The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws

Posted By: Moe_Tilden

The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws - 11/24/18 01:47 PM


Complex has some good articles so thought I'd share this in case nobody's ever posted it.

Anybody beg to differ on any of them?

I agree with a lot of it; particularly Tony B, the revolving door of new antagonists, the absurdity of New Jersey being as powerful as New York, and the lack of visibility for soldiers, associates and even capos in the family beyond the main 4 or 5 characters - look at Carlo's rise to prominence once they needed to replace killed off characters as a case in point.
Posted By: OakAsFan

Re: The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws - 11/24/18 06:56 PM

25. Don does not wear shorts.

This is an actual line from the show. The show addresses this. Don't see it as a flaw. More like a commentary. Tony wearing shorts is intentional. It emphasizes his lack of standards compared to the NY bosses.

24. College - Tony running into a rat while touring schools with Meadow

Are you kidding me? Critics consider this one of the best episodes of the series. It was probably the first episode that really went into the juxtaposition between Tony being a mob boss and a middle class dad. The coincidence of running into the rat could be considered an overused trope, but it's not a flaw. I've always believed College was also based on some of the hunter/hunted tropes in Film Noirs like Act of Violence. Dark streets, the rat hearing noises, looking outside, not finding anything, leaves shuffling, animals staring, etc.

23. Difference between seasons 1 and 2

Author is absolutely correct here. I too noticed how the show went from comedic to dramatic between these two seasons, but I really think it happened at the end of season 1, particularly the scene where Det. Makazian tells Tony that Pussy's a rat. It becomes a different show at this point, and never turns back.

22. Commendatori

Trip to Italy plot may have been unnecessary but I don't see it as a flaw. Still a great episode.

21. Jersey mob being so forward with more powerful NY families

Fair point, and these instances in the show are often complained about here, too. Chase has always said that the Soprano crew is partly based on the Genovese family, particularly the Boiardo crew that ran Newark when Chase was growing up. A lot of cops believe they're based on Luccheses and Philadelphia guys, who probably have a little more clout with NY than any DeCavalcantes. This is a fair criticism because most people don't buy that a Jersey mobster could get so mouthy with NY bosses, but if you follow the plot of the show and consider how much money Tony makes, and realize it's fiction anyway, I still think it works.

20. Saundra Santiago playing both Jeanie Cusamano and her sister.

So what? How is this a flaw? That was a great scene.

19. Tony's heavy breathing

Seems like something more noticeable to a casual viewer than someone who followed the show. Also a hint of fat shaming here. This is where the article begins to read like a typical snarky tv review. A lot of the show's negative reviews, especially in its earlier days, couldn't avoid descending into fat shaming.

18. FBI plot in season 3 opener

Agreed. The show took a strange turn in season 3 that left a lot of fans frustrated, myself included.

17. Christmas flashback trope in season 3

Not as bad as the entire season's theme in general, focusing more on Tony's immediate family and authorities. Provided comic relief. Pussy making collections in his Santa suit.

16. Adriana's naivety.

Intentional to emphasize her codependency with Chris and her desperation after being caught up with authorities.

15. Silvio's political crusade in Columbus.

Agreed. Although this wasn't a horrible episode, Bobby's wife dies in it, the Columbus Day plot line was stupid.

14. Furio going soft, falling for Carmela

Universally agreed, but now we know it was likely a process of the actor being written off the show for leaking scripts.

13. Tony's attraction to mentally ill women

Not a flaw. These women have characteristics that make them driven toward socoipaths and vice versa. It was an intelligent, psychological take on an old tv trope of gangsters and mistresses. We've learned throughout history that most mob mistresses in real life weren't playing with a full deck. This is an advancement in the genre, not a flaw.

12. Gap between seasons 5 and 6

Universally agreed, but it's an off camera issue, not a flaw in the material

11. Junior surviving the war of '99

Not sure if this author even watched the show. The hit on Junior was in motion, he was indicted first. When Tony cleared out the rest of Junior's loyalists, Junior accepted Tony's authority. This is very realistic to how the mob works, especially if blood relatives are at odds. If one backs down, even after bloodshed, the matter is usually resolved.

