James Gandolfini joins the HBO family for one more bash -- poolside.
Call me cynical, but I'm not quite sure why HBO pulled out all the stops for a lavish gala at the W hotel in Westwood, Calif. when so many networks are cutting back. About 200 journalists plus assorted HBO personnel feasted on filet mignon, lobster tails and an open bar.
The hotel spa was on call in nearby cabanas to give free hand massages and (for the women) fingernail re-polishing.
Will Nip/Tuck have a season six? Why is James Gandolfini going back to HBO and will Larry David end Curb Your Enthusiasm?
These tidbits -- and a tons of swag -- came out at today's TCA press sessions at the Beverly Hilton hotel. I had to remind myself that today was a cable day because the roster of talent read like a major network.
Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) led the cast of Side Order of Life, a Lifetime series in which star Marisa Coughlan has second thoughts about marrying Priestly. But, hey, if Big dumped Natasha on Sex in the City then I suppose anything's possible.
"Reserve lots of money for Christmas, 2008."
That's the word from HBO Home Video head Henry McGee, speaking at the DVD and Beyond industry conference. He's talking about a Sopranos complete set. TVShowsOnDVD.com verified the info with McGee, and says it will be an expensive set. Though I wonder what they mean by expensive, since TV fans are used to paying $150-300 for complete sets.
Maybe the set will have commentary by David Chase on that series finale, or maybe deleted scenes or other info that will give more closure (for you fans who need that). Or maybe they'll be more of that black scene, which Chase wanted to last 20 seconds longer than it did (HBO talked him out of it).
(S06E21) It's finally here, folks. The week that we've all been waiting for. Well, perhaps not that anxiously awaiting, as we know that something we've all been into for so many years is going away. That said, it's still something that has the potential of being very, very cool culturally and will definitely dominate the watercooler talk for the next few days or so.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're going to have a chatroom live for all of you to join in on as the show goes on and share your theories, reactions, and opinions in real-time.
Click here to enter the chatroom.
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.
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.
(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.
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!
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!
[Via Lost Remote]
And so it begins. The countdown to the final nine episodes of one of the finest dramas to ever grace our TV screens. I'll be honest -- I'm very impressed with the simplicity of the ad campaign that HBO is now running to promote The Sopranos farewell. Nothing too flashy. Just black and white. Tony all by himself. Pondering. It makes you think. Plus, I love the "Made in America" tagline. It has such an obvious double meaning, but it fits perfectly. There's actually another ad floating around too. I found a snapshot of it here. Equally simple but also a little creepy. Just a family photo... but everyone is staring you in the face. You have to wonder though. Generally, past ads for The Sopranos hold some kind of meaning regarding the season to come. Is this one any different? Who do you think Tony is looking off to the right at? You know what I mean? If you zoomed out on the photo, what else is around him?
The nominees for the 13th annual Screen Actors Guild awards were announced earlier this morning. Like the Golden Globes, the SAG awards focus on both movies and television. We don't give a darn about the movie nominees (that's what our sister site Cinematical is for), but we very much care for the television nominations. That's because we are, you know, TV Squad. So, here they are:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal
Kiefer Sutherland, 24 / 24 – Jack Bauer - FOX
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Kyra Sedgwick,The Closer
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
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