Thursday, March 22, 2012


Tony and Carmela Forever

JAMES GANDOLFINI: I’m still in love with Edie. And, of course, I love my wife, but I’m in love with Edie. I don’t know if I’m in love with Carmela or Edie or both. I’m in love with her.

EDIE FALCO: It was weird to sit down at a table read with the actresses playing Tony’s girlfriends. Occasionally I would get a sharp twinge at the back of my neck, because, especially if I’m tired, the emotional lines would bleed into each other and I’d have to kind of keep my bearings and remember, No, no, no, this is your job, and at home you have your life. Even years later, I remember when I saw Jim in God of Carnage on Broadway, and he was Marcia Gay Harden’s husband, and I had this “How come I have to be O.K. with this?” kind of feeling.

Five years after the final episode, the cast and creators of The Sopranos "talk about their years as a family." (Drea de Matteo: "I had a crazy crush on Jim when we were doing the show. We were all in love with him. He’s the sexiest TV guy ever, in my opinion.") (!)

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Also, he's gay.



Anything for you, Johnnycakes.

miss buenos aires

@atipofthehat My husband and I were so sad when the actor who played Johnnycakes killed himself. We give him a little shutout whenever we make... johnnycakes.


@miss buenos aires I grew up in the town where the Johnnycakes diner is... which is, not to burst any bubbles, not in New Hampshire (that's where they said it was on the show, right? Vermont? I don't remember). It's also the town with the "projects" where Jackie Jr. was killed (at his funeral, there was a photo of him in a football uniform that was indeed the town's high school's colors), and seemed to be mentioned by Meadow in terms of undesirable party guests. That diner is a little weird trailer thing that has been there for as long as I remember but only open for business sporadically. The town's main street looks pretty much like what the show's producers suspect/know a small New Hampshire town looks like, I guess--antique shops up and down both sides, a few pizza places, and stores that look like gifts that a wealthy but disinterested husband might give his wife as a gift to keep her out of his way.

Also, I saw Furio once in a local bar, It seems like he was friends with my regular barkeep!

OK, I got a little excited there for a minute. But I had forgotten all about Johnnycakes and his diner until right now! Also, The Toxic Avenger was filmed in that town when I was in, like... fifth grade maybe?

miss buenos aires

@Hellcat That is pretty impressive! My hometown is home to the cemetery where all the funerals were (in a case of life imitating art, the cemetery's management embezzled all the money), the diner where Christopher and Juliana go to get high and a row of brownstones that Tony walks by with the black preacher. Are you as full of Jersey pride as I am?


@miss buenos aires Jersey's pretty awesome. And all the stuff that people make fun of? Oh, yes, it is here--though certainly not to the extent that recent TV would have you believe--and I think that is part of what makes it awesome! In fact, even as a lifelong mocker of the "guidos," I still make a point to try to get down the shore (heh, Jerseyism) at least once a summer (but not for a whole week and not to go to those clubs; I just don't have that in me).

Do you remember a few years ago when there were Sopranos bus tours? People would pay $50 to basically drive around where I pretty much lived. Ha!



I love the shore. Asbury pinup this summer?

miss buenos aires

@Hellcat I can't put my finger on what makes Jersey so great, but I think part of it is really not caring what anyone else thinks of us. Which "guido culture" definitely upholds.

I do remember Sopranos bus tours, and I'd bet there are still some going on! Maybe.


@miss buenos aires Hey, maybe we should get in on this enterprise then. Ha! What kind of car do you have -- my 2000 Integra is probably way too small for this kind of thing! "There's the lawn-ornament store where the cop that pulled over Tony worked!" "Oh, hey, look--that's the now-defunct mall where the T.G.I. Friday's that Tony walked in the parking lot of once was!" (Oy, what a bad sentence I made!)

miss buenos aires

@Hellcat "There's where that lumberjack from the opening credits used to be!" "There's where they shot interiors for Satriale's!"


very nice this post, good work@n


They were so good together. Whitecaps was one of the best-acted episodes of TV ever.


