The Sopranos: Retrospective 

I’m currently re-watching The Sopranos. As of writing, I’m about halfway through season 5. The Steve Buscemi season.

When I first watched the show, I loved it. I thought it was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. From beginning to end.

The characters are so interesting and well portrayed and the show is so well written. The Sopranos was one of the first shows to be classified as a ‘quality show’. There were only a handful before it and most of them were network shows, not cable.

If you look at your TV schedule or your Netflix watch list, the majority of TV shows are probably ‘quality shows’. Thanks to The Sopranos and other early shows like it, we now have rich, quality heavy TV shows. That’s a good thing. It’s interesting how cable shows have somewhat (but not in all cases) overtook network shows, in terms of their quality shows.

Now, my opinion on The Sopranos has changed a bit. I still love the first 3 seasons. They’re amongst the best hours of TV ever. No doubt about that. Just watch the episode entitled ‘Pine Barrens’, which is probably one of the greatest TV episodes I’ve ever seen.

Once season 4 begins, the show takes a turn. It’s weird because I didn’t notice it the 1st time around. The show really drops in quality. Season 4 is the True Detective: Season 2 of The Sopranos. Perhaps worse. Seriously, season 4 is bad. The characters are suddenly bland, the storylines are boring and the show drags. Don’t get me wrong, season 4 has its moments and it gets better as it progresses. But it’s certainly the worst season.

Now, halfway through season 5, for the second time. I’m glad the show has recovered from the season 4 slump. It’s still not up to the standards of the 1st 3 seasons, but it’s good. It’s acceptable. The new characters are interesting and the storytelling is interesting again. The only issue I’m having, is that the familiar characters aren’t developing. The only character that’s showing any sort of progress is Edie Falco’s, Carmela. That’s a problem in itself though, because her character is really annoying (it’s still a good performance though).

I’m hoping that when I re-watch season 6, the show will at least continue to be good. I really hope I won’t have to suffer through another season 4. My only concern is that season 6 is split into 2 halves. I remember enjoying it the 1st time round, so maybe I will this time.


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