Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The Morning News | Time's Profanity Problem »

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Mobster’s New Clothes?

posted by on June 11 at 8:14 AM

scaled.family_dinner.jpg

Spoiler alert: Apparently there’s nothing to spoil from last night’s Sopranos finale, the vague stasis of which has fans and critics howling and bickering.

Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times: “The abrupt finale last night was almost like a prank, a mischievous dig at viewers who had agonized over how televisionís most addictive series would come to a close. The suspense of the final scene in the diner was almost cruel…Nothing happens. Credits. What? Mr. Chase wanted to end his tale without melodrama or even a splashy denouement. He succeeded.”

Frazier Moore of the Associated Press: “Chase was true to himself, and that’s what made The Sopranos brilliant on Sunday night, and the 85 episodes that went before. The product of an artist with a bleak but incisive vision, The Sopranos has always existed on its own terms. It was challenging and elegant, but seldom tidy.”

Nikke Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: “It was terrible. Apparently, my extreme reaction was typical of many series’ fans: they crashed HBO’s website for a time tonight trying to register their outrage. HBO could suffer a wave of cancellations as a result…Chase clearly didn’t give a damn about his fans. Instead, he crapped in their faces. This is why America hates Hollywood.”

Me, I was too busy watching Kiki & Herb lose a Tony Award to a ventriloquist (this is why America hates Broadway) to pay attention to last night’s Sopranos, but I’ll weigh in sometime after I catch it on DVD. Until then, please continue bickering in the comments.

RSS icon Comments

1

Soprano's fans should kiss David Chase's ass. Now they can have their inevitable reunion movie. (and I don't even get HBO).

Posted by elswinger | June 11, 2007 8:50 AM
2

I'm guessing they may do a movie.

Posted by Chris | June 11, 2007 8:51 AM
3

I agree, they had to keep things open for the movie. If not, than Chase just chickened out.

Posted by longball | June 11, 2007 8:56 AM
4

Tony Soprano doesn't give a fuck about anyone and is going to keep doing what he does like he always has. David Chase double crossed the audience like Tony does to his victims each and every day.
It was us, the audience, that got whacked last night.

To paraphrase Patsy Parisi, "It wasn't cinematic..."

A very fitting end indeed.

Posted by PA Native | June 11, 2007 9:00 AM
5

Kiki and Herb are too good for Broadway.

It was thrilling enough to see commercials air for the upcoming performance in San Francisco.

I'm proud to say I've never heard of Spring Awakenings, but it sounds like Rent without all the AIDS.

CBS was really pushing a ridiculous new show all night long: Hugh Jackman and Melanie Griffith star in a weekly television musical about Vegas. I can't believe how awful it is.

If Cop Rock can return so can Tony Soprano.

Posted by patrick | June 11, 2007 9:09 AM
6

i don't give a crap about chase's and the soprano's existential bullshit. i have my own to deal with everyday. i watched the sopranos to see what was happening in their world. this is fiction...this is a tv show. it is supposed to be entertainment. it is supposed to be well writtten. give it a freaking ending already. we, as viewers an supporters, deserve that. at least "six feet under" had the grace to understand that. we have been looked down upon by chase and i can only assume he is snickering at us. oh...he is sooo clever. clever sucks.

Posted by ezra shade | June 11, 2007 9:15 AM
7

Kiki and Herb lost? Fuck Broadway, man.

Posted by Matt from Denver | June 11, 2007 9:17 AM
8

a. Movie! And not just an HBO reunion movie but I'm betting it will be a regular major motion picture type movie. The franchise just graduated, people.

b. Viva Laughlin is the stupid ass tv trailer we saw all last night during the Tony awards. Damn did it look bad.

c. (sings) ev'ry body has AIDS! aids aids aids AIDS! aids aids aids aids aids aids aids aids aids!

Posted by monkey | June 11, 2007 9:21 AM
9

Long live Kiki & Herb!

