Tag Archives: Tony Soprano

SO LONG JAMES GANDOLFINI.

Three hours ago I was having a drink with Andrea, after our dinner in an Italian restaurant, when we’ve read the sad and shocking news confirming James Gandolfini has passed away, at age 51, due to a heart attack, while enjoying holidays in Italy. What an irony!

tony

Right now I feel sad, and I’m as much shocked as when I heard about Layne Staley’s death, or probably even more because his has been completely unexpected.

 It is really a coincidence that last Sunday I was having a conversation with a friend and we were praising Gandolfini as a great actor. We both agreed that it was James Gandolfini who’s best portrayed a mob boss, over Al Pacino or Robert De Niro. Tony Soprano is an icon in contemporary culture, and one of the best characters in TV history. I was telling my friend Gandolfini was involved in a new project together with HBO, a new series he’d be the lead character, and he was explaining me about him acting for God of Carnage theatrical version in Broadway…and all of a sudden you read that he’s passed away and it’s like a dream. you enter a state of denial and start questioning the sources of information and their reliability, but eventually the truth is confirmed several times and you just have to accept one of your personal heroes is gone.

I just wish that wherever he is, he’s smoking a good cigar, having a very expensive glass of whiskey and listening to classic rock. Rest in Peace, James, I won’t ever forget you.

ROOTIN’ FOR THE BAD GUY: THE VILLAIN WITH A CIGAR

Since I posted a list of most charming villains, I haven’t talked about them. No, that’s not good.

It’s been a long time since I want to dedicate a post to one of my latest inspirations: Anthony Soprano.

We all had been charmed by the glamorous portrait of the Italian Mafia in the States, thanks to The Godfather, Goodfellas, or Once Upon a Time in America. Fair enough, don’t you think?

As the time goes by, everything evolves or decays. So does the Mafia.

In 1999 HBO gave birth to The Sopranos, my favorite TV series up to date. Such decadence of the Italian families in the States was personified by the Sopranos. No more Vito, Michael nor Santino Corleone… Sopranos are a mediocre family settled in New Jersey, always trying to be in good terms with NY families, the actual powerful ones.

Lexus and Escalades, diamonds and gold, combined with horrible long nails, impossible hairdos and terrible tracksuits with expensive moccasins… Those times of Copacabana are long gone, now the wise guys hang out at the Bada Bing! (hey I was there!)

And here he comes, my hero, which, due to his waste management business and because of certain FACTS, we must consider a villain: Anthony, Tony, T, Ton, the boss, the capo… whatever.

A huge, bald and overweight vulgar Italian-American man in his forties.

Tony is a huge bear, fierce, aggressive and mean, who has to take control over his two families, and manage to conceal them. Such pressure and responsibility get relief in his panic attacks, which make him look vulnerable. That’s why he accepts therapy as a remedy to such state.

Yeah, he’s not such a bad guy, he cares and provide, as the Italian tradition requires, and of course, he’s very sensitive and affectionate in very intimate situations. But think of it, it’s difficult to be a 24/7 badass, you have to take it easy in order to last longer.

His dark side is much more appealing and interesting. As long as he has fun and envelopes keep coming, anything goes. Excess is a word that fits him perfectly. He drinks, eats, takes drugs, gambles, cheats on his wife and, although loyal to his friends, his top one priority is himself.

As a strategist, he has no rival, cold and calculating, he manages to pull the strings on his behalf. I really love when Tony makes vital decisions and deals, he is powerful.

Physically he’s an average man, probably during his days of glory he wasn’t that bad, but now, his lack of taste in style and his complete disinterest in being healthy or fit, plus his excesses and a stressing life, don’t make of him a handsome guy. However, and this is something discussed and agreed with (some) female friends, he’s got his moments, those when you think, uhmmm, he’s got something. The eroticism of power, perhaps? The strong alpha male character? I don’t know. Just stop thinking of Tony’s goomars, they are all too gorgeous to hang out with a guy like him. But the feeling of power, strength and danger he spreads make him irresistible to not really normal women.

Thus, Tony is probably one of the most down to Earth villains I like. A guy who executes people merciless, and loves cooking ribs and burgers in his king size barbecue, drinking beer, listening to 70’s hard rock music and smoking a good Cuban cigar. Aaaaah, I really miss you, T!

THE SOPRANOS RULE MY HELLHOUSE

When I finally finished The Sopranos series three years ago, made myself a promise: I had to re-watch it every two years. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it last year, really wasn’t in the mood.

August is here, and beside working like a bitch, and hanging around in bars, something up to certain level cool, but a total ruin on the other hand (I’m not just talking about dough, but the hangovers and alcohol level in my blood stream), there are not many things to do. Most people are out of town on holidays, it’s super hot and humid here in Barcelona to unbearable levels lately, as to have a walk and melt under the sun.

For all these reasons and because I recovered the complete series some friends had borrowed from me months ago, and what the hell! Because I miss T and the guys, I’ve moved both my mind and heart to the Garden State…and can’t be happier!

I’m completely hooked to this waste management business, involving friends of ours, money laundry, deals, enemies, family affairs and therapy, once again.

Positive, I reckon this is the best TV series ever.

Some people feel lazy because there are many seasons, others due to the length of the episodes (45-50 minutes), and many have given up after the third one. Terrible mistake! I always insist everyone on enduring the first 5-6 episodes to start having a picture of what’s going on.

The Sopranos is not the typical catchy series plenty of action packed in their first episodes so you get hooked immediately. Lost started very intensely and then you had to smoke a joint because the plot was complete nonsense, for instance. I cannot understand why so many people lost their minds with it. Lost and Prison Break disappointed me a lot as seasons were coming, and  I prefer to keep my opinion regarding their bullshit finales.

I started the second season yesterday, four episodes at once, perfect evening. And here is when the cake starts taking shape in the oven, when Tony Soprano is the boss and has to take care of the business… I’ll tell you about him soon.

Difference from other series is the personality of the characters and their relevance. It’s not only Tony and the world spinning around him. Everybody is important and has something to say and something to contribute for the enriching of the series. It doesn’t matter AJ is a complete asshole or Bobby Baccala is a fat fuck, their actions affect the fate of their business…always.

Knowing the end and how everything goes, yet after three years, many other series and films seen, I’m unable to have fresh memories of all that happens, nor the characters and situations, this time I’m watching the episodes paying more attention to details. There are mistakes, actors performing different characters, and people ignored during the first seasons which eventually find their time in the series. You don’t notice them but they’re there.

I’m thinking of taking notes of some funny things I’m seeing lately. With no aim to spoil anything, it was fun and amazing to realize Janice Soprano and Bobby Baccala’s first appearances are on the same episode…ha!

Anyway, don’t wanna bother with my Sopranos fever any longer, but make a highlighting remark on this series. Dialogues and plots are simply great and if you fancy about mafia, you should pay your tribute to this second league family, away from the glamour of the Corleones, or Scorsese’s portraits of Italian American mob stories.

And now, get the fuck outta here!!