After season four I said I was through with the Sopranos. But seeing the ads everywhere for season six revised my interest. Season five may be the best, all told. And, by the way, you really *don’t* have to watch the Sopranos from the beginning. Ann came in here and, with the occasional use of the pause button while I filled in some background, she was able to get right into it. But I had something of an obvious revelation. This is a really nasty show. It is depressing, black, vile, horrific. You go into the Virgin Megastore and they sell cutesy items like “The Sopranos’ Italian Cookbook,” but there is nothing cutesy about this show. There are no likable characters — none, not one (maybe Meadow’s boyfriend, but, if you met that yamhead in a bar, you’d want to hang out with him?) — and spending so much time with horrible people doing horrible things eventually effects your mood. It is pretty fascinating how popular the show is considerng just how miserable the show makes me. After a few episodes, I almost feel like I have a hangover. But I’m me — I look for unique experiences in art — what do the rubes out there get out of it? (Yes, you read that right — I basically just said that I understand and appreciate this show, and, by extension, life in general, more than most other people, you got a problem with that?) I’d be curious to have a serious conversation with, say, a regular Fox News or Wheel of Fortune viewer who also watches (and buys the cookbooks of) The Sopranos. Is it really just that much fun to see people beat each other up?
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