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David Chase talks about The Sopranos finale

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 12th 2007 3:01PM
David ChaseGive David Chase some credit. He promised Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger an interview right after the finale of The Sopranos aired. Sure enough, even though he's on a sabbatical in France and is denying all interview requests, he kept his promise and spoke to Sepinwall yesterday, despite the controversy surrounding how his series closed out its run.

Did he reveal what happened in final scene, where Tony Soprano eyes some shady figures while waiting for his family to arrive for dinner, after it cut to black? Of course not. But he did try to allay fan's assertions that he pulled the rug out from under them.

"We did what we thought we had to do," he told Sepinwall. "No one was trying to blow people's minds, or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off.' People get the impression that you're trying to (mess) with them and it's not true. You're trying to entertain them."

A few more tidbits: right now, he's not even thinking of doing a follow-up Sopranos movie. There was a thought about one that might have explored a day in the recent past, before the finale, but that was scrapped. He also notes that he asked for a long break between the fifth and sixth seasons so he could figure out how to write the finale.

Finally, he talks about the last-minute decision to use Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the final scene."I did something I'd never done before: in the location van, with the crew, I was saying, 'What do you think?' When I said, 'Don't Stop Believin',' people went, 'What? Oh my god!' I said, 'I know, I know, just give a listen,' and little by little, people started coming around."

Interesting. It's obvious Chase doesn't watch much TV, since that song has probably been one of the most commonly-used pop songs on series soundtracks over the last quarter-century or so. Anyway, the article is an interesting read, including the viewer comments that are right below it.

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mickrussom

@patel

Yes.

Fuck you David Chase.

And Fuck You, HBO, CANCELED. Hope the loss of revenue is worth it.

June 30 2007 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ace

David, you're an idiot. So are all the people whining about the ending. The proof of that is that you actively go to websites about a show you didn't like and whine about it. Kind of pathetic.

Like others, I thought the ending was great, and fitting. I'm torn between Tony being popped, and Tony's life just going on like it was, waiting to be popped some day.

He did the show justice. Not everything get's tied up nicely. Sometimes, we have to think on our own.

I'll be a little annoyed if the box set comes with alternate endings. If it does, it'll be just be to make the idiots who can't think for themselves happy because now it's in front of them. It's there. No thinking involved.

The problem is, no imagination. You're used to having everything spelled out for you. Is your food pre-chewed too?

It was a TV show. One of the best in television history, and like or not, it changed TV forever.

The mark of a good ending is how long do people talk about the final show after it's over. Seinfeld talk lasted a few days. Cheers, not much longer. MASH, if any of you can remember that, lasted about a week. Looking at two weeks now, and still going strong for the Sopranos. Tells you something. 11.9 million viewers, and everyone of us are still talking about the show.

Well done, Mr. Chase. I can only hope your next project is equally entertaining.

Tom

June 24 2007 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gold

Great ending, guess Tony Soprano got "iced" by the producers!, LOL, clever way out. Great show, probually will never be another equal to it, will miss it. Ciao.

June 21 2007 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Virg

WOW--Maybe the girl parking car was wacked just as she got to front of restaurant after her miserable attempt at parking the car. You could hear a gun shot and then glass breaking just after she crossed the street. There was definately tension in the air prior to the "event".....

June 16 2007 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

To all of you that come up with drivel like "He gave the viewer the opportunity to decide Tony's fate for themselves. The chance to let our imagination run wild."
you are stupid. Why not just make up the whole show yourself? Unbelievable. If you want to see the truth, all you need to do is go back to the first two seasons and watch them back to back. They were great. Then watch it slowly deteriorate into a blatent political agenda of Bush bashing and "gay is OK". The editing sucked. The story lines went nowhere. The viewers ARE divided but the catagories are those that admire talent and those that watch crap and call it artistic genious.

June 15 2007 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pjkt

A friend and Soprano's faithful (just as I am) made the most insightful observation so far about the ending. As Tony scans the titles on the jukebox, the title of the song just below "Don't Stop Believing" was "Any Way You Want It."

Thanks, David Chase, for a perfect ending.

