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October 23, 2014

If the Sopranos were on network TV

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Jun 13th 2007 11:03AM
The SopranosI'll admit I was first "miffled" by most ambiguous ending ever in the history of series endings. But I'm beginning to come around to the the side that sees The Sopranos finale as "brilliant" rather than "lame." David Chase left us wanting more, and that's pretty awesome. Besides, according to Ken Levine, it could have been a lot worse.

On his blog, Ken, a veteran sitcom writer, hilariously reminds us just how annoying The Sopranos finale would have been on network television. For starters, a countdown clock would have run across the bottom of our television screens for at least a month leading up to the finale. The two-hour finale would have been preceded by a one-hour clip show hosted by Bob Costas. Janice would have gotten her own spin-off called Widow With Children.

And as for that controversial last scene? Let's just say Ken's "network version" includes the mandatory Ford product placement, as well as Meadow Soprano morphing into an ass-kicking Sydney Bristow, complete with hot leotards and an Uzi.

Ken knows network television and he got it mostly right. The only thing he left out is the part where Ryan Seacrest appears in an annoyingly cute cameo to tell Tony Soprano that he is "an American Idol." After all, the finale WAS called "Made in America."

See, isn't this fun? Thanks to David Chase's ambiguous ending we can all spend the rest of our lives coming up with our own crazy/funny/bizarre alternative endings.

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noodles

why?I ask you why?Can someone please tell me why?

June 13 2007 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wolfinfold

Brilliant closing episode and scene. I so much hoped that it would not be a massive bloodbath. Always The show has always been about family in some shape or form. Here we have this dinner scene which type has always been pivotal to the shows development with a difference. This one is not in the relative security of home or at Artie's Restaurant. Now the price for the war is loss of that security, no matter where Tony and family goes they will be watching over their shoulders. The cut to black with no sound...wonderful, jarring and the silent credit run. Just like the end of something important, that sound or music could not fill. Gave it dignity and gave the fans something to talk about.
There are no victors in war only survivors . Everything has a price...this is it.

June 13 2007 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James

I don't think the ending is up to interoperation at all. It was foreshadowed in the first episode of the season as Bobby and Tony talk about death and how it comes with no warning. No explanation. It just happens by "unhappening".
And that's exactly what happened in the last moment. Tony wasn't ready to go. Nor were we. But it "unhappened" to us all.
There is no use in wanting more Sopranos because Tony, our protagonist, is dead.
The end.

June 13 2007 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
agentmichaelscarn

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT RUSSIAN GUY IN THE WOODS?????

WHO TAUGHT MEADOW TO DRIVE (remember in season two when she was driving Janice and drove past a red light, also two weeks prior when she got in a fender-bender, and finally.... parallell parking)?

Seriously though, BobbyBuz, brilliant way of summing things up. Loved the episode and can't believe Paulie made it through the entire series. As bad as the "Seinfield" series finalie was, you think people would have burned down NBC studios and TBS (for the reruns) after witnessing the collective reaction to "The Sopranos" series finalie. If you didn't like it, forget the finalie and remember the rest of the series, I'm sure you'll find yourself more accepting as time goes on.


This isn't even close to how shocking the series finalie of "St. Elsewhere" was. I must admit that I nearly went insane grabbing for the remote, as I believed my cable had gone out.

June 13 2007 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Borat

Thank God for HBO, which truly has changed TV (though without any great new shows it's going downhill....fast).

And that was a good read.

Let's not forget Oprah inviting the whole cast onto her show.

June 13 2007 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BobbyBuz

I've thought, read, and listened to scores of opinions for 48 hours and the lightbulb has finally come on. At first I thought Tony was killed, but now, not a chance.

"WE, THE VIEWING AUDIENCE" were the Number #3 hit, after Bobby and Phil. Our time time was up; not Tony's. "WE THE AUDIENCE" were the one's who were done-for as the hour drew nigh; not Tony. Who does the bell toll for? It tolls for thee. Meaning "WE THE AUDIENCE". It was "WE THE AUDIENCE" who never saw "it" coming. WE were the one's who got "hit." That's why the uproar.

Lights out and the music stopped for us; all done. Tony is fine.

The people in the diner, were just that, "people." It's been proven that the Member's Only jacket guy was a new cast member totally dispelling the "Nikki" Leotardo theory. It was what Chase intended. Same goes for the rest of the bunch.

All the shots were just building the drama similar to an Alfred Hitchcock movie. There's not one shred of evidence to say Tony was killed.

People have complained about there was no closure in the episode? WTF? Think hard now. There was closure everywhere.

Uncle Jr. gone senile, Janice widowed and destined to become like her mother; AJ and Meadow selling out their ideals. AJ for an M3, some HS cooz, and a dip-shit job his father got him. Meadow for a $170k lawyer's salary. Carmela, with death and chaos all around her, scans real estate ads for a new beachhouse. Ya know where her head has been from the beginning, $$$ and lifestyle. Adriana is reincarnated as a cat; and Paulie is the lone survivor. While all the young studs get offed, the old and wise hangs tough.

It's all summed up with the title "Made in America" and the song titles as they were listed on the jukebox.

The ending was so absolutely fookin' brilliant, it just blows me away.

June 13 2007 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lee

I've already posted this, but I feel the need to post it again as it seems appropriate:
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: Anyone expecting tidy resolutions to everything really has to admit that they have been watching another show for the past several years. Honestly.
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 it should be.

June 13 2007 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Goody

I see nothing brilliant about this ending. It was like being slapped in the face after six years of watching this series. I will never watch anything David Chase is associated with again.

June 13 2007 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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