Noumenal Tony Soprano

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 9

Noumenal Tony Soprano

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 9

Noumenal Tony Soprano
Talking television.
Nov. 11 2002 10:56 AM

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 9

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In my view, the rhythm that Phil mentions is what keeps us watching. Tony offers us a tantalizing glimmer of the potential to be a good man with concern for others. That's what leads Dr. Melfi to take huge risks in treating him. That's what keeps mental health professionals trying to treat antisocial patients who are unlikely to change. We have a need to believe in this transformation from a bad man to a good man. This type of transformation is the stuff of Hollywood and television but not real life. The writers are clever enough to raise our expectations only to bring us back to reality.

Glen

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and author of The Psychology of The Sopranos, inspired by this discussion. Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., Psy.D., is a senior faculty member at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Joel Whitebook, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis. All are practicing therapists as well.