@Hooplehead I was just coming here to say this! Actually I didn't remember what episode it was, but i was coming to say that the scene where Carmela flips out on Tony in the bedroom after one of his mistresses calls her gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Definitely one of the most intense scenes I've seen in tv or movie due to Falco's unbelievable acting. I will forever be in awe of her for that scene alone (much less a ton of others).


@Hooplehead I agree! I loved their dynamic, and how great both actors and characters are. I was actually really hoping this article was going to address the NY Mag Drama Derby, which had The Sopranos face off against Breaking Bad yesterday. The writer did a terrible job of analysis all around, but one of the parts that really bugged me was that she called Carmela a "doormat." Seriously? She is one of the least door-matty female characters I've ever seen. And wasn't her major narrative arc her realization (and rejection of, and realization again) that she is complicit in Tony's crimes? Carmela is never not in control of her destiny on that show, and Falco deserves to get a special Emmy every year for the way that she brought her to life.

Whoo. Breathing now. Sorry guys; apparently I really needed to get that out.


@pterodactgirl Carmela has always had more agency than she is given credit for. I think that she knew on some level that Tony was running around on her. She was OK with turning a blind eye to it as long as he kept paying the mortgage and arranging for enough fur coats and diamonds to fall off of trucks.


@Hooplehead Exactly! Definitely not a doormat.


As a TV junkie on a quest to watch all the shows from the last 20 years that fall on a spectrum of really good to fucking amazing (and I have gotten through most of them at this point), I bought the Sopranos. I kind of gave up after about 6 episodes because I'm just not feeling it. Can someone urge me to continue on with some good reasons? I really want to get invested (like I do with most shows) but it ain't happening yet.


@olivebee If Paulie Walnuts isn't already embedded in your psyche, then I don't know what to tell you.



"We always have the option."


@leastimportantperson Haha, the funny thing is, my brother-in-law, Paul, who is now 15, got his first screenname when he was around 11 or 12, and it was PaulieWalnuts, and I was like "WTH kind of screenname is that for a child? He's going to get solicited by so many online predators!" And then someone told me who Paulie Walnuts actually is.


@olivebee Omg that would make Paulie SO MAD!


@olivebee I watched the whole damn series despite pretty much just not feeling it. There were some good moments in there but on the whole I just never really felt like I appreciated it the way everyone else did. Watching it after the fact kinda makes it harder IMO because it's dated in a lot of ways and also it did some things first that must have been mind-blowing at the time but are now pretty standard TV cliche fare.

TLDR: don't feel bad about giving up if you're not feeling it now because it's probably not going to get better from here.


@olivebee just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in.


Basically, I just love Silvio's impression (I have only watched the first season).

Tuna Surprise


I'm with you...I watched the first season but didn't love it and never saw anymore. However, I did see God of Carnage and Marcia Gay Harden was so good it hurt. James Gandolfini was just James Gandolfini.


@olivebee I haven't watched Sopranos but I'm dying to know...what else have you watched/do you plan to watch in the course of achieving this goal???


@tortietabbie Oh man, the list is so long. Just to name a few...I have watched Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Parenthood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Buffy, Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, 30 Rock, Community, Parks & Recreation, Sports Night, Dexter, etc etc etc.

I plan on watching Fringe, Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, The West Wing, Deadwood, and more.


@olivebee Nice! Some great shows on that list. :)


@olivebee Ooooooh, olivebee, you got some good stuff under your belt, and in your future! And I have to say, I love watching stuff in big chunks like this as opposed to once a week! It's fun, though the "just one more episode, I swear" mindset can get in the way of real life... or a normal sleeping schedule. I just did this with The O.C. (all because of someone here on the Hairpin!) and my Clean Person chores suffered a little! And now I'm having the urge to do it again with The Tudors.


