In "The Sopranos" James Gandolfini portrays a mafia boss from New Jersey, Tony Soprano is this big tough man with many conflicting views, strong ideas and living in certain "codes" to honor.
What is powerful about this 6 seasons HBO show is how REAL it is and how we all have these same conflicts in our own self.
I had seen James Gandolfini in many movies, one of my favorites back in 2001 was "The Last Castle" I've been a big Robert Redford fan so seeing James Gandolfini in this story was surprising for me since I knew him only as "Tony Soprano".
The time frame of the first season of "The Sopranos" was back in 1999, so that famous theme song in getting started for the show has a picture of New York's Twin Towers. In the last season it is removed the whole part with those towers.....sad but revealing to how our country changed in many hidden ways.
Tony Soprano was a total asshole, selfish, manipulating insecure man who loved his family. He showed how to be brave and scared at the same time, he was both protective and proud of the life he built. He carried guilt and shame, he held onto grudges and he held onto control. He wanted to be loved, to be respected and accepted.
He didn't like ever to be alone, he didn't like to ever be told what to do. Tony Soprano saw life in his ups and downs as a job to do, a responsibly to everyone and everything, yet all the while making sure he got "His cut". What I have always loved about this show is this main character, James Gandolfini. Who captures Tony Soprano in such a powerful human way, the mental struggles, the moral issues and the over all way we handle relationships is seen clearly in this mafia boss. This isn't anything like "The Untouchables", "The Godfather", "The GoodFellas" or if you even have enough time for that long ass movie "Casino".....THIS show is in our today's world with the mafia setup of real people with relating emotions and situations. It is in my opinion the BEST drama series I have ever seen, it is also a historic show for back in 2000 when HBO was at it's peak in success the time in our lives were changing faster then we could keep up with, yet in relating to this show brought with it a big fan club.
The Sopranos are full of many intelligent scenes, of bigger and deeper issues then just the dialog. Even the references to such good Italian foods while sitting around the latest entertainment center in a "traditional" home, the life style, the dramas and the over all family dynamic makes each episode fascinating! These characters become familiar, become enjoyable and for me these connections are very memorable.
Back in 2003 I first realized that I needed to address my personal issues of how my parents treated me in order to move forward in my life, I was letting go of my maiden name, so I wanted to also let go of my parent's baggage on me too. That first year married in our adorable little apartment, we received HBO for free from the landlord. It was how we grew more familiar with "The Sopranos" and recognized James Gandolfini. Looking back at those years I learned all about the power parents have over us no matter how old we grow, that "Border Line Personality disorder" is a very real thing. I remember those late nights with a big bowl of penne pasta along side a big glass of red wine as the theme song ended and we settled in to watch our favorite show!
Rest in peace Mr. James Gandolfini, we will always enjoy your talented acting career! Thank you.