Sunday, July 22, 2007

What I'm Watching: The Sopranos (Series Finale)

I went through a lot of trouble to ensure that this finale was not spoiled for me. If you have not yet seen it, be sure to stop reading now.

The Sopranos: Season 6, Episode 21 "Made in America"

There were no ducks. Nothing at all. Ugh. What a letdown. Not even some unforeseen, terribly unsettling finish, but rather the lack of one. Ending the series in the middle of a line of "Don't Stop Believing" seems so desperately incomplete, and it is simply unfair to conclude the series without a real conclusion. There were so many ways this show could have been ended perfectly, and yet creator David Chase chose to go the open-ended, unresolved route. Not a smart play, and judging from the reviews I have read, most people agree with me. The episode as a whole is not that bad, but as a series finale, it just sucks. The only major highlight of this episode is the death of Phil Leotardo, which was fantastically satisfying. This is by far the weakest episode of the season, possibly even the series. After last year's "Six Feet Under" finale, I expected much better, if not just a bit better. For anyone who wants to see an excellent series finale, rent the five seasons of "Six Feet Under", a saga which builds towards an amazing end, getting better each episode. The only actor in the "Sopranos" finale who would benefit from submitting this episode for Emmy consideration is Matt Servitto as Agent Harris, who truly demonstrates the connection he feels to the New Jersey mob. His role is too small, unfortunately, and he does not stand a chance.

The episode: B-
As a series finale: D-

This season (2nd half of the 6th season): B+
The weakest portion of the series is still a good season of television, the strongest episode being the season premiere, "Soprano Home Movies". I already said my piece in my previous "Sopranos" post.

The series: A
This has been a remarkable journey, and the first five and a half seasons are uniformly excellent. Highly recommended viewing for those who can stomach some graphic language and a huge amount of violence.

Coming sometime soon: My top ten "Sopranos" episodes, just for nostalgia's sake.

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