One day after the series finale of The Sopranos, TNT will dedicate twelve hours to a Law and Order marathon focusing on episodes featuring actors from The Sopranos.
The marathon begins Monday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. and features episodes with appearances from Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Jerry Adler,John Ventimiglia, Vincent Curatola, Dan Grimaldi, Joseph R. Gannascoli, Ray Abruzzo, Robert Funaro, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore, Sharon Angela and Frank Vincent.
Big surprises aside (we'll save the spoilers for after the jump), it was great to see Artie and his restaurant (and New York Jets coach Eric Mangini with his wife) make an appearance, and the monstrous amount of foreshadowing that the opening scene showed us was pretty damn intoxicating, if you ask me. Hell, a good part of me forgot about all the little plotlines that were left open for us to ponder over the years. We're definitely going to get a run for our money in next week's episode, so if you haven't watched this week's yet, then fire up your DVR and get to it before finishing this post.
With the series finale of HBO's The Sopranos fast approaching (a week from this Sunday, to be exact) speculation is running wild as to what's going to become of Tony Soprano and his companions. The biggest question is whether or not Tony will alive or dead when the final credits role.
Michael Starr of the New York Post is betting that we'll know something about the series finale after the next-to-last episode airs this Sunday. Starr believes that this week's episode could be the one that features a final battle between Tony and his enemies, while the last episode could be the one that ties everything up in a tidy package, leaving Tony alive and kicking. Few clues are being given in episode description. For example, for this week's episode, "The Blue Comet", HBO writes 'The allegiance of those closest to Tony is put to the test and a case of mistaken identity has serious ramifications.' Not much to decipher from that notice, is there?
Its also been reported that show creator David Chase, who co-wrote this Sunday's episode and wrote and directed the series finale, has filmed several endings to The Sopranos to throw everyone off as to the fate of Tony. My guess is that Tony will wake up from a dream and Suzanne Pleshette will be there in bed next to him. Hey, it worked before!
When it comes to the drama classification, this show always makes the cut. But this week, for some reason, I felt like it meshed even more than usual with that genre with all that went on throughout the episode. When it all boils though, the family ties were what made this show so successful, and they're what keeps the drama flowing. Except for the fact that we've all got to wait two weeks to see how our Sopranos is going to get ready to close up shop, I think we're in for a quality run that everyone can get behind.
Was this week perfect? By all means not, but taking out a character that has meant something to all the show's fans forever, and showing what looks like an inkling of an ugly finale when it comes to Tony and the New York crew could provide for one of the more fantastic endings, perhaps the one we all deserve after surviving through so many production delays and season holdups.
Well grieve yourselves no longer. TV 101 is back from its long hiatus.
Where was I? Well, my college stand-up tour this spring was a little more successful than I (or my agent or my wife or any of my friends) could have possibly predicted and I spent the last four months getting an intimate tour of every medium-priced hotel in the Midwest.
As a traveler and TV watcher, I've returned from my road-trip with some observations about what hotels can do to make our lives (as television viewers) a bit nicer...
(S06E16) First off, I've gotta say that this was the weakest episode in this short half-season so far, in my opinion. A lot of commenters on this site were a little ticked off at the fact that Tony was now well in debt as far as his gambling problem went, even if he did have cash elsewhere, and how that just cropped up out of nowhere. While I wouldn't say it was out of nowhere, the heaviness of his losses piling up were definitely a big surprise.
On top of that, there were a few random bits of dialogue that didn't seem to go anywhere, kind of like how Bobby didn't really have much to say one way or another about the horse race. Some part of me wants to say that the boys are just becoming glorified yes-men to Tony, but I'm not sure that it's, and I think I might be trying too hard to get to that point. Out of everything that did happen this week, though, what might be most important - and maybe a huge plot point - was Tony's spotting of the guy that used to hang out at the Bada Bing, in front of what looked like a Muslim gathering place. Of course, Chase & Co. will catch hell from some group for that particular portrayal, but if you're going to take a page out of anyone's playbook, it might as well be 24's.
(S06E15) Last week's promos showed Paulie in what looked like a rough situation or two, most of which featured Tony's glare right on him. That all started after Paulie made a snide remark, or more specifically was talking about himself, when the guys were toasting to Johnny Sack's life after he had passed away from cancer. As it turned out, he was absolutely in the sights of Tony when it came to life and death. And in an episode when someone is having loose lips and putting the boss in a tough situation as the body of the person that he killed to "make his bones" more than two decades earlier was apparently being dug up by the feds, the focus on Paulie being a chatterbox about his entire life story was more than appropriate.