June 15 2007 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Giai Suckprano

Look, it wasn't that those of us who wanted a real ended or legitimate conclusion couldn't handle loose ends. We just wanted a cooler or more twisted ending. I would have just had the members only jacket hitman come out of the bathroom slowing pulling what had to be a gun, with the screen going straight to Meadow. As soon as she stepped in you see a shocked and choked up look on her face. A couple of muffled gun shots. Then black silent screen. Very similar to what Chase, so fine. Seconds later the scene opens up again for a brief few seconds and all you see dead all the 2 black gangsta looking typecast guys who came in earlier. It was an unrelated hit. Everyone else is screaming and running. And Tony just turns around and shoves another couple of onion rings in his face. Totally callous and jaded. Just another day in his personal-- is this the day I get popped-- hell. End of scene. Roll credits. Now that would have been a cool ending with just as many loose ends. You know Tony didn't get killed then, but he would sooner or later. David Chase could have done better. That's all we're saying. We aren't peabrained bloodbath addicts, although that's fun too, but a few more seconds would have done it for me. Tony doesn't get wacked or go to prison but in this world, he will eventually. Hey David Prickass Chase, I am for hire. I am a retarded writer and hell even my shitty ending would have been better than yours. You arrogant uncreative Gizzwad.

June 14 2007 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Hamilton

What a brilliant finale to a great show! Though I'm sure my views will different with those from others, I thought that the finale was conclusive: Tony gets killed. Why does he get killed? Who knows ... Maybe the New York guys really weren't gonna just let it be. ... But if you think about it, most of the characters that got whacked didn't see it coming.

I think the clues were all there that he got killed. The random flashback to him and Bobby on the boat was very telling. Tony eats an orange earlier on the episode. The suspicious-looking patron at the diner goes to the bathroom prior to the "black out." (Both references to the Godfather). Also, if you think back to GoodFellas (which Chase cites as his blueprint for this whole show), Ray Liotta says it best:

"I thought I was dead, but when I heard the noise, I knew they were cops. If they had been Wiseguys, I wouldn't have heard a thing - I would've been dead."

Seems pretty conclusive to me.

June 13 2007 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon

what everyone is forgetting is that HBO is an industry built on drama. This stab at an original series was the work of a man who probably never figured to be writing an 85th episode.

Regardless 85 hours later, we're all left with the open ended last shot of the show. This moment in my opinion is an open door to more money on the company's part. I'd be willing to bet my life savings on a special dvd of the season finale with an alternate ending, or an extended ending. If so it's genius on their part and I'd be honored to help write the extended ending. I've got quite an idea for it, but as David Chase did to us, I'll leave my idea hanging in the balances of a dark screen.

June 13 2007 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lee

I find it funny that we were given a great gift by David Chase with the finale & alot of people don't want to use it. He gave the viewer the opportunity to decide Tony's fate for themselves. The chance to let our imagination run wild. People have been doing this for weeks now telling the world how they would end the series & now given the opportunity to actually do it their way, they turn lazy & complain. Now their brains have turned off. Ironic huh?
I am happy with accepting one of the following. Either:
A) Tony lives on, but at what cost? He may be going to jail. If he doesn't, is he really free? He can't even enjoy a night out with the family without looking over his shoulder. His paranioa has got the better of him & he'll live the rest of his life waiting for the shoe to fall. Tragic.
Or
B) Tony got killed. Members Only Jacket Man killed him. He "didn't hear when it happens". Nor did he see it and neither do we. The audience got whacked with him.
Either way it works for me.
I think the real fans of the show will come around eventually to this end. The whacker fans never really understood the show & they never will. They got exactly what they deserved Sunday evening.
By the way, we did get some resolution in the end.
Phil got his.
Regardless of whether he lives or dies, Tony did too.
Tony made (shaky) peace with Junior (I was personally happy to see that).
Therapy is over for Tony. I know that came last week, but what do you want?
Silvio will most certainly die. They spelled his fate out last week too. RIP
Anyone expecting tidy resolutions to everything really has to admit that they have been watching another show for the past several years.
I will miss this series. It will live on in my DVD collection. I am glad we had it while it was here, and I will appreciate it for what it was. It definitely set the bar for what good television is & what is should be.

June 13 2007 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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