Posted by TVM | June 11, 2007 9:26 AM
10

I suspect the show is trying to get the series want future DVD revenue. In today's world, a very popular series while it is on the air, could/will almost always translate into a DVD release. But since DVD's aren't viewed the same way as the series (ya know, one episode per week as opposed to 3-4 episodes per disc), the producers/directors/distributor/series-rights-owner(s) will try do what it takes to make sure that the product's revenue keeps coming in. So, what was one night of disappointment for TV viewers, will (since there are no earth shattering very-last-episode (such as it was all a dream, a'la St. Elsewhere) which is a turn-off for DVD viewers), mean folks will rent/own the last season as much as they would a previous season.

Posted by phenics | June 11, 2007 9:26 AM
11

Are you guys seriously going ape shit over this? It was a great finale. Rather than choosing one of the 3 alternate endings, he blacked it out forcing you to get the DVD when it comes out. I ain't mad, Sopranos has entertained me lots, and it will continue to.

Posted by stop whining | June 11, 2007 9:31 AM
12

Word is Chase made 3 alternative endings. Which I am quite certain will be made available in a boxed set.

I agree with Salon's critic. The song by Journey (used in the last scene) sort of said it all, because the series was about the Journey (duh):

Working hard to get my fill,
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice,
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Posted by SeMe | June 11, 2007 9:32 AM
13

Did anyone die at least?

Posted by Stefski | June 11, 2007 9:32 AM
14

Those who flipped out about the finale: All of you deserve it for centering your vapid lives around the conclusion of a television show.

Posted by Gomez | June 11, 2007 9:33 AM
15

The ending was brilliant. If Tony had died people would bitch and if Tony had gone to prison people would bitch. Phil's outcome made the night worthwhile for everyone that needed a whacking to satisfy. The ending was a non-ending. Just like life. It goes on. No tidy endings. If you need entertainment with tidy endings to satisfy, go watch Grey's Anatomy or anything else on network tv for that matter.

Posted by Whacked | June 11, 2007 9:40 AM
16


I saw Kiki and Herb in Seattle years ago expecting to love them and...I didn't. I loved Sarah Rundinoff and Nick Garrison who opened for them, but K&H's set dragged on and on and took advantage of the audience's kindness. They had three encores, two of which were not necessary. By the end, we couldn't wait for it to be over already. Perhaps if they did no encores, I'd see it differently.

Posted by robbed | June 11, 2007 10:09 AM
17

Yeah! Can't handle the truth? Go watch Grey's Anatomy or a fucking ventriloquist on Broadway. Philistines!

Posted by patrick | June 11, 2007 10:11 AM
18

Great ending. Perfect, in fact. Food for the mind - any other snappy ending would have been like a sugary snack - quick, with a burst of energy, but ultimately unsatisfying and forgettable.

Posted by D Huygens | June 11, 2007 10:21 AM
19

Aside from your disappointment, Dave, weren't Raul Esparza and Christine Ebersole marvelous? The Tonys are infrequently fun to watch (other than it being the gayest night on television), but I really enjoyed last night's performances more than usual. And I had the advantage of watching it in high def. It was so real that after the show I was ready to kiss the cast and head for the summer place out in The Hamptons.

Posted by Bauhaus | June 11, 2007 10:27 AM
20

@15 & 17, you're right. Tidy endings are for middlebrow bullshit. Like that fucker Cervantes. I mean, killing off Don Quixote? Pure pandering to the masses.

I think if you're going to commit to an art form that is in its essence narrative, then you can at least bother to complete the narrative. I have no problem with loose endings a la the Russian in the woods. It's the manipulative way that last scene was framed that ticked me off.

On the other hand, I'm getting over it. I think those that saw it as a final insight into the anxiety that Tony has to live through may offer the best explanation to what originally seemed like condescension.

Posted by Ryno | June 11, 2007 10:31 AM
21

And about those mega-promos for "Viva Laughlin?" I can see Melanie Griffith heading for TV, but Hugh Jackman? I thought he was busy with movies.

