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The Soprano's Season One Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Goodbye Florida Man, Hello Jersey Boy! I've officially made the move north and am living in New Jersey. As a lifelong Jersey Boy, Frank has become somewhat of my Garden State guide. He's showing me around, teaching me how to use mass transit, and going into detail about who is buried in which cemeteries. There's many things I'm still confused by, like why the Penn Station escalators are out of service so often, why people can't pump their own gas, and why the NJ Turnpike is a liar, but being a Jersey Boy isn't about knowing everything. It's understanding that often, that's just how it is, and you go on about your day doing what Jersey Boy's do: Supporting the Devils, eating delicious crunchy thin pizza at Calabria's, and watching The Soprano's. 

My family didn't have HBO when I was growing up and I was never into gangster movies. It wasn't until my film studies class in college that I even saw The Godfather. So, this is my first time seeing the show outside of a few clips Glenny Balls has tweeted. Frank is rewatching along and translating some of the Italian words for me. We just finished season one and oh boy, do I have some thoughts!


Let me start by saying, I was hooked on the show episode 1. Not many shows do that for me. You have to figure out the characters, who they are, what motivates them and why they are that way. Even though I'm not proficient in the Italian jargon or what the mob family lifestyle entails, I could relate to these people, some for better reasons than others. So, here's who I liked, who I loathed, and what I'm looking forward to next season.

Who I liked:

Tony Soprano - Tony works hard to provide for those he loves, his mom, his wife and kids, and even a girlfriend. Tony is involved in his children's education and extracurricular activities. While touring colleges with his daughter, Meadow, he still finds time to take out an old friend and it not interfere the trip. Tony even gives Meadow's soccer coach a brand new TV as a preemptive thank you for staying to coach the team instead of taking a college job. Even with a busy and complicated job in waste management and being there for his children, he still finds time to visit his mother. Tony is a true family man. Tony is principled and sticks to tradition, but we can see he is growing and willing to challenge his beliefs in order to better himself. It becomes apparent the lack of attention he has been receiving when he confesses his love for his therapist. Just goes to show, no matter the profession, if you pay a good looking lady to listen to you, it's only a matter of time before you think you're in love.

Paulie Walnuts - Paulie is one of the main members of Tony's work crew. Paulie is a great worker. He doesn't just take out the trash. He volunteers to take out the trash. He even puts himself in harms way, running through poison ivy to finish a job. Aside from being good at his job, he actively reaches out to help his fellow crew members, like taking Big Pussy to a bath house to help alleviate Pussy's back pain. When Tony opens up to the crew about seeing a therapist, Paulie comforts him by telling the crew about his own therapy sessions. Paulie is a guy you want in your crew. 

Who I loathed:

Livia Soprano - Mother of Tony Soprano, this lady woman is the worst! She is mean and manipulative and quite possibly incapable of love. Livia has reached a stage in her life where she is unable to live by herself, but is unwilling to move into a retirement facility. Only after she nearly burns her house down, does Tony put his foot down and move her into a home. Even though it's clear that Livia is getting along with other residents and seems to be enjoying her time there, she won't admit it. She holds a grudge against Tony for "abandoning" her and conspires with Tony's uncle to have Tony killed. Livia may have birthed Tony, but these are not the actions of a mother. When Tony finds out what his mother did, he goes to confront her, but she has apparently had a stroke and is being moved to a hospital. As she is being carted away on a stretcher, Tony tells her he knows what she did. She simply smiles. I think she's faking the stroke, but I wouldn't be upset if it is real.

That's really the only person I hated. Some characters like Junior and Christopher, I for sure didn't like, but Livia Soprano is up there with Joffrey and Ramsey Bolton. I want to make it clear right now that I am not projecting and my mother would never do this to me. Mama Duggs, if you're reading this, I would never put you in a home!

Season one was a great watch and I'm excited to see where this story goes. I think Tony will take his place as rightful king, Christopher will continue to mess up, and we might be lucky enough to see Livia's wake. Frank and I are going to continue watching and visit some of the places in the show. Who knows, you may see some Units at the Bada Bing! real soon!