockford Files and Almost Grown, directed it himself. After the pilot was finished and shown to the HBO executives, the show was put on hold for a year before HBO eventually decided to produce it and ordered a full 13-episode season. The show premiered on HBO on January 10, 1999 with the pilot episode. The Sopranos was the second hour-long television drama series produced by HBO, the first being the prison drama Oz.

Casting

Like the characters they portray on the show, many of the actors on The Sopranos are Italian-American. Many cast members had appeared together in films and television series before joining the cast of The Sopranos. The series shares a total of 27 actors with the 1990 Martin Scorsese gangster film, Goodfellas, including main cast members Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Frank Vincent, Suzanne Shepherd and Tony Sirico. Eight Sopranos actors also appeared in the 1999 comedy Mickey Blue Eyes.

The main cast was put together through a process of auditions and readings. Actors often didn't know whether Chase liked their performances or not. Michael Imperioli, who beat out several actors for the part of Christopher Moltisanti, recalls "He's got a poker face, so I thought he wasn't into me, and he kept giving me notes and having me try it again, which often is a sign that you're not doing it right. I thought, I'm not getting this. So he said, 'Thank you,' and I left. I didn't expect to hear back. And then they called." James Gandolfini was invited to audition for the part of Tony Soprano after casting director Susan Fitzgerald saw a short clip of his performance in the 1993 film True Romance. Lorraine Bracco, who had previously played the role of mob wife Karen Hill in Goodfellas, was originally asked to play the role of Carmela Soprano. She took the role of Dr. Jennifer Melfi instead because she wanted to try something different and felt the part of the highly educated Dr. Melfi would be more of a challenge for her.Tony Sirico, who has a criminal background,signed on to play Paulie Walnuts as long as his character was not to be a "rat."Chase invited musician "Little Steven" Van Zandt (known as the guitarist of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) to audition for a part in his series after seeing him live at the 1997 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony and being impressed with his appearance and presence. Van Zandt, who had never acted before, eventually agreed to star on the show.Silvio Dante's wife on the show is played by Van Zandt's wife Maureen.

With the exception of Oscar nominee Bracco (Goodfellas), Dominic Chianese (The Godfather Part II, along with stage work) and Emmy-winner Nancy Marchand (Lou Grant), the cast of the debut season of the series consisted of largely unknown actors. After the breakthrough success of the show, many cast members were noted for their acting ability and received mainstream attention for their performances.Subsequent seasons saw some well-known actors (Joe Pantoliano, Robert Loggia, Steve Buscemi, Frank Vincent) join the starring cast along with well-known actors in recurring roles such as Peter Bogdanovich, John Heard, Robert Patrick, Peter Riegert, Annabella Sciorra, and David Strathairn. Several well-known actors appeared in just one episode, such as Charles S. Dutton, Ken Leung, Ben Kingsley, Elias Koteas, Annette Bening, Sydney Pollack and Burt Young.

Crew

Creator and executive producer David Chase served as show runner and head writer during the production of all six seasons of the show and contributed significantly to every episode. He is known for being a very controlling, demanding and specific producer. In addition to writing or co-writing several episodes per season, Chase would oversee all the editing, consult with episode directors, give actors character motivation, approve casting choices and set designs and do extensive but uncredited re-writes of episodes written by other writers. Brad Grey served as executive producer alongside Chase, but had no creative input on the show.Many members of the creative team behind The Sopranos were handpicked by Chase, some being old friends and colleagues of his; others were selected after interviews conducted by producers of the show.

Many of the show's writers worked in television prior to The Sopranos. Writing team and married couple Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, who together wrote or co-wrote 19 episodes of the series between 1999 and 2006, had previously worked with Chase on Northern Exposure.Terence Winter, who became a writer for the show during its second season, practiced law for two years before deciding to pursue a career as a screenwriter, eventually catching the attention of Chase.Matthew Weiner, a staff writer during the show's fifth and sixth seasons, wrote a spec script for a show called Mad Men in 2000 (it was eventually produced by AMC in 2007). The script was passed on to Chase who, after reading it, was so impressed that he immediately offered Weiner a job as a writer for The Sopranos.Two cast members also wrote episodes for the show: Michael Imperioli, who plays Christopher Moltisanti, is also a screenwriter and wrote five episodes of the series, many of which deal with Italian-American issues;Toni Kalem, who plays Angie Bonpensiero, also wrote an episode.Other writers the show has had include Frank Renzulli, Todd A. Kessler (known as the co-creator of Damages), and writing team Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider (creators of Easy Money).

Before directing The Sopranos, many of the directors had worked on other television series. Many of the directors also have backgrounds in independent films. The most frequent directors of the series were Tim Van Patten (20 episodes), John Patterson (13 episodes), Allen Coulter (12 episodes), and Alan Taylor (9 episodes), all of whom have a background in television. Recurring cast members Steve Buscemi and Peter Bogdanovich have also acted as directors for the series. Chase directed two episodes himself, the pilot and series finale. Alik Sakharov was the show's original director of photography, later alternating episodes with Phil Abraham. The show's photography and directing is noted for its feature film-quality.This look was achieved by Chase collaborating with Sakharov: "David wanted a look that would have its own two feet. [...] From the pilot, we would sit down with the whole script and break the scenes down into shots. That's what you do with feature films."

Music

The Sopranos is noted for its eclectic music selections and has received considerable critical attention for its effective use of previously recorded songs.Chase personally selected all of the show's music with producer Martin Bruestle and music editor Kathryn Dayak, sometimes also consulting Steven Van Zandt. The music was usually selected once the production and editing of an episode was completed, but on occasion sequences were filmed to match preselected pieces of music.