@olivebee I actually didn't get HBO until season 3 of the Sopranos was on the air, so I just picked it up then (I'd absorbed enough about the basics via cultural osmosis, at that point), fell in love, and watched it until the end. But later, I tried to go back and watch it from the beginning and I just couldn't get into the first season AT ALL - maybe because it looked so old and dated, or because season one Tony was so gaunt compared to the wall-o-dude I'd grown infatuated with, who knows. But I just wasn't into it. So heck, since you already own the whole show (right?), just start up a later season and see if you like it better - it did improve over time. And man it is so good. Best final season of a TV series ever.


Edie Falco will forever be Officer Whittlesey to me. "In Emerald City you will follow the routine. We will tell you when to sleep, when to eat, when to work, when to shit. You will follow the rules: no yelling, no fighting, no fucking. These are your sponsors. They will help you get adjusted to life in Oz."


"Beecher, stop crying."


I don't know if she ever actually said that on-camera, it just seems like something that she would have to say to Beecher all the time. "Heyyy, Beecher. What's the matter."

"It's, um, it's, it's Chris? He didn't - like - what I made for him - in macrame -"

"Jesus, Beecher."

"Yeah, I know."

"He's tried to kill you literally seven times."


"He's probably murdering somebody right now in the laundry room, because no guards ever go near there."


"You really need to pull yourself together, Beecher."

"I knoooow. I know. I just, I just - uuuugh."

"Okay. Ooookay, Beech. That's enough. That's good."

"It had a pen on it and everything."


"The macrame thing. I mean, it wasn't great, but it had a pen on it and I thought -"

"Didn't you used to be a lawyer?"

"Yeah, something like that."

Reginal T. Squirge

@melis Oh, man. A few years ago a friend told me that he thought "Oz" was better than "The Wire". I spent far too long watching that damn show (three seasons? maybe four) before I just gave up.

I am no longer friends with that person.

Vera Knoop

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Oz is not better THAN The Wire, but it's better AFTER watching The Wire, because you can be like "Oh my god! It's Bodie!" etc. Also, everyone from Oz who wasn't on The Wire is on Law & Order.

Vera Knoop

@melis At least they gave him some Billie Holiday to sing.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I have never watched The Wire and I have seen the entirety of Oz between 7 and 9 times, even season 6, the worst season of any HBO series ever


@Vera Knoop OOOOF THE MUSICAL EPISODE. "The Last Duet." !!!!!!!!!!

Reginal T. Squirge

@melis Oh, absolutely. I was shocked by how amateur-ish and poorly executed it was. Even allowing for it being one of the early HBO dramas, there's still a lot of bad acting and half-baked ideas (like a musical episode... of a prison drama).

Rick Fox, though. Respect.

fondue with cheddar

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter While there were aspects of it that were not good, I still love it. I fell in love with some of the [well-acted] characters, namely Adebisi, Keller, and Sister Pete. I miss them!

Reginal T. Squirge

@jen325 Oh, yeah, don't get me wrong. Adebisi is the man forever. His hat-wearing puts Bogart to shame.

fondue with cheddar

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I would be his friend even though he was a murder and rapist and smelly muddafugga. I love his accent and he's easy on the eyes, too.

Sydney C

@jen325 We can also all agree that Ryan O'Reily is sofa king hot, and that it's totally plausible that he got out of Oz, changed his name to Dennis Duffy, and started dating Liz Lemon

fondue with cheddar

@Sydney C DUDE RYAN O'REILY! How could I forget him? The most loveable-yet-crazy, stable-yet-unstable character of them all. So hot. And when he speaks in that low, whispery voice I DIE. I would bang the fuck out of him. Or fuck the bang out of him! Probably both.

And yeah, totally plausible. Dennis Duffy!

Reginal T. Squirge

@Sydney C I should also point out that "Oz" probably has a lot more appeal if you're attracted to dudes, which I am not. The women on the show, however, were ass-ugly, save for a few (shout to Rita Moreno).



fondue with cheddar

@melis AWW CYRIL! His last episode was THE SADDEST EVENT ON TELEVISION EVER. :'(

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Rita Moreno! Always beautiful. And Sister Pete was so tough and so gentle at the same time. Love her!

