Alan Sepinwall Sopranos Essay

Alan Sepinwall Sopranos Essay-27
In this exclusive excerpt, series creator David Chase, screenwriter Terence Winter, and episode director Steve Buscemi talk about the classic season three episode “Pine Barrens” (aka, the one where Christopher and Paulie try to dump the Russian mobster and get lost in the woods).. Now, we didn’t do folktales every week, but it seemed appropriate for this.How much of that humor, those jokes, those gags were on the page, and how much of those came about when you were on location? The point I remember, reading the script and just laughing so hard, was, “He killed Czechoslovakians and he’s an interior decorator! Matt Zoller Seitz: Terry, do you share that interpretation about why we don’t care what happens to the Russian? And even over the years, I lobbied for it, saying, “It’d be cool to finally pay it off.” I think at one point, I almost had David agreeing with me, and I made the cardinal [mistake] of saying, “People will love it! We shouldn’t do it for ] This was absolutely the right way to go, and we never should have known what happened.I call it “The HBO Show Model.” When Tony is touring colleges with Meadow, and he stumbles across a rat who’s in witness protection, you know he has to kill him. He likes Fellini movies, where you didn’t know what’s a dream and what’s real. And he gets to The Sopranos and all his years of frustration were over.

In this exclusive excerpt, series creator David Chase, screenwriter Terence Winter, and episode director Steve Buscemi talk about the classic season three episode “Pine Barrens” (aka, the one where Christopher and Paulie try to dump the Russian mobster and get lost in the woods).. Now, we didn’t do folktales every week, but it seemed appropriate for this.How much of that humor, those jokes, those gags were on the page, and how much of those came about when you were on location? The point I remember, reading the script and just laughing so hard, was, “He killed Czechoslovakians and he’s an interior decorator! Matt Zoller Seitz: Terry, do you share that interpretation about why we don’t care what happens to the Russian? And even over the years, I lobbied for it, saying, “It’d be cool to finally pay it off.” I think at one point, I almost had David agreeing with me, and I made the cardinal [mistake] of saying, “People will love it! We shouldn’t do it for ] This was absolutely the right way to go, and we never should have known what happened.I call it “The HBO Show Model.” When Tony is touring colleges with Meadow, and he stumbles across a rat who’s in witness protection, you know he has to kill him. He likes Fellini movies, where you didn’t know what’s a dream and what’s real. And he gets to The Sopranos and all his years of frustration were over.

Sepinwall: More than anything since I Love Lucy, it rewrote what a TV show could look like, what an audience could expect.

Tony was the first completely bad main character in a long-running TV show.

Melfi, some loved the family stuff, and some just loved the blood and guts.

In all these areas, the show broke rules in different ways. Seitz: Rewatching Sopranos this time, I was impressed with just how brutal they were with audience expectations.

Terence Winter: Despite what was on the page, when you get those guys out there doing it, you can describe Steve Schirripa walking out in a hunting costume . You were always lucky to get a scene of them together, and then to put those two guys in that circumstance, where they’re at each other’s throats—for me, that’s the funniest situation you can put two people in, is when two people are under pressure, literally, in an enclosed space, and have them go at each other. it was almost like a moment out of “Pine Barrens” because I could see you going, “What does it matter what happened? Have people ever stopped asking you about the Russian? But I kind of feel like we got to do that here tonight, in a way, because this, for me, is the first blatant example in of that kind of thing—the thing that most people would fixate on, the obvious, linear narrative thing like, “What happened to the Russian? They’re like, “Yeah, kids found him, they sent him to Russia and nursed him back to health, but he can’t really talk.” All through the meeting, he’s just kind of looking at Christopher, and you feel like he knows but he can’t communicate it.

Matt Zoller Seitz: And I think that’s maybe one of Tony’s best moments, is this episode, because of the madness in his eyes. ” [] At that point, I just laughed so hard and I went, “Oh my God, I’d better not f*ck this up. Terence Winter: I do, but I have to confess that ultimately, it’s hard for me. David Chase: That was the other thing—we didn’t want to do a thing where Tony fought the Russians. [] I should’ve had the Russian walk into Holsten’s!This is the funniest thing.” I don’t know if anything was made up, it was all written. [] Dickens couldn’t describe that, it wouldn’t be as funny as when you see it! There just isn’t any combat between the Italian and Russian Mobs. Matt Zoller Seitz: When I wanted to do a -related panel, my first thought was, of course, “We’ll show the finale.” And then I thought, “We can’t do that, because David will never come out for that.” You’ve explained what you were trying to do in that finale—generally, not specifically—so many times that I didn’t want to inflict that on you again. This is not important.” You’re not just being obstinate about it. Terence Winter: One thing we talked about was that at some point, Christopher, way late in the game in the series, would walk into Slava’s club and the Russian guy would be there mopping the floor and they’d just meet eyes, and then the camera would come around to the back of the Russian’s head and you just see that a big chunk of his head is missing and he can’t communicate.Before Tony, there had been a belief that audiences would reject anything that was truly harsh or complex.But at least some portion of the audience loved all the things the show did — some loved the dream sequences, some loved the therapy scenes with Dr.and we think, “Now something’s really going to happen” … You can feel an upturn in brutality, almost as if evil is raising its voice.then a few episodes later, Meadow takes it with her to college at Columbia. Episodes like “University” and “Employee of the Month,” they’re both brilliant and still very difficult to watch.The show is about our complicity in evil, how we rationalize it even as it is part of our lives.And as an audience, we’re rooting for Tony to kill his enemies, make a lot of money, and get away with it. He got into screenwriting to make a movie that went to the Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme D’Or.TV writers Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall met as critics at the Newark Star-Ledger in 1997 — the newspaper Tony picks up from his North Jersey driveway in the morning — where they followed The Sopranos from the start.Now, they’ve written a book to mark the anniversary. Abrams, ) offers new essays on each of the show’s 86 episodes, plus a back-and-forth on what “really” happened in that last scene.

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