Friday, July 20, 2007
If David Chase re-made these classic film endings
So it's been weeks now and I'm still bummed about the ending to the Sopranos. My favourite show. Really the only TV show I've been invested in for decades. And instead of seeing the final episode and wanting to watch it all over again from the beginning, like I thought I would, I just want to forget the whole thing. Like a bad date.
How long has it been since the ending? Don't even remember. I'm supposed to be getting over it by now. Appreciating the genius of David Chase. How perfect it all was. But I don't. I think it will be a long time before I can think of watching any old episodes again. I'm that put off. It is almost irrational. Why such an aversion? Why can't I see it as an artistic choice? A valid one? Well I can't. It just seems like some crazy person went in and finished off my beloved show in some insane and random manner.
It just didn't seem to to be the David Chase I knew. The one who gave us that fantastic season opening with the Peter Gunn theme mixed with Every Breath You Take. The one who devised the most compelling marital fight I've ever seen on TV in Season 4. The one who showed us Tony Soprano in the early days, drunk and elated that "he didn't hurt anyone". The one that showed psychiatry and therapy as potentially life changing. The one that treated dreamlife and the inner life as carefully as real life. The one who made Tony Soprano a human - who made you see some human core underneath the vile killer/gangster.
I suppose the thing that made me feel the worst about the finale was that there was not one iota, not one scrap of a possibility of redemption. The redemption that he teased us with over all those seasons. He toyed with the spiritual theme, the higher planes human beings could get to, could at least reach for. Then, nothing. All of that dropped. Melfi—his spiritual touchstone—dumped him in a most irrational and un-professional manner, and that was the end of that story.
Tony and his family were just bad people with no hope. No possibility of change. No insights. No regrets. No future.
I read somewhere on some other blog that Chase was disillusioned with the way people were drawn to the Tony Soprano character, and he wanted to prove to everyone how much of a scumbag he really was: how misplaced our connection was. But he wanted to have it both ways. I had hoped for something, a small bit of transcendence. A clue. Nothing major. Something. Anything. Some little aside that suggested some hope. Something to come. But instead we got onion rings, Journey (ack) and blackness.
A big nothing. I thought he was going to rail against the Livias of the world. Instead he got in bed with them.
Just as an exercise a couple days after the finale I amused myself with this list of endings, as David Chase might re-do them. Of course there are a million of them on YouTube now. But for what it's worth, here's my list:
Gone with the wind:
Scarlett: Rhett, where will I go? What will I do?
Rhett: Frankly, my —
Some Like it Hot:
Joe: (taking off his wig) I’m a man!
Mr. ____: No—
Gloria Swanson: There's nothing else - just us - and the cameras - and those wonderful people out there in the dark. All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m—
Rick: Louis, This could—
Oh, no! It wasn't the airplanes. It was —
The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy: and you're all here! And I'm not gonna leave here ever, ever again because I love you all! - And oh, Auntie Em, there’s no—