The show's opening theme is "Woke Up This Morning" (Chosen One Mix), written and performed by Britishmarker band Alabama 3. A different song plays over the closing credits of each episode, with few exceptions. Many songs are repeated multiple times through an episode, such as "Living on a Thin Line" by The Kinks in the season three episode "University" and "Glad Tidings" by Van Morrison in the season five finale "All Due Respect". Other songs are heard several times throughout the series. A notable example is "Con te partirò", performed by Italian singer Andrea Bocelli,which plays several times in relation to the character of Carmela Soprano.While the show utilizes a wealth of previously recorded music, it is also notable for its lack of originally composed incidental music, compared to other television programs.

Two soundtrack albums containing music from the series have been released. The first, titled The Sopranos: Music from the HBO Original Series, was released in 1999. It contains selections from the show's first two seasons and reached #54 on the U.S. Billboard 200.A second soundtrack compilation, titled The Sopranos: Peppers & Eggs: Music from the HBO Original Series, was released in 2001. This double-disc album contains songs and selected dialogue from the show's first three seasons.It reached #38 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Sets and locations

Most of the exterior scenes taking place in New Jerseymarker were filmed on location, with the majority of the interior shots—including most indoor shots of the Soprano residence, the back room of the strip club Bada Bing!, and Dr. Melfi's psychiatrist's office—filmed at Silvercup Studiosmarker in Queensmarker, New York Citymarker.

The pork store, a frequent hangout for the mobsters on the show, was in the pilot known as Centanni's Meat Market, an actual butchery in Elizabethmarker, New Jersey. After the series was picked up by HBO, the producers leased a building with a store front in Kearnymarker, New Jersey. For the remainder of the production period, this building served as the shooting location for scenes outside and inside the pork store, now renamed Satriale's.After the series ended, the building was demolished.Bada Bing!, a strip club owned and operated by the character Silvio Dante on the show, is an actual strip club on Route 17 in Lodimarker, New Jersey. Exteriors and interiors (except for the back room) were shot on location. The club is called Satin Dolls and was an existing business before the show started. The club continued to operate during the eight years the show was filmed there and continues to do so now. As such, a business arrangement was worked out with the owner. Locations manager Mark Kamine recalls that the owner was "very gracious" as long as the shooting did not "conflict with his business time." The restaurant Nuovo Vesuvio, owned and operated in the series by character Artie Bucco, is a restaurant called Manolo's located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. All the exterior and some interior shots of the Soprano residence were filmed on location at a private residence in North Caldwellmarker, New Jersey.

Title sequence

The Sopranos title screen
A recognizable part of The Sopranos is the program's opening title sequence. Tony Soprano is seen emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and entering the New Jersey Turnpike. Numerous landmarks in and around Newarkmarker and Elizabeth, New Jerseymarker are shown.The sequence ends with Tony pulling into the driveway of his suburban home. Chase has said that the goal of the title sequence was to show that this particular Mafia show was about New Jerseymarker, as opposed to New Yorkmarker, where most such dramas have been set.

In the first three seasons, between Tony leaving the tunnel and entering the Turnpike, an image of the World Trade Centermarker towers can be seen in his side rear-view mirror. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, this shot was removed, beginning with the show's fourth season.

Cast

The Sopranos features a number of characters throughout its six-season run. Some only appear in certain seasons, while others appear for the entire series.



Tony begins to suffer from depression and has many panic attacks resultant from years of stress over his "business", repressed emotions, and a difficult childhood. He seeks treatment from Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). Adding to Tony's complicated life is his strained relationship with his wife Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco) and their two children, Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Anthony Junior (Robert Iler).

The starring cast includes members of Tony's extended family including his mother Livia (Nancy Marchand), sister Janice (Aida Turturro), uncle Corrado "Junior" Soprano (Dominic Chianese), who initially becomes the technical Boss following the death of then acting Boss Jackie Aprile, Sr (although, eventually, semi-retired until he's completely out of the business due to health issues) of the crime family, cousin Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi) and nephew (actually cousin-by-marriage) Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). Both Livia and Janice are shrewd manipulators with emotional problems of their own. Tony's Uncle Junior is involved in his criminal organization and their family bond ties with their criminal ambitions. Both his cousin Tony and nephew Christopher are also involved with his "other" family and their actions are a further source of conflict. Christopher struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism, and a desire to gain respect, while Tony Blundetto hopes to go straight but has a violent streak.

Tony's close circle within the DiMeo crime family includes Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt), Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri (Tony Sirico) and Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore). Silvio is Tony's consigliere and best friend. Paulie and Big Pussy are longtime soldiers and close allies who have worked with Tony and his father; Paulie soon becomes capo and eventually is further promoted to underboss. Also in Tony's criminal organization are Patsy Parisi (Dan Grimaldi) and Furio Giunta (Federico Castelluccio). Patsy is a quiet soldier with a head for figures. Furio is imported muscle from Italy who acts as Tony's feared enforcer.

Other significant characters in the DiMeo family include Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri (Steven R. Schirripa), Richie Aprile (David Proval), Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano), Eugene Pontecorvo (Robert Funaro) and Vito Spatafore (Joseph R. Gannascoli). Bobby is a subordinate of Junior's whom Tony initially bullies but later accepts into his inner circle. Cifaretto is a clever, ambitious top-earner but his arrogance and tendency to be obnoxious, disrespectful and very violent make Tony resentful. Richie Aprile is released from prison in season two and quickly makes waves in the organization. Pontecorvo is a young soldier who becomes a made man alongside Christopher. Spatafore works his way up through the ranks to become top earner of the Aprile Crew but has a secret in his personal life.

Friends of the Soprano family include Herman "Hesh" Rabkin (Jerry Adler), Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo), Rosalie Aprile (Sharon Angela) Angie Bonpensiero (Toni Kalem), along with Artie (John Ventimiglia) and Charmaine Bucco (Kathrine Narducci). Hesh is an adviser and friend to Tony, and served in this role under Tony's father. Adriana is Christopher's long time girlfriend; the two have a tempestuous relationship. Rosalie is the widow of the previous DiMeo boss and a close friend of Carmela. Angie is Salvatore Bonpensiero's wife who later goes into business for herself. Artie and Charmaine are school friends of the Sopranos and owners of the popular restaurant Vesuvio. Charmaine wishes to have no association with Tony and his crew due to his criminal activities, and often has to insist because Artie—a law-abiding and hard-working man—is drawn to Tony's way of life.