Posted by Bauhaus | June 11, 2007 10:31 AM
22

@15, you're right. Tidy endings are for middlebrow bullshit. Like that fucker Cervantes. I mean, killing off Don Quixote? Pure pandering to the masses.

I think if you're going to commit to an art form that is in its essence narrative, then you can at least bother to complete the narrative. I have no problem with loose endings a la the Russian in the woods. It's the manipulative way that last scene was framed that ticked me off.

On the other hand, I'm getting over it. I think those that saw it as a final insight into the anxiety that Tony has to live through may offer the best explanation to what originally seemed like condescension.

Posted by Ryno | June 11, 2007 10:31 AM
23

@15, It's the manipulation that made it so perfect. David Chase was playing the audience like a violin and to quote A.J. and Tony's mom, in the end, it's 'all a big nothing'.

Posted by Whacked | June 11, 2007 10:44 AM
24

Viva Laughlin is a knock-off of the Britlander series Viva Blackpool, which is brilliant. I'm sure that's why Jackman is involved as a recurring character (not a series regular). [/TV Obsessive]

I watched about two seconds of the Tony's, which just happened to feature David Hyde Pierce and the Laughlin promo. I think that probably sums it up.

Posted by Soupytwist | June 11, 2007 10:48 AM
25

@19 - I completely agree. Christine Ebersole and Raul Esparza were fantastic.

The Sopranos ending was infuriating and brilliant and I hope there isn't a movie. Please God don't let there be a movie.

Posted by ljg | June 11, 2007 10:50 AM
26

I only caught the finnal during the morning news but imo the blackout at the end leaves it open to a movie.

Posted by Simon | June 11, 2007 10:50 AM
27

I am not opposed to ambiguous endings, but, Six Feet Under had the best series finale of any that I've seen, and it was sort of the ultimate in completing the narrative.

Posted by Julie | June 11, 2007 11:05 AM
28

At first I thought someone fucked with the avi I downloaded as a big prank, which would have been brilliant. I watched the episode laying down, but as the diner scene built it was enough for me to sit up anxiously, on the edge of my seat even, waiting for what was coming. When nothing came I felt gypped at first, but now I see the brilliance of it, especially with the lyrics of the song they chose. Not what I expected, but I can see why it had to end that way.

Posted by Jeff Kirby | June 11, 2007 11:16 AM
29

The audience got whacked -- perfect.

Posted by JimC | June 11, 2007 11:45 AM
30

Tony got whacked before he even realized what happened.

Posted by Aexia | June 11, 2007 11:45 AM
31

If you like the Soprano's but hated the ending; then you weren't paying attention. Chase is a genius. In the first episode of the last season he is in a boat with bobby, they are talking about dying, and bobby suggests that when it comes, you donít hear anything or see anything. To make it easy on you, Tony recalls the conversation in the second to last episode. Maybe alternate endings will be put in the DVD, but it's great as it is.

Posted by Scott M Douglass | June 11, 2007 12:15 PM
32

Chase is freakin' brilliant! What a way to end a work of art! Total irresolution. How thought provoking, how bold.

Now that's how Wagner should've ended "The Ring of the Nibelung." Siegfried gets whacked and then we just see Brunhilde wandering around the castle. Music stops. Curtain.

Or "Hamlet." No sword fight and big vulgar finale. Instead, Hamlet comes home from Ophelia's funeral and feels sad. Stuff happens. Rosencrantz gets whacked. But not Guildenstern (Why not? Who knows. Life is like that!) Hamlet order onion rings. Curtain.

Shakespeare? Wagner? Bah! They got nothing on David Chase!!

Posted by Waulie Paulnuts | June 11, 2007 1:30 PM
33

As a whole, the last episode was a let down, but the more I think about the ending, the more I think it was clever, if not brilliant.

Posted by Sean | June 11, 2007 2:00 PM
34

it was as close to perfect as it could have been.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 11, 2007 4:43 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).