The Sopranos aftermath
Monday, June 11, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Got a call from my mom today, she watched the Sopranos finale, like everyone. When the phone rang I fumbled with the Blackberry, hit a wrong key and disconnected the call. I tried calling back while she left a voicemail, and all the while I got more anxious that someone in the family had died or was horribly sick, and the more time went by the more sure I was and the more prepared I was for something horrible.
People say this was the best series ever, well no it wasn't, it turns out. It could have been, had it been building to some kind of ending. Who cares if it was cliche. The end of The West Wing was cliche. The President and President-elect ride in a limo to the Capitol steps. The new President takes the oath, gives his inaugural speech. The old President takes his last ride in Air Force One. Thinks about the rest of his life, and we go there with him. It's why we watch dramas, to experience a richness that life doesn't offer. It wasn't supposed to be realistic, it's fantasy, fiction, drama. Go ahead and schmaltz it up, that's what we want and expect.
Rome was pretty good. Six Feet Under was great. The West WIng did it right. The Wire hasn't finished yet, but I bet they'll do it right, same with Entourage. The Sopranos was a mess, and it ended in an unsatisfying cop-out.
In this age of blogs, podcasts, unconferences and level playing fields, it's sometimes nice to just be in the audience. Let someone else do the work. Relax and reach deep inside our emotional being, and yank out something beautiful or horrible, and have a look.