John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni (Vince Curatola), Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) and "Little" Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr. (Ray Abruzzo) are all significant characters from the New Yorkmarker-based Lupertazzi crime family, which shares a good amount of its business with the Soprano organization. Although the Lupertazzis' and DiMeos' interests are often at odds, Tony maintains a cordial, business-like relationship with Johnny Sack, preferring to make deals that benefit both families. His second-in-command and eventual successor, Phil Leotardo, is less friendly and is harder for Tony to do business with. Little Carmine is the son of the family's first boss and vies for power with the others.

Plot synopsis and episode list

Season 1

The series begins with Tony Soprano collapsing after suffering a panic attack. This prompts him to begin therapy with Dr. Jennifer Melfi. Gradually, the storyline reveals: details of Tony's upbringing, with his father's influence looming large on his development as a gangster, but more so that Tony's mother, Livia, was vengeful and possibly personality-disordered; his complicated relationship with his wife Carmela, as well as her feelings regarding her husband's cosa nostra ties; the lives of his children, Meadow and Anthony Jr., who both have increasing knowledge of their father's mob dealings; federal indictments being brought as a result of someone in his organization talking to the FBImarker; and his own Uncle plotting his death. After ordering the execution of Brendan Filone and the mock execution of Chris Moltisanti, Tony's Uncle Junior had been installed as boss of the family (following the death of previous boss Jackie Aprile, Sr. from cancer), while actually Tony controls most things from behind the scenes. Furious at Junior's plan to have him killed, Tony responds to the attempt on his life with a violent reprisal and confronts his mother for her role in plotting his downfall. She has a psychologically triggered pseudo-stroke. Junior is arrested by the FBI.

Season 2

At the beginning of the second season, Jackie's brother Richie Aprile is released from prison and proves to be uncontrollable in the business arena; he also starts a relationship with Tony's sister Janice, who has arrived from Seattle. Tony's friend "Big Pussy" returns to New Jersey after a conspicuous absence.

Christopher Moltisanti becomes engaged to his longtime girlfriend Adriana La Cerva. Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte, two low-level associates dissatisfied with their perceived lack of success in the Soprano crew, try to make a name for themselves by attempting to kill Christopher. Their plan backfires; Christopher survives the attack (though he is critically wounded), and kills Sean in self-defense, while Tony and Big Pussy murder Matthew soon afterward.

Junior is placed under house arrest as he awaits trial. Richie, frustrated with Tony's authority over him, entreats Junior to have Tony killed. Junior feigns interest, then informs Tony of Richie's intentions, leaving Tony with another problem to address. However, the situation is defused unexpectedly when Janice kills Richie in a violent argument; Tony and his men conceal all evidence of the murder, and Janice returns to Seattle.

Tony realizes Big Pussy is an FBI informant; so he, Silvio Dante, and Paulie Walnuts kill Big Pussy on a boat, then wrap him up in chains and throw him overboard.

Season 3

The Third Season marks the return of the ambitious Ralph Cifaretto following the "disappearance" of Aprile Crew capo Richie Aprile after spending an extended period of leisure time in Miamimarker, Florida. He pursues a relationship with Rosalie Aprile, the widow of the deceased mobster and former capo of the Aprile Crew which bears his name Jackie Aprile, Sr.. With Richie assumed to have joined the witness protection program, Ralph unofficially usurps control over the Aprile Crew, proving to be an exceptionally dexterous earner for the crew. While Ralph's competitive merit would seemingly have him next in line to ascend to capo, his insubordination inclines Tony not to promote him and instead gives the promotion to the less qualified - however docile - Gigi Cestone, causing much resentment and tension between him and Ralph.

Ralph ultimately crosses the line one night when, in a cocaine-induced rage, he gets into a confrontation with one of his girlfriends, Tracee, and beats her to death. She was a hooer, and may have been pregnant with his child at the time. This infuriates Tony to the point where he violates traditional Mafia code by striking him repeatedly in front of the entire family. Bad blood temporarily surfaces between the two but is shortly resolved after Gigi Cestone dies of an aneurysm on the toilet, thereby forcing Tony to reluctantly promote Ralph to capo.

Bobby Baccalieri's father Bobby Baccalieri, Sr. comes out of retirement to fulfill a hit on a young hot-head named Mustang Sally - his Godson in name only - who also put Vito Spatafore's brother, Bryan, into coma. He kills the man and his friend at the home and while leaving from the hit, Bacala, Sr., who is slowly dying from lung cancer, has an asthma attack and dies when his car crashes into a telephone pole.

When Silvio comes down with the flu, Tony assigns Paulie Gualtieri and Christopher Moltisanti the task of collecting his payment from a Russian mobster named Valery. Paulie and Valery get into an argument and one thing leads to another and after an intense fight in the Russian's apartment, Paulie and Chris wrap him up in a rug and take him out to Pine Barrens to bury him, as they are under the impression he is dead. When they arrive, much to their chagrin, they find him still alive. The Russian takes the two by surprise and knocks them down with a shovel long enough to escape. Paulie shoots at him and could have sworn he hit him in the head, although the Russian mysteriously disappears behind a bank. Paulie and Chris end up trapped in a nightmarish journey after becoming lost in the snowy and freezing woods, only to be rescued by Tony and Bobby Bacala the next morning.

Jackie Aprile, Jr. becomes involved with Meadow and then descends into an increasingly reckless life of drugs and crime. Tony initially attempts to act as a mentor to Jackie but becomes increasingly impatient with his escalating misbehavior, particularly as Jackie's relationship with Meadow begins to become serious. Inspired by a story from Ralph about how Tony, Jackie's father, and Silvio Dante got made, Jackie and his friends Dino Zerilli and Carlo Renzi make a similar move and attempt to rob Eugene Pontecorvo's Saturday night card game, so they can gain recognition from the family, possibly getting them respected and made as well. The plan takes a turn for the worse when Jackie panics due to the heckling of the card dealer "Sunshine" and shoots him to death. Dino and Carlo are killed during the robbery, but Jackie manages to escape. Tony decides to give Ralph the decision regarding Jackie Jr.'s punishment. Despite his role as a surrogate father, Ralph ultimately decides to have Jackie Jr. killed.

