We've written in the past about sports being one of the few uniting conversation topics left on the planet, but for the past few months, for us, it has been the last days of "The Sopranos." It's pretty much the first question we ask of everyone we talk to: You been watching Sopranos? It has been our favorite television show of all time since the very first episode, with the ducks and the unscrewable penis and the Czech named "Email." And it's ending Sunday, and we're devastated by it.
Don't get us wrong: We're glad the show is going out at the top of its game rather then sputtering toward a mercy killing. But we are a notorious David Chase apologist: Even the plotlines that didn't work, we've excused, we've enjoyed, even, because the show was nothing like we've seen before or after. We've never been a mob enthusiast, inherently; we scoffed at those who were bored by the dream sequences and just waited around for someone to get whacked. (We're looking at you, Daulerio.) We loved that the show took its time, dropped plotlines, introduced new characters at the moments of highest tension. At its core, "The Sopranos" is not about the mob, not really; it's about the American Dream, about that vague sense we all have that this was supposed to be better. I have everything I want and I'm still unhappy. It's about all of us.
When "The Sopranos" debuted, our parents happened to catch the pilot, pure luck. This was a family like their own; a hard-working blue-collar father, a spiritually wanting mother, a bratty daughter who's still trying to figure herself out. (Our sister was never as bad as Meadow, and a helluva lot smarter too.) Our parents were not Goodfellas fans, or devotees of The Godfather. They saw people just like them, struggling to figure it all out in modern America. It was not a story of mob violence or the exit ramps of New Jersey. It was a story about a family. No matter where you were from, you could relate. It became our parents' favorite show, just like it became ours. That doesn't happen often.
And in two days, it all ends. We have our own predictions on how it will all go down, but if we've learned anything from "The Sopranos" in the last eight years, it's that our predictions will almost always be wrong. We're not too concerned with all that. We're just going to try to appreciate its sublime pleasures one last time. And then we're gonna say goodbye and wonder what the hell we're supposed to do with our Sunday nights. What, no fuckin' ziti now?
Sopranos Predictions [New York Magazine]