Sydney C

@jen325 That voice! That smirk! I would totally fuck the bang out of him too. Although, upon further consideration, he would probably end up murdering you or trying to share you with Cyril or something, so it's likely not such a great idea.

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I can see where you're coming from, although a part of me is glad that they didn't throw in, like, a random 23 year old hot female guard, just for eye candy.

fondue with cheddar

@Sydney C Oh, the smirk! He would definitely murder me, because I would smack the shit out of him for treating his ex wife the way he did. And for hiring someone to rape Dr. Nathan.

Sydney C

@jen325 But he didn't hire that guy to rape her! He just told her he did so she could feel whole again! He did kill her husband, though, which is totes fucked up


@melis Oh dear... now you guys are gonna make me casually wander over to the dusty DVD shelves and oh-so-casually knock season one of Oz onto the floor... and then, at that point, why the hell not... what else have I got to do? Oh, the spiral, she begins...

fondue with cheddar

@Sydney C Oh, but in that case he was doing her a favor because they were having problems anyway.


Never watching the Sopranos is the greatest regret of my life.


@elizabeast agreed. I only watched the first season then quit Netflix and I feel like I missed out on some huge cultural event. I felt the same way with Lost but couldn't sit through one episode (plus everyone tells me to NOT bother with Lost).


@beanie those people are SO WRONG, beanie.


@beanie I can't handle Lost. THE PLANE CRASH! The idea that a plane crash could trap me on an island with a bunch of people I don't know and my life would spiral out of control for like a million seasons? I can't deal with that.

Tuna Surprise


Yes! I had to turn off the first episode of lost because of the flaming wreckage (complete with jet engines still running!!!) Ugh, I got second hand PTSD from just looking at a plane crash on TV.

Ham Snadwich

@beanie - They're sort of right. It's really awesome for a few seasons, but then it slowly dawns on you that none of it is going anywhere and the fact that they're all named for famous philosophers is mostly irrelevant.


I was just lamenting to my bf that how no matter what, even if I finally watch the "The Wire" like everyone is telling me to, Sopranos will always be THE.BEST.EVER. Always. I have a bizarre sentimental attachment to that show. This might sound weird, but my parents and I kind of bonded over it? I was in high school and it was our Sunday tradition. Order food in, turn on Sopranos, ignore the world around us for the next hour. Even though I was the same age as Meadow in the show, I always thought she was bitchy. Adrianna! Love her always.


@absofreakinglutely The Wire (and Deadwood, for that matter) is very close to the Sopranos in terms of epic storytelling, compelling characters and having intricate storylines and interwoven realms of influence. It's an excellent show and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

fuck fuck fuck

@absofreakinglutely my god, being italian and from north jersey, i have an extremely sentimental attachment to everything in this show. also my parents did like the same thing! but without me, cuz i was like 10.


See, this is why I'm not an actress. I'd be in love with everyone and having sex with all my costars.

And don't even start with, "Oh Slutface, you can't act so it doesn't matter." Because yes I can. I was on General Hospital when I was 22. I sat at a table in Kelly's in the background. So there.


I read this, and I wonder how in the world are Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler married to other people. If I was one of their spouses, I would be so jealous of their tv relationship.

Nicole Cliffe

The EXACT PART I geeked out over in that piece. Also, I'm Team Adriana on this one, because I thought Tony was crazy sexy too.


I have a weird thing for Tony Soprano too, and it makes me feel soooooooooo gross.


@Cavendish Me too. My dad informed me rather snootily that if Tony were a "real guy," I'd never pay him any mind.


oof, having met Tony Soprano in real life, in a bar, where he flirted like crazy with my friend but then said that he was there looking to pick up an Asian chick... I have icky feelings about him.


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