Livia dies of a stroke. Tony begins an affair with Gloria Trillo, who is also a patient of Dr. Melfi. Their relationship is brief and tumultuous. Meanwhile Dr. Melfi is raped. Junior is diagnosed with stomach cancer; following chemotherapy, it goes into remission. A.J. continues to get in trouble at school, despite success on the football team; this culminates in his expulsion.

Season 4

In the Fourth Season, Tony Soprano informs Christopher Moltisanti that the man who murdered his dad years earlier when Chris was merely an infant, Detective Lieutenant Barry Haydu, is in fact - contrary to what Christopher had previously been led to believe - still alive. One night Tony and Chris stake out Lt. Haydu's retirement party, at which point Tony gives Chris his address. When Chris inquires as to why he had been allowed to live throughout the years, Tony informs him that he was a valued asset but now that he is retired he has lived out his worth. Chris secretly waits inside Lt. Haydu's home as he returns from his party and ambushes him. When Haydu comes to, he finds himself handcuffed to his staircase, at which point Christopher gives him an opportunity to admit he murdered his father, although Barry vehemently denies it. When Chris goes to shoot him, Barry struggles to get away yelling "I'm sorry!", indicating he did in fact murder Christopher's father. Christopher turns up the TV to muffle the shot.

New York underboss Johnny Sack becomes enraged after learning of an inappropriate joke made by Ralph Cifaretto about his wife's obesity. He seeks permission to have him clipped in retribution but is denied by head boss Carmine Lupertazzi; Johnny insubordinately orders a hit on Ralph anyway, which is called off at the last minute, ultimately saving Ralph's life and unbeknownst to him his own as well, for Carmine had arranged a hit to be performed on Johnny indirectly via Tony for his insubordination.

Tony and Ralph invest in a race horse together named Pie-O-My, winning them quite a few races and making them both a great deal of money. However, later on in the season, when Ralph's 12-year old son Justin is severely injured while playing an unsupervised game of Lord of the Rings when an arrow plunges into his chest and putting him into a coma, Tony believes Ralph burned up Pie-O-My alive in a stable fire to collect the $200,000 in insurance money he and Ralph had recently taken out on the horse. Tony confronts Ralph at his house the morning after the night of the fire and although Ralph vehemently denies setting the fire, he implies Tony's hypocrisy in that Tony has no similar concern for human life or the envelopes full of money that come from hurting innocent people. The two once again engage in a violent brawl, which culminates with Tony having strangled and beaten Ralph to death on his kitchen floor. He enlists in the help of Christopher to dispose of the body; they decapitate his head, hands, and bury them separately at Mikey Palmice's hospitalized father's farm (this is a nod to Ralph's favorite movie Gladiator where a character has his head severed off) and throw his body into a quarry.

While he is leaving court, Uncle Junior is hit in the head with a boom mic and falls down several steps, which sets off his developing Alzheimer's of which he is unaware he even has. Tony and his lawyer advise him to take advantage of this golden opportunity, act mentally incompetent, and employ it as a scapegoat for not being able to continue trial, thereby absolving him from his Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges on grounds of mental incompetence; however, his act soon becomes a grim reality when he begins to lose his memory for real, and his feigned attempt at mental incompetence virtually falls through. But later on, Eugene Pontecorvo intimidates a juror not to decide against Junior resulting in a deadlocked jury and thereby forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.

Following the death of Bobby Baccalieri's wife, Janice pursues a romantic relationship with him. Christopher's addiction to heroin deepens, prompting his associates and family to organize an intervention, after which he enters a drug rehabilitation center. Adriana befriends a woman who is secretly an FBI agent; when the friendship stopped she comes out and tells her she is an FBI agent and the only way to stay out of prison for the drug deals around her bar is to become a FBI informant. With the thought of going to jail Adriana agrees and starts leaking information to the FBI.

Carmela, whose relationship with Tony is tense due to financial worries and Tony's infidelities, develops a mutual infatuation with Furio Giunta. Furio contemplates murdering Tony one night while Tony is highly inebriated; he pushes Tony towards the propellers of their helicopter - which was ordered to carry them home after a night of partying - but pulls him back at the last minute, playing it off by telling Tony he was standing too close. The next morning, Tony seems to have - fortunately - forgotten the incident, however. Fearing the consequences of engaging in a relationship with the wife of a mob boss, Furio subsequently and clandestinely returns home to Italy, leaving Carmela despondent. After Tony's former mistress calls their home and drunkenly details his improprieties, Carmela throws Tony out. Tony is approached by Johnny Sack with a proposal to murder Carmine Lupertazzi, which he eventually turns down.

Season 5

In the Fifth Season, a string of brand new characters are introduced to the show, including Tony's cousin Tony Blundetto, who along with other mafiosos are released from prison simultaneously and labeled by the media as the Class of 04'. Among the other released characters are former DiMeo Crime Family capo Michele "Feech" La Manna,whose card game was robbed back in the 80s to get Tony and Silvio Dante made and respected, Lupertazzi family capo Phil Leotardo, and semi-retired Lupertazzi consigliere Angelo Garepe. Tony offers Tony Blundetto a spot in the crime family, but he respectfully declines, as he is determined to lead a straight and crime-free life. He initially begins to take courses to earn a degree in massage therapy and aspires to open up his own massage parlor. After Carmine Lupertazzi unexpectedly dies of a stroke, his death leaves a highly desired vacancy for boss of the Lupertazzi Crime Family, which will soon be vehemently fought over by Underboss Johnny Sack and Carmine's son Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr..

