Saturday, April 07, 2007

The SOPRANOS are back...finally

Wow, both the SOPRANOS and KING OF QUEENS airing their final episodes. I hope THE SOPRANOS doesn't get overshadowed by KING OF QUEENS mania.

It's been so long since the SOPRANOS have been on it'll take two episodes to remember what was going on. I just barely got up to speed with THE SHIELD.

I imagine the NY POST and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY will speculate for weeks on how the series will end and they'll be wrong. Creator, David Chase will find some elegant, unexpected, memorable finale. But David, please, don't flash forward to show when they all die.

Interesting that most members of the writing staff are in their 50’s. You mean you don’t lose your talent at 32??

One of the show’s producers should serve as a real inspiration to writers. Matthew Weiner. He was a half hour guy. I worked with him for several years on BECKER. Super talented and funny. A few years ago he decided to reinvent himself and write an hour drama pilot. The networks of course were not the least bit interested but David Chase read it. Matt just completed his third season with the SOPRANOS after having written some of the best episodes from last year. And as a P.S., Matt has a new series of his own premiering soon on AMC.

Here are some past credits of the SOPRANOS staff (not saying these are all bad shows, just somewhat different from what you might expect…so I don’t want a lot of comments saying how great Secret Squirrel was.):

The Magician
2 Stupid Dogs
Batman (the animated series)
Cover Me
Swat Kats
The In-Laws
Baby Blues
American Gothic
The New Flipper
The Naked Truth
Living in Captivity
Sister Sister
..... and of course – the Secret Squirrel Show.

Paulie looks the grown-up Butch Munster.

Meadow is now old enough that I don’t feel like a pervert for having a crush on her.

How is Tony going to listen to his oldies in the car now that WCBS-FM is gone? What he SHOULD do is whack all the stupid CBS radio executives who decided to change the station’s format.

And then, to make matters worse for oldies fans -- they shot Frankie Valli.

More BADA BING scenes. Have Haley Scarnato from AMERICAN IDOL guest.

What’s worse than death? Going from the SOPRANOS to the cast of JOEY. RIP Adrianna.

Switched at birth: Tony Soprano and UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland.

Is there a better actress on television than Edie Falco? And if the SOPRANOS was being cast by a network they would probably have insisted on that Italian go-to-girl, Sharon Lawrence.

Also, if the show were being done for a network the name “Pussy” would have to be changed to “Happy Place”.

No wonder sister Janice is such a mess. Tony got the looks in the family.

My favorite character is still Christopher. Slugging Lauren Becall was one of the premiere moments of the series. (Written by Matt Weiner, by the way.)

I bet in real life the scariest cast member is Lorraine Bracco.

Even in HD Silvio has no neck.

I don’t care if Uncle Junior's trial is ever resolved. I just want the state to take away his drivers’ license. Believe me, he’ll kill more people with his car.

Thanks to David Chase and all the incredibly gifted people who gave us the finest drama in the history of television, THE SOPRANOS.


VP81955 said...

But Ken, did this "Sopranos" writer in question work on "The Naked Truth" in its good, initial season on ABC, or its formulaic, poor season on NBC, when it was shoehorned into that network's mid-nineties sitcom assembly line and wasted Tea Leoni's considerable comic talents?

Anonymous said...

Ken, you got me to read all about the King of Queens series now, and in many of those reviews the same point is mentioned, that it was doing fine in the ratings, but the company doesn't like doing more than 200 episodes because of later syndication. How come?

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that I haven't heard of many of those shows you listed, or if I have I don't recognise them now??? In any case, I'm hottly waiting with baited breath for The Sopranos to start up agin in exactly 60 hours (my time)!!!


Anonymous said...

CBS Radio just whacked its top executive, Joel Hollander, a couple of weeks ago, in part because of the company's NYC FM station debacles, though they weren't as expressive as Tony would have been under the same circumstances (and somehow, I just can't see Tony buying one of those new-fangled HD radios to get the surviving WCBS-FM oldies signal).

Mary Stella said...

Ken, can you share which writer on the Sopranos wrote for the New Adventures of Flipper? I work for the dolphin facility where the pilot for that series was shot starring Brian Wimmer. I'd love to see if the writer worked on the pilot script.

