Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 8
Jeff and Jerry C., my friend—
We've disagreed about a lot of things over the years, but this takes the cake. Were we watching the same show? The Sopranos writers have become as sluggish as the Yankees' bats. In my opinion, the last three episodes were just plain boring. They might think about dumping the very excellent soundtrack and get some second-rate wedding singer to belt out "Feelings." No kidding, I thought that Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George would be at Hugo's barbeque birthday party, because, man, that was a story about nothing. Nothing happened and there was no plot. Now I know why reality television is so popular. If you rolled the cameras into a barbeque at my house this summer, I promise there would be a better story line. Seriously, the success of The Sopranos was due to the plot—great and memorable stories, like the killing in the frozen woods. Now it's mostly character-driven in the As the World Turns genre. As some Hollywood mogul once said, "To make a good movie, you need a good story."
I can't even stop here. Did we really need Carmela to defend Tony's ethnicity when her mother was embarrassed in front of her "aristocratic friends"? Yeah, yeah, defending Tony showed that she really still loved him (leading to sex in the pool). How sweet! I'd like to know more about sausage so low in fat that you can place it on a light-colored shirt and it will not stain. This is a mob boss? The episode could have been improved if Hugo took a shell out of his pocket, placed it in the Beretta, and blew Tony away for screwing up his daughter's life. Now, that's a story!
But, in the end, all is not lost. In one minute, we have the promise of a story with the double murder and the injured foot. If Tony B. is ever prosecuted, I can just picture his sentencing. With tears rolling down his cheeks he will plead with the judge, "I'm sorry, Judge, I did it because Carmela hurt my feelings." Boo hoo. That's when the wedding singer comes in. Scene goes to dark.
Gerald Shargel has represented many high-profile clients, including John Gotti. He is a practitioner in residence at Brooklyn Law School, where he also teaches.