Tony reluctantly arranges for Feech La Manna to be sent back to prison by setting him up with stolen plasma flat screen TVs, thereby violating his parole stipulations after Feech proves to be a very insubordinate and disrespectful fixture.

The war between Johnny Sack and Carmine, Jr. initially begins when Johnny has Phil and his henchmen kill lady shylock Lorraine Calluzzo for kicking up to Carmine instead of Johnny. Tony B.'s attempt at a straight, civilian life comes to a head when he gets into an enraged brawl with his employer Sungyon Kim, who had agreed to become partners with him in the establishing of the massage parlor but had virtually done nothing and left all the work to Blundetto. Tony informs Tony B. that "it's hard working with strangers." Angelo Garepe, who was also a good friend to Tony B. in prison, and Lupertazzi capo Rusty Millio offer Tony B. the job of taking out Joey Peeps in retaliation for Lorraine's death, as Joey is thought very highly of by Johnny but is not a made man. Tony B. initially declines but after hearing his twin sons talk about how wonderful everything was at the Soprano's house and his desperateness to earn, Tony B. later accepts the job. He catches Joey and his prostitute outside a bordello one night, shoots them both to death in cold blood, and quickly flees the scene. Johnny discovers via a by-stander that the man who murdered Joey was in fact Tony's cousin and is intensely outraged, threatening to kill Tony B. and Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr., but Tony is able to convince Johnny that Tony B. had nothing to do with the killing, thereby temporarily cooling things off. Johnny, however, retaliates by having Phil and his brother Billy Leotardo murder Tony B.'s close friend Angelo Garepe. Tony B. - who becomes uncontrollably outraged by this as Angelo was like a father to him - finds the Leotardo brothers one night and begins walking towards them firing a Desert Eagle, killing Billy and wounding Phil.

Tony and Carmela remain separated, with Tony living at his parents' former house with childhood friend Artie Bucco, who was also left by his wife. Carmela, now the sole authority figure for A.J. in the Soprano house, becomes frustrated as her rules lead her son to resent her; eventually she allows A.J. to live with his father. She has a brief relationship with Robert Wegler, A.J.'s school guidance counselor; he breaks it off abruptly when he suspects that she is manipulating him to improve A.J.'s grades. Tony and Carmela reconcile their marriage; Tony promises to be more loyal and also agrees to pay for a piece of real estate Carmela wishes to develop.

Tony gets Meadow's boyfriend Finn De Trolio a summer job at the crime family's construction site, which is run and managed by now Aprile Crew capo Vito Spatafore. Finn comes in early one morning and much to his chagrin catches Vito performing oral sex on a security guard. Vito tries to buddy up to Finn so that he does not say anything to anybody else. He even asks Finn to a Yankees game in which Finn does not attend. Finn eventually quits the job because he is afraid Vito might become violent with this secret.

Overcome by guilt, Adriana La Cerva finally confesses to Christopher that she has been working as an informant for the F.B.I.marker. Christopher is grief-stricken and nearly kills her himself but cannot bring himself to follow through with it completely. He informs Tony who has Silvio Dante pick Adriana up on the pretense that he is carrying her to the hospital where Christopher is at after attempting suicide but drives her out to the woods and executes her.

Phil Leotardo and his henchmen brutally beat Benny Fazio while trying to acquire the whereabouts of Tony B.; Phil also threatens to have Christopher taken out if Tony B.'s whereabouts are not disclosed to him soon. To avoid anymore of his guys getting hurt and to pacify the New York Family, Tony ultimately takes it upon himself to murder his cousin, as he hears if Phil got to him first he wouldn't kill him instantly but torture him first. Tony tracks Tony B. down to their Uncle Pat Blundetto's now sold farm in upstate New York murders him with a 12-gauge shotgun. Phil, however, is furious that he didn't get the opportunity and pleasure to do it himself. Tony and Johnny meet at Johnny's house in a reconciliatory manner, but Johnny is arrested by Federal Agents, while Tony escapes into the woods.

Season 6

At the beginning of the sixth season, Tony is shot by the now senile and confused Uncle Junior. Rendered comatose, Tony dreams he is a salesman on a business trip, where he mistakenly exchanges his briefcase and identification with a man named Kevin Finnerty. Tony's recovery from the shooting changes his outlook, and he tries to mend his ways. However, he is faced with more problems in his business life.

Once out of the hospital, Johnny Sack's daughter gets married and the Soprano family attends. Once there Tony is shown very exhausted and through security must take off his shoes. In the process he collapses to the ground, but is not hurt. During the wedding Johnny Sack is approved to leave prison for 6 hours to see his daughter get married. As his daughter is about to drive away the SUV that was escorting Johnny to the wedding blocks the car from leaving and an altercation begins in the driveway. In a sign of weakness and despair Johnny Sack starts to cry and is put back into handcuffs and driven back to prison. Greatly minimizing his respect from his crew and Tony's.

Vito Spatafore is outed as a homosexual after running into a friend at a New York night club. The rumor spreads quickly and once word gets to Meadow that everyone else knows, she tells Tony and Carmella about the incident between Finn and Vito with the security guard. Finn then has to sit in front of Tony's entire crew and tell them what happened the night with the guard. Solidifying their thoughts on Vito's sexuality. Tony is urged to deal with the problem by Phil Leotardo, now acting boss of New York with Johnny Sack in prison. Once Vito is outed, he runs away from the city and hides out in a New Hampshire town where he starts writing a book and meets with the locals. Vito also starts a romantic relationship with a male cook at a local diner. When Tony fails to find Vito and act, Phil intervenes and kills Spatafore. Tony's crime family commits a reprisal murder and once more it appears that the families are on the verge of all-out war.

Also during the first half of the season Chris and Carmine head to Los Angeles to try and pick up Ben Kingsley for a movie they are trying to make called "Cleaver." Basically a mix of "The Godfather" and "Saw." But Ben passes on the picture. While in Los Angeles Chris goes back to using Cocaine for a short period of time.

