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SOPRANOS!! Talk Back!!

I am – Hercules!!

It took forever for the new episodes to arrive, but it feels like the show’s creators put the time to good use. This will almost certainly prove a minority view (at least for the moment), but I’m already thinking this third season of “The Sopranos” is the best of the three. It’s especially gratifying to see the show’s willingness to embrace new characters while altering our perceptions of established ones. Last week’s episode, with Burt Young as the dying goodfella, was packed with enough memorable incident for six episodes:

*Tony’s hilarious rejoinder after Melfi tells Tony and Carmella that they both have a lot of anger.

*The poor defenseless bastard who got golf-clubbed to death on the street for talking to a girl.

*Burt Young’s suspenseful and sloppy final hit.

*Junior fretting over whether Burt Young’s character was killed by cancer or the impact of the crash.

*Tony’s unexpected willingness to help Charles Dutton’s cop character.

*Tony’s astonishment at Artie’s desire to go to war with Christopher over Adrianna.

*The seemingly limitless depths of Janice’s self-absorption as she and Tony discuss Junior’s cancer.

*Ralph Cifaretto’s willingness to casually mock higher-ranking wiseguys.

*Tony’s inability to avoid giving Meadow grief about the black guy who stole her bike.

*Meadow casually wandering off with that lamp the feds went to so much trouble to plant in Tony’s basement at season’s start.

Add to this Melfi’s rape, the Russians who forced Janice to surrender Svetlana’s leg, Paulie’s treatment of newly-minted “made man” Christopher, the half-black boyfriend Meadow won’t part with, Cifaretto’s suspect courtship of Jackie Jr.’s mom, and the bizarro wake for Livia, and realize that “The Sopranos” is humming along as never before. One can feel excitement building as Sunday evenings near…

Tonight, we get to see Cifaretto mistreat a “crowd favorite” at the Bada Bing, and Meadow deal with her out-of-control roommate.

Take up valuable bandwidth with your predictions and reactions!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 1, 2001, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Sopranos is getting good!!!

    by avguy

    Kudos to the makeup guys cause that golf club shot to the head was nasty with a capital N. The rape episode should be the one that they submit for a possible nomination. And, although Tony's rejoinder about his angry marriage was good Christopher's comment about Jackie Jr being "Little Lord Fuck Pants" still makes me laugh 2 weeks later. If last week was any indication that the sopranos season 3 is picking up speed this weeks should be lightning fast. I can't wait til season 2 comes out on disk!!!

  • April 1, 2001, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Joe Pantoliano

    by bobis111

    hopefully we'll see more Ralphie tonight, Joey Pantz is the man be back later with thoughts on the episode

  • April 1, 2001, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Last weeks episode was astonishing!

    by GravyAkira

    I was laughing my ass off in the beginning and holding on to the edge of my seat near the end. What a great show.

  • April 1, 2001, 7:01 a.m. CST

    getting Better

    by aguirre

    I think the show is just kicking into high gear after last weeks episode. With everything that went on we still have the rest of seasons. Personally I think joe P character is not going to survive this season, he's pissing off tony in a big way.

  • April 1, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Steamroller, baby

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Chicken-choking, mother fucking steamroller blues! I've got a question for y'all out there...anybody know where I can find a weekly soundtrack listing for each episode? The music, much like the background jukebox in Northern Exposure, is great and is often stuff I'd like to get aquainted with. Kudos to the musical director!! The only gripe I have with the show at all is that, IMHO, Janice=Jar Jar. I hope her character eventually takes a dirt nap.

  • April 1, 2001, 12:18 p.m. CST

    ralphie vs gigi

    by ColdLazarus

    my prediction is gigi centone will be clipped by ralphie or one of his loyals. i think the brief conversation tony observed between ralphie and johnny sack is alluding to a mutiny of sorts. something will end up "messy" between these three. but, the beauty of the show is it's so goddamn unpredictable - thats why i love it!

  • April 1, 2001, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Sopranos, with all due respect, IS better than Goodfellas

