Gabe catches up on some culture.
What was I doing in the early 2000’s?
Getting up, boiling jugs, gazing out windows, oh yeah there was this job I had-who cares? Rip-Van-Winkeling it. Obviously I wasn’t watching The Sopranos.
I am now though, episode by bloody episode. Uncle Junior appeared in a dream of mine a few nights ago, then my husband woke pale-faced, muttering ‘I owe Tony some money”.
Sad. I know. We ‘re in deep. I feel the need for red wine at every meal. My pasta consumption has increased, and the first thing I do when I wake up is shuffle down our non-palatial driveway to pick up the newspaper and scan the ‘hood for Feds.
Like the most boring preacher preaching to a choir that is not only converted, but are chatting –probably tweeting- about programmes, films and blogs yet to penetrate my fog of oblivion I say to friends and family omigod, it’s so good, the writing, the acting, the choice of music… Yip, they say, it was really good. Have you caught up on Mad Men? No! No I have not, my brain is in New Jersey and it’s the early 2000’s, one major TV series at a time, please.
Yes, I come to popular cultural ‘events’ late ( wandering around, gazing out windows) but this one lived up to the hype. Tony! Tony with his fat Cuban cigar , cradling an assault rifle, slumped in a deck chair, waiting for a rogue bear! Pauly with his elaborate hand gestures and Dracula hairdo! Janice, unbearable Janice with her Epstein-Barr and volcanic temper! Poor, devoted Adriana of the Fearless Manicure and Silvio, I think he’s my favourite, it’s like he’s constantly trying to push a nut up his nose using only his lips…I won’t bore you.
Correction; I won’t bore you unintentionally.
You know these characters, you met them way before I did. Yes it’s violent and more than once you catch yourself wondering if they wore torn bikie jackets, homemade tattoos and sunglasses 24 seven you’d be as engrossed, it’s the wine, it’s the male vanity, it’s that mafia lifestyle that has such deep roots in American cinema. The body count? God it’s season five already, it’s ticking over like a clock. And I’m a sook but I’ll still watch.
And Edie Falco!
Okay, I’ll stop ranting. The writing is rich and complex and the story unwinds slowly, shakes you –the violence- and the characters deepen. Dream sequences that add to the story, not annoy. I don’t think New Zealand television has ever produced anything that can touch it with a barge pole (I’ve always wondered how long a barge pole is, but I know someone will know) but hey, TVNZ have never seen the kind of budget this series enjoyed (I have not a clue what that was but Edie! Edie Falco). Carmela and Tony have just torn strips off each other in one of the best marital blow-ups I have ever seen, or maybe I just am so deep in Soprano land I have forgotten other contenders.
Please do not say a word to me about what’s coming up, but I’m guessing it’s not going to be ponies and rainbows. Okay can I just rant about one character; Dr Melfi. I know it’s just the actor’s thing but she’s sounding more and more stoned by the episode. With Tony Soprano glad-eyeing you at work you’d be forgiven. Edie Falco!