This was our first introduction to Tony Soprano, arguably the most iconic character in the history of series television. What exactly did David Chase have in mind when he developed this character? Just how evil was Tony Soprano, really? Was he a raging psychopath, a clever yet ruthless sociopath, or was he just an innocent victim of circumstances far beyond the control of him or of any mortal who might find themselves in similar circumstances? Or was he, as many of us suspect, far too complicated to fit into any preconceived notions f good and evil? I remember some time ago reading a review on another blog that delved into the subject of this opening video. Incredibly, the writer of this piece seemed to suggest that it was hard to read anything into Tony Soprano's expressions or actions during his long drive from New York City to his home in New Jersey.
But if you watch carefully, the look in his eyes, his profile, the way he holds and smokes his cigar, probably an expensive and illegal Cuban, the expensive watch on his wrist, doubtless a Rolex or similarly high-priced brand that he could have bought legally or just as easily acquired from one of the many fences in his employ. In perhaps the most telling sequence of all, notice the exchange at the toll booth as he retrieves his ticket.
Everything about him bespeaks of a brooding intensity bordering on arrogance, pride, and not a small amount of simmering, smoldering anger. But perhaps most importantly of all, what we see here is suggestive of a pure variety of contempt. Contempt for the world at large, for it's legal restrictions to be sure, but perhaps even more to the point, for it's moral pretensions, while the overall immorality and hypocrisy of the world simmers below the surface every bit as much as Tony Sopranos anger, and his disgust.
Some might consider that I am reading too much into this simple segment, but The Sopranos was a mufti-layered series. Far from a simple "crime show", it was filled with symbolic meanings and philosophy. O, as a later character on the series would one day intimate, "Tony Soprano is an allegorical kind of guy."
The purpose of this blog is mainly to have fun discussing the relevance and meaning of each episode, starting from the beginning episode all the way until the final, enigmatic series finale.
By the time it is over with, I hope not only to convince you that Tony Soprano was truly killed at the very end, but to present to you a couple of theories as to who was truly behind that murder, at least one of which you will probably find very surprising.
I encourage any of you who are so inclined to comment and to help me form a community of those who are aficionados of the cultural phenomenon that was the greatest television series of all timeThe Sopranos.