Like most of the world today I'm in shock over James Gandolfini's passing. Couldn't believe it when I saw it show up on yahoo last night. It was like being socked in the stomach....felt that physical. Guess that show and character still packs a punch.
The Sopranos will go down in history as one of my (and millions of others) all time favorite shows. And not because I'm half Italian but just because it was a brilliant show. The character of Tony Soprano evoked so many emotions. This was a man who killed and hurt people (not only physically but mentally....just ask his long suffering wife Carmella).
Yet we loved him. And it was because of James Gandolfini's raw,soulful blood and guts acting.
We couldn't take our eyes off him. We saw his vulnerable side. We saw him cry. We saw him trying to be a good dad and struggle with "mother" issues. We felt his stress and pain.
This character was us. (well....except for the maiming part,lol)
Many of you may know that David Chase (the creator of the Sopranos) used to write for the Rockford Files occasionally. All of the shows that had to do with the "mafioso" were usually written by him. You will see the beginnings of the Sopranos in those shows. A couple of the same actors that played in those Rockford shows actually turned up on the Sopranos years later.
I never watched the show when it originally aired. Picked up the first season on DVD when it came out though. I admit I didnt really get into it at first. But then after watching the 4th episode...the one where he's taking his daughter to college...it finally kicked in and I knew there was something great here. After all these years I still haven't finished watching the complete series. Stopped around the 5th season. That's what happens when I really like a show,lol. Find it hard to finish watching it when I know there won't be any more episodes. Now I will have to go back and watch the whole thing. It will be that much sadder this time around but what better way to honor the timeless, gut wrenching great piece of work this show is.
The last drink at the Bada-Bing has been served.
This one's for you...Tony.