The Sopranos is a complex mob drama shown on HBO. Created by David Chase, the show has grown in popularity for every season of its run.
The show's basic root is a dual family life of Tony Soprano. Tony, an Italian-American, leads a normal life. He has a son Anthony Junior, or AJ, a daughter Meadow, and a wife Carmela..
When he is at home Tony is like every Italian guy you notice. He is a little overweight. His family is normal as compared to American family. They have problems; They fight; every so often someone has a crisis. Tony's wife thinks he doesn't love her, Tony's son wants to be a bad ass, and his daughter just wants to hang with her friends.
Tony's job is what separates him from the rest of the world. Tony Soprano turns out to be the head of one of the crews of the New Jersey Mafia. Over the season we see how Tony and the rest of his crew move up in the Mafia ladder to finally controlling the entire New Jersey Mafia.
That is not to say it is an easy trip. We first meet Tony in Dr. Jennifer Melfi's office. We learn about Tony as he discussed his home life with the Doctor. Dr. Melfi laid a ground rule that she could not hear anything about anyone getting hurt. After telling Tony this, Tony responded by "We had coffee". In the next scene we see the man drop four cups of coffee as Tony and Christopher Moltisanti run him down in a car and break his knee.
Tony first visits Dr. Melfi because of a recurrent fainting episodes which the doctor believes is psychosomatic. Tony's problem tends to be one of the major story lines in the first two seasons. The reason for the episodes is believed to be revealed in the third season but a incorrect diagnoses has been made before. Anthony Junior also started to have fainting episodes in the third season.
Tony's mother is a major part of the first two seasons of the show. She is constantly complaining when Tony visits her. She will never give Tony praise, and is constantly manipulating everyone in her life. Many of Tony's problems tends to center around his relationship with his mother.
Tony's Crew involves many men, though we are only well acquainted with the top echelons. A few of the members of Tony's closest circle are:
Tony's nephew Christopher is of special mention. While Christopher is only "made" in the third season, he is allowed into Tony's private circle which only top men can enter. Tony sees Christopher as a son in the family business. While Tony doesn't wish to see his own son in the mafia, he helps out Christopher as much as he can is often displeased when people talk bad about his nephew.
Outside of Tony's crew is a numerous amount of memorable character, such as Tony's Uncle Junior, Tony's Sister Janice Soprano, and Ralph Cifaretto another made man.
There is a second family that is followed by the show. Jackie Aprile is the head of the New Jersey Mafia at the beginning of the season. Due after a lengthy bout of cancer he dies and the crown is passed to Uncle Junior. Jackie's wife, Rosalie Aprile, is close to Carmela Soprano. In the second season, Richie Aprile returns from his time in prison and starts to stir things up in the family. Richie ends up being shot by Tony's sister, his fiancee.
In the third season Jackie Aprile Jr. trying to be made in his father and uncle's crew. Tony Soprano tries to set the kid straight as Jackie Sr.'s wish was that his son goes to college and get a legitimate job. Rosalie Aprile also starts to date Ralphie Cifaretto in the third season. Jackie Jr. ends up being shot in the third season and leaves the show as his uncle.
As we see Tony's real family, and Tony's extended family we also see the FBI's attempts to catch tony and put him in jail. Tony's movements are all done for reasons and quite often Tony must deal with a man who is working for the FBI, or a witness.
The show does tend to have some violent imagery as this is a mafia television show. There is also quite a bit of nudity. As a Mafioso, Tony does have sexual urges and acts on the urges. Most of the nudity is done to establish scenes. For instance, many of the planning and meeting of Tony's crew is done in a topless bar.
The show's episodes are quite large for an hour show. Often a show will have on going story lines for seasons and the story is expanded with each episode. Character development is well done, as one can learn pieces about characters over the run of the show. The show does tend to leave the viewer wanting more especially at the end of a season, and has many excellent cliffhangers.
Suggestions are accepted for additions to this node, as there is too much info in the show this node tries to highlight the most crucial elements of the show. The fourth season has started in September of 2002.