March 10, 2006

Giuliani: "You could spend your whole life wanting to be insulted. Why?"

He was advising people "to be less sensitive" about stereotypes on "The Sopranos." Oh, damn it, this is a TimesSelect piece! (Link.) Actually, Giuliani said that a while ago, but the topic is back, because the show is back. It's gotten to be a rather tedious topic, hasn't it? Or do you take issue with Giuliani and think it's important to remain ever-sensitive to stereotypes? At some point, don't you have to just say that this show is so great that it has license to do whatever it wants?

So then, what do you think will happen this season, the last one? Will you focus on trying to figure out how Tony Soprano will die? Because he must die in the end, right?


JimK said...

NOW maybe he has to die. Back when this was truly an artistic vision of a three-year story arc and it was mapped directly to the trojan war...not so much.

Then the money took hold, and another season and another season and then cunnilingus and pure greed brought us to this.

Dave said...

Finally, TV worth talking about!

Giuliani is correct.

There are more interesting things to talk about--the story arcs, the characters, the dialogue, the way the show is shot, than to carp about stereotypes.

Like it or not, there have been many Italian-Americans who have been murderers/crooks/loansharks/enforcers. It hardly makes sense to whitewash this history under the rubric of political correctness.

Are we next to say that no whites should have to recall the rapacity with which their race murdered blacks in the 19th and early 20th century?

Or that no Japanese should have to be reminded of the Bataan death march?

Finally, it should be mentioned that the Sopranos frequently invokes the frustration of successful, law-abiding Italian-Americans on the show. Dr. Melfi has more than once engaged in conversations with her boyfriend about what it means to be an Italian-American psychiatrist.

Finally, many of the actors on the show are themselves Italian-American.

Giuliani for President!

Seven Machos said...

My view, and I go on the record here, is that it will be a reverse Godfather. Tony's daughter is getting married, and the last episode will be the wedding, just as the Godfather begins with a wedding. I don't think Tony will die.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Lorraine Braco [Dr. Melfi] said on The Colbert Report last night that she is not certain this is the last season. She's sworn to secrecy, of course, but she'd know more than me.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

OT: You seem to be back in full blogging form. Did your house sell?

Goesh said...

Part of me really wishes I had taken up with this show, though I am finding good drama and intensity with The Shield. I suppose I could jump in and learn as I go.

yetanotherjohn said...

Sit down and look at sitcoms which have a white father. Now tell me about how we should think it's important to remain ever-sensitive to stereotypes? Don't be ever sensitive. Be factual.

Take an example from a commenter Dave, the Bataan death march. Was it really bad, absolutely. Are there many Japanese around directly or even tangentially involved? No and getting fewer every year. Is Japan moving in a direction that makes it less likely to occur? Yes. Is Japan wanting to roll in it and continually flagelate itself about it? No

So dealing honestly and factually about it you can see the shades of grey. But if you just want to be offended by everything, you head down a road that is paved with good intentions but won't lead you to a place you will like.

paul a'barge said...

Giuliani is "the nuts" (that's my new favorite Texas Hold 'em term!!).

Tony's not going to get knocked off... there are movies in the pipeline, so they franchise is not going to jeopardize that.

Here's an off-the-wall prediction: Tony's shrink gets whacked and Tony ends up going to her shrink. How do you like those gnocci?

Matt Barr said...

Because he must die in the end, right?

How provocative! I've spent the last couple months reviewing the series from the start and can't wait for Sunday. But I had never thought of it in terms that Tony has to die. In fact, I would say he probably doesn't. I think Christopher probably has to die. He's made sacrifices Tony never had to and I don't think he'll be able to handle it. I think he'll make some move toward a different life and will have to be whacked.

I think over the last 20 episodes we'll see A.J. start to poke around the idea of getting involved with the family business and he'll eventually decide against it, which will be the thing Tony's last six-plus years, therapy and all, will make possible. Tony will "save" him. Just a half-assed prediction.

I think the series will end with the ducks coming back. I like the idea of the reverse Godfather, above, too.

Tom C said...

Rudy is right. When stereotypes are commonly used to make judgements about real people, they are pernicious and should be criticized. When you get to the point where it is mere nostalgia and has no influence on individuals, it's hard to get too excited.

Pretty soon, actually, we're going to be known for our knack of getting people on the Supreme Court (2 down, 7 to go). It's a great front -- no one will ever suspect them.

Lars said...

I don't think Tony has to die. But he does have to get busted, bigtime.

And Carmela, wouldn't it be grand if she fled to Sicilia and found middle-aged love with Furio? Oh.

Bezuhov said...

"At some point, don't you have to just say that this show is so great that it has license to do whatever it wants?"

And here I thought it was the first amendment that did that. Guess that's why I'm not a law professor...

paulfrommpls said...

Very nice, yetanotherjohn.

Richard Dolan said...

Perhaps Giuliani's comments would be better addressed to those who brought Larry Summers down at Harvard, and those at Harvard and now Yale who made and still are making such a to-do about class notes written by then-17 year old Harvard LS student Kiwi Camara. I suspect that those academics think it's beneficial to them, politically or ideologically, to create the impression of a civil rights crisis demanding constant vigilance. Hard lefties of that sort certainly sound like folks that "spend their whole lives wanting to be insulted" so they can keep trying to elbow their agenda to center stage and elbow off stage any who might disagree.

Johnny Nucleo said...

The Sopranos is the greatest show in the history of the universe, but I'm apprehensive about this season. Season Four was its peak. Season Six will be better than anything on TV, or in the movies for that matter, but it would have been better for the show's legacy if it had ended after Season Four.

Also, Tony will not die, nor will he go to prison. He will prosper.

PatCA said...

But, Althousefan, even when Sopranos is bad, it's very, very good (with apologies to Woody Allen). :)

And, yes, every self-appointed ethnic guardian has to demonstrate its aauthenticity chops by claiming offense. Feh.

Oh, and Rudy for President, as long as he doesn't go wobbly in the meantime.

amba said...

There's talk about a movie. Tony could still die, but then the movie would have to be a prequel.

Anyway, David Chase is about unpredictability. After the Sopranos ruined regular TV drama series for me, I noticed more than ever that I could predict much of what was going to happen and what people would say in a regular series. You never, ever know what's going to happen, so there isn't even any point in speculating. It's like life -- lifelike -- in that respect. You know how, in life your catastrophic fantasies never come true -- something just as bad, but different, blindsides you.

Verification word: surrp (RISE!)

Aeolas said...

To the shock of viewers throughout the known universe, Tony Soprano dies peacefully in his sleep ... of natural causes(perhaps heart failure after sex?).