Tony considers killing several of his associates for relatively minor infractions. Christopher is unable to leave the mob, deflecting his problems by relapsing into drug addiction and kills his friend from Narcotics Anonymous. He is then seriously injured in a car accident that he causes while driving under the influence of narcotics. Tony, the sole passenger, is not badly hurt, and suffocates Christopher to death. A.J. is dumped by his fiancée and slips into depression, culminating in a failed suicide attempt in the backyard pool. Dr. Melfi is convinced by friends that Tony is making no progress and may even be using talking therapy for his own sociopathic benefit. She drops him as a patient.

Johnny Sack dies from lung cancer while imprisoned and Leotardo consolidates his position in the Lupertazzi family. He has his opposition for leadership killed and then officially takes over. In a resumption of their past feud Phil will not compromise with Tony on a garbage deal. When Tony assaults a Lupertazzi soldier for harassing Meadow while she is out on a date, Phil decides it is time to decapitate the Soprano crew. Phil orders the executions of Bobby Baccalieri, who is shot to death, Silvio, who ends up comatose, and Tony, who goes into hiding. A deal is brokered where the rest of the Lupertazzi family agree to ignore the order to kill Tony, and give Tony an opportunity to go after Phil. An FBI agent informs Tony of Phil's location and Tony has him killed. Tony suspects Carlo, a Capo from Jersey has become an informant in an attempt to help out his son, who had recently been caught for dealing ecstasy. Tony meets with his lawyer who informs him that subpoenas are being given to Jersey and New York crews alike. Some time after Phil's death and meeting with everyone, Tony, Carmela, A.J.meet for a casual dinner with the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" running over in the background. Meadow is shown coming to the dinner late and crossing the street as the rest of the family start to eat an appetizer. As Meadow walks up to the door, the screen goes to Tony the door opens with a bell ringing, Tony looks up and the show smash cuts to black and the credits roll in silence.

Themes and characteristics

The Sopranos is noted for David Chase's multifaceted, symbolism-heavy style of writing and the series has consistently been the subject of analysis.Chase and his co-writers addressed a large number of psychological, philosophical, social and political themes throughout the series' run.

Dreams

See also: Tony Soprano's dreams


A distinctive aspect of The Sopranos is its dream sequences. Chase, who wrote most of the dream sequences, states of them, "We've used those dreams to further the narrative. For example, "Funhouse" could have been a story in which Tony gets some information that Pussy's the rat and he tracks it down and we do some stultifying procedural until we have the proof in hand. And I just couldn't go through that. I can't stand that (stuff). So we just decided it would be more interesting, that on some level Tony knows this, that his friend is betraying him, and it makes him ill in combination with some bad chicken, and his subconscious erupts like that and gives him the information." The dream sequence includes Tony talking to Big Pussy as a fish and realizing his friend is an FBI informant. Another famous dream is the sequence in "The Test Dream" that is over 20 minutes in length.

Season six contains the longest continuous "dream" sequence with Tony as a regular man having his identity mistaken for a man named Kevin Finnerty. In the dream, Tony is stuck in Costa Mesamarker, Californiamarker, a city he had traveled to for business, and because of mistaken identity, he cannot travel home. Finnerty is portrayed as a salesman who lives a conservative, law-abiding life. The real-life parallel for this dream sequence was Tony's battle with a gut shot his senile uncle delivered. Tony was dying, and in some ways this sequence represents the life he might have lived. During this sequence, he has a memorable run-in with Buddhist monks at a nearby monastery . At the end of the dream sequence it is Meadow's voice that pulls Tony back as he prepares to walk through the door into the life he could have lived, presumably a portal into death.

Ineptitude of mobsters

The mobsters in the series are depicted as tough, savvy, and street-smart but lacking heavily in formal education and a deeper understanding of themselves and their world. The mobsters' educational and linguistic shortcomings, particularly those of Paulie Walnuts and Christopher, are often a source of humor. The characters themselves are frequently oblivious of their use of malapropisms and misunderstandings of basic history and common knowledge.

The gangsters' incompetence is in some way displayed in every episode of the series. Some of the more notable examples include:
  • Much of the episode "Pine Barrens" is devoted to the failings of Paulie and Christopher as they attempt to survive a single day and night in a snowy wilderness after a botched execution. Also in the episode Christopher shows his ignorance of history when he expresses disbelief that the Cuban Missile Crisis actually occurred by saying: "That was real? I saw that movie. I thought it was bullshit."
  • Bobby Baccalieri draws the ire of Tony while discussing world events and biblical prophecy by erroneously stating that "Quasimodo predicted all of this." Tony then corrects him by saying that he meant Nostradamus and that Quasimodo was the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Baccalieri then continues the conversation by mentioning the backfield of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, now thinking that a hunchback is like a halfback.
  • Although more intelligent than his cohorts, Tony often uses malapropisms and repeats things that Dr. Melfi says to him elsewhere, only to get the phrase entirely wrong or to completely miss the point. Some of his more famous malapropisms include "revenge is like serving cold cuts" (a mangling of the expression "revenge is a dish best served cold") and describing l'amour fou (a French expression meaning "crazy love") as "our mofo."
  • Recurring character "Little Carmine" Lupertazzi's delusions of eloquence are a consistent source of comedy for viewers. He often muddles metaphors, once telling Tony that "You're at the precipice of an enormous crossroad." "I have nine pictures under my sub-species," he at one time says of his movie-producing. He also explains the final scene of the fictitious mafia/slasher movie Cleaver as a mix of "the sacred and the propane."
Some mobsters are portrayed as smart and well-spoken in contrast, though they appear to be exceptions to the rule. For instance, Johnny Sack, Ralph Cifaretto, and Tony Blundetto are all highly intelligent (Blundetto allegedly has an IQ of 158) and relatively articulate, rarely committing malapropisms, although Cifaretto is socially inept and lacks tact, and both Cifaretto and Blundetto have violent tempers that cause them to commit spontaneous killings that ultimately lead to their demise.

