Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 1

Decoding the Secret Message
Talking television.
March 8 2004 4:46 PM

Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 1

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Jeff,

We can agree to disagree with the Sopranos honchos about not casting me—or maybe you—as a mob reporter, but it's really hard to knock the way they develop their characters.

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We'll take a look at your "Whither the Mob" query next week as we kick around Anthony Jr. and the likelihood of him following in his father's footsteps.

In closing, you've got to love the way the writers inject real-life humor into the show each week. It is one of the things that sets The Sopranos apart from other violence-laden TV shows. After all, there is just so much violence that viewers can stomach in an hour. For example, I loved the scene in which one of Tony's chicken-sh-t wannabe gangsters —who is waiting for the bear with enough firepower to bring down a tank—goes inside the house when he sees the bushes being blown around by the wind, giving Carmela the excuse he had to go to the bathroom, where he sat and read Reader's Digest or something, all the while peeking out the window, looking for the bear. And how about A.J., the current "man of the house" crying like a baby when he sees the bear? Or the juxtaposition of Carmela chasing the bear away with frying pans and her main protector ending the first week's effort sitting on his backyard patio, at the ready with what looked like an AK-47?

There's a message there somewhere.

Later,
Jerry

Jerry Capeci is author ofThe Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia and Jerry Capeci's Gang Land: Fifteen Years of Covering the Mafia. His weekly column about organized crime, "Gang Land," appears in theNew York Sun and at www.ganglandnews.com.

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