Seven years ago, The Sopranos ended with one of the greatest and most polarizing hours of television ever broadcast. In the final scene, Tony Soprano and his family meet for dinner. Meadow Soprano arrives late, and takes an agonizingly long time to park. We watch on the edge of our seats, tense, waiting for violence. Is a hit coming? A suspicious guy heads into the restroom. Meadow walks in. Tony looks up. Before anything happens, the screen goes black. Roll silent credits.
Does Tony Soprano live? Does the hit we think we know is coming take place as the screen goes black — is that Tony’s death? Is the whole thing a metaphor for Tony’s fate? Fans have speculated for years, and that’s the beauty of the show’s ending. Creator/writer/director David Chase has finally spoken up about Tony’s fate, however, and if you’re dying to know whatever there is to know about Tony’s existence (or lack thereof) after that cut to black, read on.
Update: Chase, through his representative, says the quote was misconstrued. Read his statement below.
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Briefly: After Wednesday’s devastating news of the passing of James Gandolfini, fans flocked to Holsten’s Ice Cream Shop in Bloomfield, NJ to pay tribute to the late actor. Holsten’s was the location of the iconic final scene of Gandolfini’s show, The Sopranos. To honor the actor, the shop’s owner did something incredibly classy. Thanks to reporter @JKlekamp for the tweet, via Boing Boing.
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Let the debate begin. Sunday night, the Writers Guild of America revealed its list of the 101 “Best Written TV Series of All Time.” What took the top spot? The HBO drama The Sopranos, followed by Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family and M*A*S*H. Solid choices all, but are they the five best? Where do some of your other all time favorite shows rank? You’ll find shows like Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Friends, Lost, The X-Files, South Park, Star Trek and more on the list. Check the ranking to find out how the writers’ guild lined them all up. Read More »
Location is essential to the medium of television. Unlike movies, which can use a location and move along, TV recycles the same places over and over to conserve time and money. The result is that places on television become characters themselves.
That was the idea behind Austin-based artist Tim Doyle‘s first solo art show, UnReal Estate, in early 2012. Now the sequel is upon us. UnReal Estate II opens Thursday February 7 at Spoke Art in San Francisco, CA. Just like last year, Doyle has immortalized some of your favorite locations from our favorite TV shows. A few examples include the ship Serenity from Firefly, the TARDIS in Doctor Who, the model home on Arrested Development, and Downton Abbey from, well, you know where.
Below we’ve got the entire show and will tell you how to see it in person as well as buy prints online. Read More »
Even movie fans would agree some of the best entertainment made during the past two decades has been on premium cable. Whether it’s HBO shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City and Game of Thrones or Showtime shows like Dexter, Weeds and Homeland, movies are regularaly getting schooled by TV in terms of character, story and scope. Plus, even if you love a movie, it’s only two hours. A great TV show can be hundreds.
And while we’re all very used to seeing art inspired by movies, art inspired by TV always elicits a slightly more excited response which is why the brand new Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY has picked premium TV for its first exhibit. More Than You Imagined: Art Inspired By Premium Cable opens September 7 and features work by Mark Englert, Kevin Ang, Brandon Schaefer, Joshua Budich, Tim Doyle and many others.
After the jump, check out a huge gallery of work from shows like all the ones mentioned above as well as The Kids in the Hall, Flight of the Conchords, Tales from the Crypt, Boardwalk Empire, Party Down and others, plus find out how you can see it yourself and see how you can buy a print for charity too. Read More »
The final scene of The Sopranos has become something of TV legend. After six seasons of drawn out brilliance, creator David Chase places his star family in a New Jersey diner. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ is playing on the jukebox. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) orders some onion rings for the table as the camera moves to several suspicious people. His daughter, Meadow, is awkwardly trying to park her car outside. The tension is unbelievable because we all know this is the final scene in Sopranos history and something epic is about to take place. Every moment could be the last one. The Journey cresendos, the door of the diner opens, Tony looks up, silence and cut to black. In that instant, about twelve million people checked their cable box to see if it had malfunctioned. Then the credits rolled.
Chase’s ending was controversial, legendary and is debated to this day. One Vanity Fair reader, however, has a simple, almost brilliant interpretation of the ending and you can read it below. Read More »
/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. For this installment, /Film discourses with Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a sharp-witted, caps-friendly writer at The Awl and author of the new book Mad Men Unbuttoned, due this July from HarperStudio. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recap and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.
Hunter Stephenson: Before we discuss the hell-tinted game-changer that was “Mas,” tell me where Walter White resides in your obsession with masculine anti-heroes in current TV and film. What does Breaking Bad tell us about the state of the modern man?
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Walter White, thanks to magnificent Bryan Cranston, has quickly ascended into the highest echelon of beloved Manly Men Who Do Bad Things. He is Sopranos status for me. I think what White has—what you see echoed in characters like Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Jim McNulty—is fragmented existence. In their professional lives these men are the masters of their craft and at home they are considered failures.
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/Film will be recapping episodes for the third season of Breaking Bad, starting with last Sunday’s premiere. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for every recap and the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous write-ups on the second and third season of Breaking Bad, click here.
Sunday’s premiere, entitled “No Mas,” was a subdued affair save for multiple homicides and a nightmarish undercurrent that ran throughout. Series creator, Vince Gilligan, didn’t feel the need for a time jump, so we find Walter White worse for wear in the aftermath of season two’s finale. Now sporting a much thicker goatee, it’s the first time in the series that he looks less like a cancer patient than a hardboiled criminal off The Wire. “No Mas” also marks the second ep directed by star Bryan Cranston and he immediately introduces us to a pair of nameless, relentless, and nearly identical thugs, shown above.
With no exposition, in minutes the duo comes to represent the unbelievable, escalating real life wrath of drug cartels in Mexico and these cartels’ common belief in the skull-headed deity of Santa Muerte. If you’re unfamiliar with the chaos happening in the country, check out this recent editorial by journalist Charles Bowden. Something tells us the third season of Breaking Bad will thoroughly address the gruesome “life is cheap” realities of Mexico’s drug trade, after foreshadowing them with the classic tortoise scene last year.
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