References and allusions

Goodfellas

Chase has stated that the Martin Scorsese gangster film Goodfellas was a source of inspiration for him, calling the 1990 movie his "Koran".

The Sopranos began with four starring cast members (Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico and Vincent Pastore) who had appeared in Goodfellas. Joseph Gannascoli, who can be seen briefly in the film as an uncredited extra, joined the show's cast as Vito Spatafore in the second season, and later Frank Vincent, another Goodfellas cast member, joined the cast as Phil Leotardo. Many other recurring and minor characters in the series had previously appeared in the film. In total, 27 actors appeared in both productions. Goodfellas star Ray Liotta was an early candidate to play Tony Soprano. Later on, Liotta also turned down the role of Ralph Cifaretto.

The series makes references to the film as well. For instance, in Goodfellas, Michael Imperioli's character "Spider" is shot in the foot. In The Sopranos episode "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti", his character Christopher Moltisanti shoots a store attendant in the foot. As the attendant screams in pain, yelling "You shot me in the foot!", Christopher exits, saying "It happens." In Goodfellas, Lorraine Bracco's character is abused and she tells her boyfriend, Henry Hill, who takes action against the abuser; in The Sopranos, her character, Dr. Melfi, is raped, but refuses to tell Tony. In the second episode Christopher meets Martin Scorsese (played by singer/actor Tony Caso) in front of a night club and tells him how he likes "Kundun."

The Godfather

The Sopranos is connected in numerous ways to Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy. The show shares several cast members with the three films; most notably, Dominic Chianese, who portrays Junior Soprano on the series, plays Johnny Ola in The Godfather Part II.

Furthermore, it is made clear that the mob characters on The Sopranos are themselves quite familiar with and fond of the films, so much so that, in their conversations with one another, they often refer to each film by its number in the series (calling the first film "One", and so on). Early in the series, Silvio Dante occasionally does an impression of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. Tony's own affection for the films is stated; as his crew watch a bootleg DVD of the second film just before traveling to Italy, he claims his favorite part of all the films is the portion in Part II in which Vito Corleone returns to Italy. In season 6, A.J. attempted a murder on Uncle Junior, saying one of Tony's favorite moments in The Godfather is when Michael Corleone takes revenge for his father.

Also, critics have noted a number of visual and symbolic homages and references to The Godfather in the show. For example, in the first season, when two men attempt to murder Tony, he has just bought a bottle of orange juice; this alludes to a scene in the first Godfather film in which Vito is buying oranges just before he is shot. In addition, following the death of Livia Soprano in the third season, there is a scene of Tony taking an elevator to the funeral home basement, where the undertaker assures him he will "use all [his] power, and all [his] skills" on Livia's behalf. The scene is a direct homage to the scene in The Godfather where Vito calls on a favor from Bonasera following the murder of his son, Santino.

Author Peter E. Bondanella argues that the show's references to the classic mob drama amount to something greater than simple parody or homage. He says that Chase "employs references to the Coppola masterpieces in a clever manner, using them both to delight us when we recognize them and to add layers of meaning to his own stories."

Music - When Paulie picks up Pussy in Season 1 episode 11 ("Nobody Knows Anything") to join him to a steam bath facility where Pussy refuses to undress, Paulie's car horn is "Speak Softly Love", the love theme from The Godfather.

Product placement

The Sopranos was consistent in the frequent depiction of actual brand names for products on the program. This practice is widely regarded within the media as product placement. The show's producers say that they never received payment for featuring products on the show, though they did often receive the products shown onscreen, including fine wines and computers, free of charge; the real-life brands were used in order to enhance the show's sense of realism.

Reception

Ratings

The Sopranos was a major ratings success and is the most commercially successful cable series in the history of television. Despite being aired on premium cable network HBO, which is available in significantly fewer American homes than regular network, the show frequently attracted equal or better audiences than most popular network shows of the time. Nielsen Ratings for the show's first four seasons are not entirely accurate, however, as prior to January 2004 Nielsen reported aggregate numbers for cable networks, meaning people watching other HBO channels than the main one, on which The Sopranos aired, would be included in the ratings estimates.

Season Originally aired Nielsen Ratings (in millions)
Season premiere Season finale Season average
1 January 10, 1999 – April 4, 1999 3.45 5.22 3.46
2 January 16, 2000 – April 9, 2000 7.64 8.97 6.62
3 March 4, 2001 – May 20, 2001 11.26 9.46 8.87
4 September 15, 2002 – December 8, 2002 13.43 12.48 10.99
5 March 7, 2004 – June 6, 2004 12.14 10.98 9.80
6 March 12, 2006 – June 4, 2006 9.47 8.90 8.60
6 April 8, 2007 – June 10, 2007 7.66 11.90 8.23


Critical response and impact

The Sopranos has been acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most ground-breaking television series of all time, although critical appreciation of the show has varied considerably from season to season.It has been called "perhaps the greatest pop-culture masterpiece of its day" by Vanity Fair contributor Peter Biskind. The New Yorker editor David Remnick called the show "the richest achievement in the history of television."TV Guide ranked The Sopranos fifth on their list of the "Top 50 TV Shows of All Time".In 2007, Channel 4 (UK) named The Sopranos the greatest television series of all time.The show was also included on TIME magazine's "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME," with editor James Poniewozik writing, "This mafia saga showed just how complex and involving TV storytelling could be, inspiring an explosion of ambitious dramas on cable and off."

The first season of the series received overwhelmingly positive reviews.Following its initial airing in 1999, The New York Times stated "[The Sopranos] just may be the greatest work of American popular culture of the last quarter century." In 2007, PopMatters wrote "the debut season of The Sopranos remains the crowning achievement of American television."

The writing, acting, and directing have often been singled out for praise. The show has also received considerable attention from critics and journalists for its music selections, cinematography, and willingness to deal with difficult subjects.