    by TanniBones

    I just want to answer Stanley Spector (hope I got spelling right) about preferring West Wing and saying that the Sopranos is overrated. First, I'll leave the West Wing out of this. It's a fine show, indeed. But, how can you say that Sopranos is basically an hour of Goodfellas? Isn't that a short cut to thinking? Are all westerns the same? It's the same genre certainly and Goodfellas' influence on the Sopranos is in seeing wiseguys as blue-collar guys who are hustling to keep making money. What Goodfellas' strengths are is: Scorsese's phenomenal use of cinematic style, and the story showing thew lengths that people go to for money, material gain, and 'the life'. It's a great film and an old favourite of mine. If I had to compare the two, though, I'd have to say Sopranos gets the nod. Here's why. Goodfellas just doesn't have the character development that the Sopranos has. (By the way, I think that Casino is superior in this way as well. Discuss) What makes the Soprnaos great is that it has such richly drawn characters. Characters with recognizable human traits. I think this makes the show one of the best shows of the generation up there with Oz and Twin Peaks. All these shows use the time a weekly series gives them to create rich and complex characters. Also, Chase manges the rare feat of being artistically daring , ambigious and deep, and completely accessible and entertaing - all at the same time! This brings me to another point. Scorsese's and Chase's cinematic style are completely different. Scorsese's style is very sggressive and identifiable in people he's influenced (Spike Lee, PT anderson, Trainspotting, Blow). Lucky he has the substance to back it up. Chase never lets his style overwhelm the story. Everything he does is to serve the character and the stories. The style is there, but it's not showy or shoved down your throat. CHase is just not afraid to take his time telling his story. He is making poetry oout of real life and it is up to the viewer to appreiciate what is going on. That's what makes the show so fuckin' great. Each episode is packed, each is deifferent, each is richly drawn, and open-ended. And fuckin'funny to boot. The Sopranos takes its ambiguity from reality and real people. Sometimes with The West Wing , I feel like I am being preached at and the characters sometimes are a little too heriocally drawn. Still, Agreat show in all, but I had to throw down for the Sopranos, the best show on TV, and better than MOST movies. Tanni Bones out ( by the way, did anyone see Big Pussy's reflection in the mirror in Episode 3.2?! What the fuck is That?

  • April 1, 2001, 1:35 p.m. CST

    The Russians Are Coming!!!!

    by avguy

    I noticed some of yous guys are making predictions, I think a war between Tony's guys and the Russians would be sweet. A full scale blood bath triggered by Tony's jackass sister and a stolen leg would be fantastic. I'm sure we will be surprised by what chase has in store for us but... I think it is the most real possibility in that Tony feels he has to strike back. Remember THE RUSSIAN MOB IS LOCO

  • April 1, 2001, 1:45 p.m. CST

    You yap worse than six barbers!

    by Dillrod Deluxe

    That's my favorite line from Uncle Junior - he gets some of the best dialogue. I just gotta say, Dominic Chianese was incredible in last weeks' episode! What a performance! But, does anybody else think/hope that his cancer is just a ploy? The big casino..."What you don't know could fill a book." That's another great line. The only way The Sopranos could get any better at this point would be if we got to see more of Tony's Russian Ex-girlfriend NAKED NAKED NAKED!!!

  • April 1, 2001, 1:52 p.m. CST

    The West Wang???

    by Dillrod Deluxe

    Please shut-up about the West Wing...this show is the biggest pile of brown, steamy dreck that has ever been shown on television. It is completely unoriginal and bland. I have had chunks of stool with more substance than this show. Blatant, bland, boring, bullshite. Martin Sheen should be voted out of Hollywood. And Rob Lowe better pray that Mike Myers keeps feeding him scraps. And Mike Myers better hire himself a new agent before he turns into a parody of himself. The West Wing...I bet you like Judging Amy too. Sheep...

  • April 1, 2001, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Pussy Ain't Dead, He just Restin'

    by JustinTimberlake

    Yaw what up crew? 4 More hours before I get to watch Tony wack more fools...that show is so tight this year b'. We get new characters every week, and my thoughts on Big Pussy, is that he's there b'. Juss Tony think he's dead. Remember last week when Melfi had that dream sequence and her face was fine and not bruised? same wit Puss, my boy had a leg brace the whole episode and didn't when he got wacked.Da Russian Mob ought to be Fat, same wit Jonny Sack...and we ain't seen the last of ROC yet either, i bet he comes back soemwhere to fuck wit my boy Tony S. When's 2nd season out on DVD and who do i gotta cap to get seasons of OZ on DVD, even the ones i was on. I'll be watchin it tonight, 40 in one hand, blunt in the from da gravel pit. NYC.

  • April 1, 2001, 2:23 p.m. CST

    i predict...

    by dinomartini

    that the sopranos will eventually replace oxygen as the substance humans depend on for survival. great show, great characters, great great dialogue, great great great.

  • April 1, 2001, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Vegas, baby, VEGAS!

    by TanniBones

    Speaking of predictions, remember at the end of 2nd season, RObert Patrick's chronic gambler charaacter (fuck, can't remember character name) said he was going to Nevada. Imagine if, for some reason, Tony and the crew had to head out there. Who would they get in touch with? I know it's unlikely, but still, why would Chase write that line anyways? Just a thought.

  • April 1, 2001, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Tony smacks down Ralphie!

    by SteveRogers

    Hey TanniBones, you bet I saw Big Puss as a refection in a door mirror at the "sausage factory" during Livia's wake. Man, have these new episodes been worth the wait! I'm wondering when Ralphie will be joining Ritchie under that meadow overlooking a lake. Speaking of Meadow, wasn't she looking especially yummy tonight. Mr. Chase is full of surprises. When Meadow's roomie, Caitlin, joined Noah to study, I thought for sure that those two would end up in the sack. I guess that would've been an easy shock. I'm still hoping that tony hears of Melfi's attack so we can see that worthless slime beg for death from the boys. Tony continues to be full of surprises. After blowing off Tracy in several scenes, we see him having true remorse at the end. And we got a reprieve from Janice this week! Wotta show!