Bryan CastaƱeda said...

Terence Winter was the writer on The New Adventures of Flipper.

Anonymous said...

What would worry me more would be doing Secret Squirrel AFTER writing the Sopranos... not that there's anything wrong with Secret Squirrel. But wouldn't it be fab if King of Queens and The Sopranos both ended with identical bloodbaths?

The Minstrel Boy said...

when ever i hear people spouting crap like "you're only as good as your most embarrasing credits" i like to respond with a stalinesque quantity is its own quality.

Anonymous said...

I bet in real life the scariest cast member is Lorraine Bracco.

She certainly digs the scary guys:

In the 1980s, she was married to Harvey Keitel, and in the 1990s she had an affair with Edward James Olmos, then divorced Keitel to marry Olmos. The battle for custody of Bracco and Keitel's daughter was legendary, even by Hollywood divorce standards. The legal costs forced Bracco into bankruptcy, and Keitel accused Olmos of being a child molester, uncovering a complaint against Olmos which had been filed by an underage family friend, then settled for a cash payout from Olmos -- who, of course, denied that anything inappropriate ever took place. A judge eventually ordered that Olmos not be alone in the same room with Keitel and Bracco's daughter, and the Bracco-Olmos marriage did not last long.

Vman said...

I'd have to disagree on the finest drama in television history claim, The Sopranos isn't even the best show on HBO, that would be the Wire, which is much more underrated and slightly better, I know it's a tough call but there's never been anything on TV as good as the Wire and it is truly the best show ever. That's not to say that the Sopranos isn't incredible because it is, I really cannot wait for the next season, I'm sure it's going to be as ground breaking and intelligent as the last five.

Anonymous said...

Pssh, forget The Sopranos, I'm more interesting in getting some new Johnny Drama at 10pm.

Anonymous said...

I should proofread more. I meant to say interested.

(I've never watched the Sopranos, so I've never had the chance to get addicted like everybody else. I am, however, addicted to Entourage)

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with vman, THE SOPRANOS plays second fiddle to THE WIRE, but only just.

SJ said...

I'll second vman and anonymous, "The Wire" is truly the most brilliant thing ever put on TV imo. Ken I have a strong feeling you have never seen it. Season 4 of The Wire has a 98% rating on, the highest rated show ever.

Of course, I won't really argue with you if you think "The Sopranos" is the greatest show ever. It is truly outstanding.

Phil Freeman said...

2 Stupid Dogs had the greatest theme song in the history of television. "Two stupid dogs, la la la, two stupid dogs, la la la," sung in a Pee Wee Herman voice - never failed to make me laugh, though the show itself was just okay.

Diane said...

Though I love the Sopranos, I'd like to add my vote for the Wire . . . great writing, great acting, and an unequaled willingness to take a hard look at real social ills and issues, without ever looking for an easy answer

Jesse Wendel said...

Interesting. I've never heard of this that people are claiming as offering up as a universal observer for validating what is good art and bad art.

Now, having a life and all, and being attracted to certain genre's, I don't watch everything out there by any stretch. In short, I like what I like, and there are entire scopes of stuff I wouldn't even think to look at no matter how good they might be. But within my scope, I know what I consider to be great or not. ranked what I consider to be the best show on television, the second best show for the Fall 2006 season, ranking only The Wire ahead, a show I've never seen.

There is such a drop-off in the ranking after those two shows, that I can't use them in terms of telling what is genuinely good in comparing their rankings to what I like.

Anyway, interesting that The Wire and Battlestar, two shows not high in the ratings or the popular listening, are so universally high in the perception of anyone who takes the time to get to know them.

Anonymous said...

I want to know why Tony is such a fan of the oldies when he's my age and should be a big Arena Rock fan. At 47, if he's true to his roots, he should like the '70s stuff. OK, early '70s if you want to push it. I think this is all a big reflection of the baby-boomerishness of the show's creators. Tony's choice of music doesn't ring true to me.

Unknown said...

I KNEW IT! I remember the episode where Morocco Mole put out a hit on Yellow Pinky and I knew that scene looked familiar somehow. Thanks for helping me fit it all together, Ken!