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FSU RTV 3001 - The Sopranos

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The SopranosFacts Pekurny wants you to know from the Sepinwall chapter1. David Chase is the creator of the Sopranos. He also directed the series’ pilot.2. David Chase wasn’t enthusiastic about creating a TV series because he was fed up with the business. He felt he was “never surprised watching hour long T.V.” and that it had way too many “constraints.” He was sick of “sitting through these moronic meetings, in which every timid, weak, vapid idea was always preferred to anything revolutionary or new.” Also, Chase wanted to “break out and do movies” instead.3. James Galdofini was casted as Tony Soprano because he brought a “dark” and “real” feeling to the role and to the series, which Chase was trying to depict. In essence, Chase said Galdofini “just inhabited the tone of the script.”4. The relationship Tony has with Melfi, his psychiatrist is complex. Though Tony rarely is honest with Melfi, he is able to open up with her in ways he can’t and wont do with anyone else, like “Carmela, Christopher, or Big Pussy.” He tells Melfi things about himself that he would never speak about outside those walls. Tony enjoys his sessions with her, and refers to to his sessions with her, “an oasis in [his] week.”5. Like I said before, Tony Soprano is never 100% honest not only with Melfi, but anyone.6. Chase didn’t set out to write a mob drama, but rather a show about his troubled relationship with his late mother. Chase’s wife always said to do so because his mother was unintentionally funny. This fact made the character of Tony Soprano’s mother, Livia Soprano.7. Chase directed the pilot even though he was a novice. Chase wanted to be a filmmaker and viewed the pilot as the next big step on that road. The CEO of HBO (the network it played on) Albrehct wasn’t sure he could trust Chase to do so but ultimately was won over by Chase’s level of attention to detail and the fact that Albrehct would “never find anyone who see’s [the episode, and series as a whole] the way this guy see’s it.”8. The “College” episode is important because not only does it bring the mafia Family and his immediate family “conflicts into a sharper focus” but its the first time you see Tony Soprano actually killing a man. “It isn’t self defense, nor putting down a vile threat to society, the only two circumstances under which TV protagonists had previously been allowed to kill.” He did it for revenge and left the audience with no confusing about “what kind of man [they] were watching and what kind of show this was.”9. Chase’s comments about the “dream sequences” in the last season (that Tony was in after being shot and was in the hospital) was that he wouldn’t refer to them as dreams. Many fans thought that Tony was moving through purgatory or an afterlife (in the episode Tony is mistaken for a salesman named Kevin Finnerty). Chase’s take is that he was in an “alternate universe” and that he had “no proof, but that’s what he considered them.” The sequences were inspired by Chase’s longtime friend John Petterson who directed many of the episodes before dying of cancer. Chase says that at one point Petterson muttered in his hospital bed, “Who Am I? Where Am I Going?” which Chase put into the mouths of both Tony in his hospital bed and Kevin Finnertyin the alternate reality. Chase “wondered what he was seeing when he said that...the line between dreaming and reality, death and sleep.”10. Sepinwall’s view of the Sopranos legacy was that he believes it “isn’t what it should be.” Certain shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad (which many people say are better) would not be possible without the Sopranos laying down the foundation for those shows. Sepinwall says “the Sopranos on its own defiant terms was an incredible piece of work. Its heart was black and its despair was high, yet I defy you not to be moved..[by some of the greatest dramatic scenes in the show].” He believes that these scenes were not just the greatest of the series, but of TV drama as a whole.11. The last scene was Tony gathering the family for a meal, and the last moment the viewers are in suspense believing that Tony is in danger and might be shot. When he looks up, the screen cuts to black and the series ended. Many viewers were enraged by the ending and the nonclosure they felt it gave, calling Chase a “saddist,” that he “liked to fuck with people’s head” and he’s a “mean guy.” But the fact that people are still trying to interpret and analyze the last scene gives the series’ creator “great pleasure.” Some people’s explanations of the ending were “Oh, it’s so he could do the movie,” to “He got tired, he couldn’t figure it out” to “He just wanted to fuck with us.” But Chase assures that wasn’t the case. Most fans of the series believe Tony did in fact die, but Sepinwall believes that goes against everything the show had conveyed previously.12. Chase never told viewers whether Tony actually dies or not, and when asked about the last scene and why he did it that way he says, “It just seemed right. You go on instinct. As an artist are you supposed to know every reason for every brush stroke? Do you have to know the reason behind every tiny little thing? It not a science; it’s an act. It comes from your emotions, from your unconscious, from your subconscious.... and sometimes [Chase] let [his] unconscious act out. So why did I do it that way? I thought everyone would feel it. That even if they couldn’t say what it meant, they would feel it.” After the season finale with everyones reactions he says he does in fact think people felt it.Assigned Questions from “College” Episode1. The inciting incident is Tony going on the college tour with his daughter Meadow.2. Tony wants to find out if the man he saw was in fact the snitch Fred from many years ago, and once he finds out it is he wants to kill him.3. Tony commits the act of violence because he was seeking revenge for the friends that went to jail because of the snitch.4. The Shield had shaky “gorilla” shots and were done a lot by hand held cameras while The Sopranos had more steady shots.Breaking BadFacts Pekurny wants you to know from the Sepinwall chapter1. Vince Gilligan’s track record- First was a romantic-comedy writer but then was hired as a writer for X-Files and his dark, writing began2. The idea for BREAKING BAD was formed by Vince

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