10. Junior's dementia

Realistic. A lot of old people, mobsters and civilians alike, develop dementia. It's a depressing, realistic twist. Not a flaw for a show that specializes in realism.

9. Dream sequences

While some were annoying to fans when they premiered, especially The Test Dream, after several rewatches many fans and critics have been able to connect the events of the dreams to foreshadowing storylines and outcomes of characters.

8. Vito's son shitting in the locker room

Not necessary, but a flaw for a show that always specialized in the off beat and disturbing? I don't think so. This show had an overt way of displaying mental problems in characters.

7. Symbolism

Now I know this is just a snarky tv review disguised as some sort of legitimate criticism. This is a show about psychology as much as it is about the mob. It's an intellectual show. It's not for everyone, and a lot of people watching just for the "hits and tits" found themselves disappointed. The show wasn't for them anyway.

6. Tony's gambling in Chasing It

And, the author saves themselves. Cramming Tony's gambling problems into one episode did seem like a flaw. Then again, I could see why they wouldn't want this to distract from the other issues.

5. Meadow and AJ being annoying

Intentional. Show was partly about parenting in the millennial era. A lot of it is comic relief.

4. Repetitive storylines

Agreed in regards to JT and Chris. There had to have been a better way to snarl JT into the mob's web. I think they wanted to redo the degenerate poker player plot for people who started watching after season 2.

3. Sudden deaths of characters

Christ. Are you kidding? What kind of show do they think they're reviewing? Seinfeld?

2. Melfi taking so long to get rid of Tony

True. I don't think any shrink would put up with Tony for that long, but Melfi's character was necessary to tie the psychology of Tony's character to his behavior and situations, which was a trademark of the show going back to the very first scene.

1. The ending

Fans are split, but here we are a decade later still talking about it.
Posted By: Goldy

Re: The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws - 11/24/18 08:44 PM

I think the one main problem, if you can call it that is during the run of the show there were an awful lot of "wasted moments". What I mean by that is there were a lot of scenes that could have been cut out, handled a different way, whatever. I really noticed this when A&E bought the rights to the show and those geniuses decided it would be a good idea to edit the show down to fit in an hour time slot and take out the profanity, even if the show was running after midnight. I would be baffled sometimes seeing the stuff they cut out, but so many times I'd be watching and think "Oh yeah, nothing happens with this storyline" or "they dropped the ball with this". The scenes with Meadow in college and her stupid roommate Caitlin for example could have been excised. Vito magically stumbling (waddling) into Gaysville, USA and "Johnnycakes" didn't warrant the focus it got, seemed very shoehorned in, a lot of the stuff with Melfi outside of the therapy sessions with Tony, and a lot of the therapy sessions with Tony as well.

As much as I dislike to compare the two shows, Breaking Bad for the most part did not have any of those wasted moments and there weren't lots of open ended storylines and things were resolved in a believable way without seeming forced. That is a much more satisfying show to re-watch. The Sopranos is chock full of great, fantastic moments, but you could fast forward through a whole ton of bullshit when you've seen the show once or twice. It's great for checking out short clips on Youtube, but I think it'd be more than a few years before a re-watch. It's funny how in season 1 of the show it was definitely more comedic. Even the "next on" music at the end was much different, almost slap-sticky sounding. Big tonal shift in that first season for the better.
Posted By: OakAsFan

Re: The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws - 11/25/18 12:30 AM

Yes, the track that played during the previews in season 1 sounded almost like Seinfeld music, didn't it? . In season 2, they switched to the dark bass guitar and synthesizer, almost like a horror show. I really think the worm turned when Detective Makazian tells Tony that Pussy is a rat. The show finds its darker identity at that moment and never turns back, imo.
Posted By: SoCalGangs

Re: The Sopranos 25 Biggest Flaws - 11/26/18 08:22 PM

“Speaking of the Garden State: since when would a New Jersey organized crime syndicate be more powerful than New York City's? Sure, they've had their differences—but Tony usually seems to hold all the power.“

Wait what? I never got the impression that New Jersey was more powerful than NY while watching the show. If anything they made it clear the opposite was the case. Sure NJ may have been much more of factor in the show than they would be in real life, but certainly not more powerful than NY, plus it’s a fictional story so I think the writers deserve that bit of creative license here.
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