Few television shows share the kind of polarizing, emotional affect on viewers that "The Sopranos" did for six seasons on the HBO schedule.
Fans immediately took to the characters, the dialogue, the violence and, namely, the story telling that made the show superb to great for the show's entire run. The first two seasons, particularly, often are lauded as the best seasons for any television show in the history of the business.
As much as later years of "The Sopranos" were panned by fans as not being as good as the first few seasons, they still stand up, and above, most of what television has been able to offer since the show wrapped in 2007.
But as masterful and magical as "The Sopranos" run on television was to millions of viewers, the show also rubbed people the wrong way, more specifically the final minutes of the series finale "Made in America."
Lovers of the mob slash family based drama crowded around television screens to see ultimately what the fate of their favorite characters on the show would face.
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Would Tony Sopranos live or die?
What happens to the New Jersey family now that most of them already are "sleeping with the fishes?"
Television shows, when the wrap up, are supposed to give fans the kind of closure they need after investing years watching seasons and stories play out on television.
"The Sopranos" always was considered a show that played by a different set of rules, but the last episode may have taken that mentality a bit too far. Everyone who watched the show relentlessly knows that the show simply cut the black with no clear cut ending given.
Instead, HBO rolled the credits and those watching that night thought perhaps that their televisions were broken or the network feed had faltered.
Neither of those happened. The show's creator, David Chase, kept quiet about the ending and told viewers hours, days, weeks and years after "The Sopranos" ended that "it's all their," when he was posed with the question as to whether Tony Soprano died.
Chase would go on to give more reasons behind his choice to end the show the way that he did, but none really quelled the fervor and animosity fans had toward the creator and head writer of the show. Fans want finality to six seasons of a show that they invested in; what they got was an ending that almost felt like no one really knew "how" to end it or perhaps Chase going for too much clever when content would have sufficed.
Recently, Chase admitted that Tony didn't die, but finding that news out almost a decade later is both inconsequential and hollow. We didn't get the payoff we wanted back then, so who really cares about it now?
The only thing Chase did by finally giving us an answer is allow us to go back and watch the shows again, knowing at least the ending exists to a degree. "The Sopranos" truly is a marvel of a show given the acting, writing, directing and overall theme and scope of the show was stunning. Too bad the ending never lived up to those same characteristics.
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