One of the cooler things we got to see this week was Vincent Pastore's mug, as he was hanging out in the kitchen in Paulie's dream, a dream that made him want to step up to the plate, and realize that he was on his boss' bad side. Whether or not Tony just couldn't do it when it came to whacking his friend and onetime mentor or that he realized he was making a rash decision wasn't quite clear. What did happen was that we got the do-si-do from Chase & Company, who had us flat-out staring at the Jersey Crew while the New York team was about to head in another direction.
(S06E14) When we were first introduced to Chrissie's concept of Cleaver as a flick, I never really thought it'd see the light of day. But when the red carpet was rolled out this week, it looked like not only would it do that, but it could have been Christopher's shining moment in the family. As it turns out, maybe that last part isn't going to be the case. My prediction last week about Christopher's screen time turned out to be off base - so far, at least - but based on Tony's reaction to how the "boss" character in the film was portrayed, and how the portrayal resembled some of the events that had happened in the last few years, maybe Christopher might not see that much more daylight after all.
I'm very much into the disarray that the New York family is having right now. Aside from the fact that no one really seems to want to show real leadership skills, they're not exactly looking like model mob citizens compared to what the Jersey boys are doing right now.
Matriarch Shannon Tweed prodded Gene about bringing another bundle of joy into the Simmons' clan. Less than excited, Gene suggested they adopt a child and bet that she'd drop the idea after enduring a year-long process.
Following in the footsteps of Madonna and Angelina Jolie, Shannon brought home an innocent African-American baby. This is where the situation stops being funny. Although there were very cute moments between the baby and Gene, it's really become unpalatable to watch another celebrity bring home a child like a pet. Even if it was in jest, it just seems in bad taste to make adopting a baby such a cavalier joke.
Last night, we also welcomed back the Sopranos family into our homes ...
(WARNING: Spoilers ahead)
(S06E13) We've all been waiting long enough for it, and that Sunday in April finally came. Tonight, we were returned to the scene of the crime as far as the Soprano family goes, or at least the scene where Tony left Johnny Sack to get snatched by the cops way back in 2004. It was definitely helpful to have something absolutely material to the current plot line be "ripped" from something we all more or less forgot about, in Tony's tossing of the gun as he ran from the yard that winter day. As the episode's title would suggest, however, "family" was definitely what it was all about.
The foreshadowing of Tony speaking with Bobby about hunting and killing - and how he hadn't done so as far as people went, at least - was curious at least, but the way this show had been going the last season or two, I hadn't expected to see things come to fruition so quickly. As far as "family" goes, however, there are a lot of different ways to look at things. AJ certainly dropped a few pounds and has a new "look" that he's sporting, ink and all, Tony isn't letting the "pork chop" nickname go to his head or anything (not that anyone would ever call him that to his face), and while health might not be the first concern for the Jersey team, Phil most certainly is looking healthy and is looking to assert himself with his family, even if there is someone else (a much younger someone else) being groomed for the job.
OK, so no one has to be told that the final season of The Sopranos starts tonight at 9pm on HBO. After all, there have been tons of news stories about it, if you haven't heard (there might be a spoiler or two at some of those links). But don't forget that Entourage also returns tonight, immediately following The Sopranos at 10pm.
Remember when April and May used to mean the season was winding down on all of the networks? Now here it is Easter and the cable networks are just warming up. Everyone seems to be waiting for Tony and company to come back, but I'm more excited about Entourage. When we last left our heroes, Vince had ended his relationship with agent Ari, so it's going to be interesting to see where they go with the storyline.
Thanks for the Easter candy, HBO!
Ah, the friendly neighborhood drinking hole. In one way or another, they're there to give you that much needed morning/evening buzz before/after work or school. In what order you visit them is up to you. We've seen our fair share of these booze and caffeine shoppes on TV throughout the years, and here's my pick for the top 18 -- why settle for just ten?
1) Cheers (Cheers) -- Let's get right down to it and start with the obvious number one choice before we move on. I'm not going to insult you with dragging you on to the end to see what is very obviously the most famous of all TV bars. And since I'm from the area, I have no business not making this number one.
Video is after the jump- watch it soon, because you never know how long HBO will let it stay up on YouTube. (If they're smart, they'll leave it up there because it's actually marketing for the final episodes)
*UPDATE: Sopranos creator David Chase loves the montage and is asking HBO to leave it up on YouTube. Yay!
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