  • April 1, 2001, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Best fuckin' show on tv, you mooks!

    by Uncapie

    Cifaretto the Gladiator Boy is gonna get capped!

  • April 1, 2001, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Why Sopranos and West Wing are both liked.

    by Uncapie

    Politics and the mafia are really flips sides ofthe coin when you look at it.

  • April 2, 2001, 9:21 a.m. CST

    More on Sopranos_West Wing debate...

    by TanniBones

    Narrator brings up alot of good points about what makes the Sopranos great. Everybody likes stuff for different reasons, it's all good. But you seem to want to limit the Sopranos to being just great pulp entertainment. No doubt, it is definitely that. But can't something be both artisitic and entertaining and try to be both explicitly and at the same time? I just feel sometimes West Wing gets more respect over the Sopranos solely on the basis that one is about crime. Besides , with all the other things it is, West wing is also a big-time soap opera. All I'm saying is why use whether something is high culture and low culture, to discuss its value or quality?

  • April 2, 2001, 9:22 a.m. CST

    More on Sopranos_West Wing debate...

    by TanniBones

    Narrator brings up alot of good points about what makes the Sopranos great. Everybody likes stuff for different reasons, it's all good. But you seem to want to limit the Sopranos to being just great pulp entertainment. No doubt, it is definitely that. But can't something be both artisitic and entertaining and try to be both explicitly and at the same time? I just feel sometimes West Wing gets more respect over the Sopranos solely on the basis that one is about crime. Besides , with all the other things it is, West wing is also a big-time soap opera. All I'm saying is why use whether something is high culture and low culture, to discuss its value or quality?

  • April 2, 2001, 11:10 a.m. CST

    FYI, DinoMartini.....

    by Kentucky Colonel

    I don't know if you are paraphrasing, plagerizing or prophetizing a quote that my good friend Paul Kopasz (of Paul K and the Weathermen, for those of you whom are musically inclined) had published in the Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO) about the second season of the show. I cannot remember his exact quote (I could look it up if I were at home) but I do know that it's pretty damned close to your post. It was the lead in line, by the way. So which is it? I would find it hard to believe that your verbage could so closley resemble my friend's thoughts of over a year ago. All I'm saying is give credit where credit is due. Now then, some other thoughts....Have you noticed a conspicous lack of Christopher the last two episodes? (I did notice a lack of Janice last night, thank god!) Are there perhaps too many characters being introduced and perhaps too many "strings" left hanging? (Paulie and the psychic...I'd have like to have seen some follow up on that!) And what of the Russians? It seems that last weeks episode was pretty much all but forgotten, story-development wise, this week, except for Junior's cancer. Last thing...I wanna see more of Junior and "Johnny Boy" Soprano back in their day. Those scenes rule!!!!! Remember to have your pet spayed or neutered!!! My Woofer turned 11 yesterday!!! What a wonderful puppy she has been to me all these years!!! Hey Woof, just so the world knows, you are my fuzzy sunshine! Happy 11th Birthday (and going strong, I might add).

  • April 2, 2001, 2:04 p.m. CST

    RE: dino martini & kentucky colonel

    by Sixdoublefive321

    That's weird, I thought D.M.'s line about The Sopranos replacing oxygen had been "borrowed" from one of Saturday Night Live's fake commercials from last year; the ad poked fun of all the critical hype the show was getting, around the time that it was called "the greatest work of popular culture of the last half century" by, I think, The NY Times? But I don't have documentation on all my sources so I could be wrong about any number of details. As far as the show goes, I'm a big fan but the last three episodes haven't done much for me: Joey Pantz seems to just be standing in for Richie Aprielle (did they have left over lines they wanted to use?) and they're kind of dwelling on scenes of women being brutalized (Dr. Melfi's drawn-out on-camera rape, Janice & the Russians, and the beating death of Tracee last night). I think they need to develope Tony's flashbacks and, for God's sake, if somebody is gonna kick ass, could it please be Furio? Did he come all the way from Italy just to be comic relief?

  • April 2, 2001, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Personally I'd like to see more of Drea DiMatteo, if you get my

    by TanniBones

    As for Joey Pants, Yeah, Ralphie is a lot like Richie, but give Chase some time. He may have something up his sleeve. If not, a waste of a talented actor. Heard he's the shit in Memento

  • April 3, 2001, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Joey Pants signed for TWO seasons

    by durhay

    He mentioned it in his interview in the Detroit Free Press. So I wonder who if anyone gets capped in the finale?

  • April 3, 2001, 3:25 p.m. CST

    colnel whatever...

    by dinomartini

    i'll have you know that i'm paraphrasing an SNL skit that was rebroadcast on comedy central that aired originally during the first season. so before you get to preaching the ethics of citation to me, why don't you come correct? anyway, i'm also inclined to think that this is the best season yet. the acting has, in my mind, improved. people do tend to over-hype it, though, and that can be a detraction. eh, but who cares what i think?