Awards

The Sopranos was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in every year it was eligible. After being nominated for and losing the award in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2003 (losing the first time to The Practice, then the latter three to The West Wing), The Sopranos won the award in 2004, and again in 2007, becoming the first cable series to win the award. Its 2007 win made The Sopranos the first drama show since Upstairs, Downstairs in 1977 to win the award after it had finished airing. The show earned 21 nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, winning the award six times.

The Sopranos won at least one Emmy Award for Acting in every eligible year except 2006 and 2007. James Gandolfini and Edie Falco were each nominated six times for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress, respectively, each winning a total of three awards. Joe Pantoliano won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2003, and Michael Imperioli and Drea de Matteo also won Emmys in 2004 for their supporting roles on the show. Other actors who have received Emmy nominations for the series include Lorraine Bracco (in the Lead Actress and Supporting Actress categories), Dominic Chianese, Nancy Marchand, Aida Turturro, Steve Buscemi (who was also nominated for directing the episode "Pine Barrens"), Tim Daly, John Heard and Annabella Sciorra.

In 2000 and 2001, The Sopranos earned two consecutive George Foster Peabody Awards. Only two other series have won the award in consecutive years: Northern Exposure and The West Wing. The show also received numerous nominations at the Golden Globe Awards (winning the award for Best Drama Series in 2000) and the major guild awards (Directors, Producers, Writers, and Actors).

Controversy

The show has been frequently criticized for allegedly perpetuating negative stereotypes about Italian Americans. In 2000, Essex Countymarker officials denied producers permission to film on county-owned property, arguing that the show depicts Italian Americans in a "less than favorable light." The show addressed the topic of Italian American identity in the 2002 episode "Christopher", which involved New York City's annual Columbus Day parade. Later that year, Sopranos cast members were barred by parade organizers from participating in the real-life event.

Chase has defended his show, saying that it is not meant to stereotype all Italian Americans, only to depict a small criminal subculture.

DVD releases

Season Release dates Episodes Special features Discs
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 December 12, 2000 November 24, 2003 November 24, 2003 13
  • A 77-minute interview with series creator David Chase, conducted by film historian and director Peter Bogdanovich.
  • "Family Life" featurette.
  • "Meet Tony Soprano" featurette.
  • One audio commentary by David Chase and Peter Bogdanovich for the pilot episode.
4
2 November 6, 2001 November 24, 2003 November 24, 2003 13
  • "The Real Deal" featurette.
  • "A Sit Down With Tony Soprano" featurette.
  • Four audio commentaries by crew members for the episodes "Commendatori", "From Where to Eternity", "The Knight in White Satin Armor", and "Funhouse".
3 August 27, 2002 November 24, 2003 November 24, 2003 13
  • "A Day On The Set Of The Sopranos" featurette.
  • Three audio commentaries by crew members for the episodes "The Telltale Moozadell", "Pine Barrens", and "Amour Fou".
4 October 28, 2003 November 3, 2003 November 3, 2003 13
  • Easter Eggs.
  • Episodic previews and recaps.
  • Cast and crew biographies.
  • Four audio commentaries by crew members for the episodes "The Weight", "Everybody Hurts", "Whoever Did This", and "Whitecaps".
5 June 7, 2005 June 20, 2005 August 17, 2005 13
  • Five audio commentaries by cast and crew members for the episodes "All Happy Families...", "Sentimental Education", "In Camelot", "Cold Cuts", and "Long Term Parking".
6

(Part 1)
November 7, 2006 November 27, 2006 March 7, 2007 12
  • Four audio commentaries by cast and crew members for the episodes "Join The Club", "Luxury Lounge", "The Ride", and "Kaisha".
6

(Part 2)
October 23, 2007 November 19, 2007 January 31, 2008 9
  • "Making Cleaver: Behind the scenes of Christopher's horror film" featurette.
  • "The Music of The Sopranos" – Creator David Chase, cast, and crew discuss the songs from the show.
  • Four audio commentaries by cast members for the episodes "Soprano Home Movies", "Remember When", "The Second Coming", and "The Blue Comet".
Complete HBO

Seasons 1–6

Box set
N/A November 19, 2007 86
  • Collects the previously released box-sets.
28
Complete series –

Deluxe Edition
November 11, 2008 November 24, 2008 86
  • Includes all special features from the previously released box-sets.
  • Never before seen scenes from all six seasons.
  • Exclusive interviews with David Chase conducted by actor Alec Baldwin.
  • Supper with The Sopranos: Two sit-down dinners with the cast and crew of the show as they discuss the series finale.
  • Lost scenes from all six seasons of The Sopranos.
  • Panel Center Seminar: Discussions featuring "whacked" characters.
  • Extra Gravy: Spoofs and Parodies including The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.
30


References

  1. A parody of the opening sequence was used in an episode of The Simpsons. In Papa's got a brand new badge, a variation on the sequence is used, with Fat Tony seen leaving a Springfield tunnel instead of Tony. Fat Tony then continues to drive through Springfield to the same soundtrack as the orignal.
  2. ,
  3. Sepinwall, Alan. The stuff that Tony's dreams are made of, nj.com, March 6, 2006, accessed March 19, 2007.
  4. Dehnart, Andy. Real, dream families blend for Tony Soprano, msnbc.com, March 20, 2006, accessed March 19, 2007.
  5. Goodman, Tim. A tidy finish? Fahgeddaboutit., San Francisco Chronicle, April 2, 2007, accessed May 24, 2007.
  6. Goldberg, Jeffrey and Capeci, Jerry. Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 10, slate.com, May 10, 2004, accessed March 27, 2007.
  7. Stark, Jeff. "Jersey Cases Inspire New Season", Newark Star Ledger, April 5, 2001.
  8. "Sopranos Product Placement Watch", BusinessWeek Online, 2006
  9. "HBO shows use real brands", USA Today, December 12, 2002
  10. "Advertisers find "Sopranos" hard to refuse", Reuters, October 11, 2002


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