As you may have noticed, we are in the final run of The Sopranos, with only nine — check that — eight more episodes to go before it ends.
And despite the existential angst that you might feel while watching these past few episodes — think of all of the times you’ve thought “oh, that’s not going to turn out well” after someone has some remark made or brandished some object– it seems like the buzz surrounding this last season, isn’t that of sadness and loss, but rather one of celebration and joy.
You can feel it in the articles discussing the possibilities of this season. You can feel it in the tone of the recaps and reviews of the actual shows. You absolutely felt it in the “Sopranos in 7 Minutes.” Something wonderful is coming to an end, to be sure, but it’s a wake we are having here, celebrating the life of The Sopranos, as opposed to mourning the death of The Sopranos.
Sure, it’s a final season, and there is always a chance that Chase will somehow mess it up at the very end (but the smart money says he won’t), but this all seems very much like a victory lap to me. And a well-deserved victory lap, because I’m not just celebrating the greatest drama in Television history, but what is quite possibly the greatest sustained burst of creation we’ll ever see in our lifetimes, maybe ever.
If who are can be expressed by the stories that we tell, than what, pray tell, has ever revealed more about who we are as a country that the 86 episodes of The Sopranos. Even if most of us haven’t whacked a guy; banged a stripper in our SUV; or killed our fiancee’s dog while nodding out.
Even if the specifics are different, there we are in all of our violence and sexuality and religious orthodoxy. There we are in all of our wildness, our weirdness and our weakness. There we are all in all of our power and greed and corruptible seed. There we are in all of our gluttony and craziness. Oh yeah, there we are in our love and family and strength.
There we are in all of our uncertain glory.
Everything is encapsulated in the way that Tony Soprano eats. Stir, stir, stir, scoop, eat. Repeat.
That’s what I love about The Sopranos. That’s what I’m celebrating. But it won’t be what I miss, because I won’t ever miss it. I won’t ever have to: it will always be right there, all 86 episodes, on my DVDs and no doubt, future downloads.