Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Week 29: Sopranos Season Six, Final Disc

David Chase: whither thou proper ending?

My first reaction to the end of this amazing series was, 'how could you end the greatest drama in the history of television with a .... well ... a whimper, David Chase?'For those of you who don't know, the final episode of the Sopranos ends with a very abrupt cut to black in the middle of a Soprano family dinner at a restaurant. It feels like getting a case of cinematic blueballs.

But over this long holiday weekend I've had a lot of time to mull it over. And this is what I've come to: it was the right ending.

Because let's be honest. No matter how dramatic; no matter how much bloodshed, tears and treachery Chase could coax out of the Soprano clan, it would never be enough for us. Fans of the series are bloodthirsty for an ever-climbing escalation of drama and mayhem. And there is simply no way to satisfy us. The series could have ended raining blood and we'd still be saying, 'but what about....?" I think Chase recognized that no ending would satisfy his fanbase, and so he played the "Choose Your Own Adventure" card.

By simply cutting us off at the moment when Tony is facing possible indictment and a sketchy-looking potential hitman enters the same diner where Tony is having a family dinner, we're left to contemplate how the series might play out. Some of us might imagine the would-be hitman was simply a man hungry for a burger. Some of us might imagine that Tony was killed in a bloodbath. Some of us might imagine him facing a life-sentence in prison.

And I guess in the end, that's what's beautiful about this show. It's so layered with rich texture that the possibilities for Tony and his family are myriad. Here's hoping that in another ten years, David Chase comes back on the scene with a new series picking up where this one left off. Hint, hint, Mr. Chase. Hint, hint.

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