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The Sopranos, Season 6

And yes, we need a SPOILER ALERT already…

Perhaps it’s just me, but I found myself intensely frustrated with Sunday’s season opener. I’ve felt shades of this frustration during the first episodes of previous seasons as well; the lengthy hiatus between seasons requires the show to catch us up a bit more than I’d like, not just reminding us of who all the key players are, but giving us what feels like a fifty-minute long stream of machine-gun fired exposition, one speeding little bullet following right behind, but entirely separate from, the other. Maybe it’s just me — R. seemed not to have this problem — but the episode felt entirely disjointed, bouncing frenetically from one thing to the next, unable to settle itself either into a narrative or into a rhythm.

And then, boom: Junior shoots Tony. (Hey, I warned you!) Which left me so shocked that I found myself wondering whether the bouncing around of the first fifty minutes of the episode wasn’t intentional, designed to keep us off-kilter, before dropping the narrative big one.

Or maybe not. Maybe I just want this season to work, and so am seeking a way to rationalize what was fundamentally a weak episode. We’ll see how next week goes.

(And incidentally, I want to give it another week before I comment on Big Love, except to say that there is a heck of a cast.)


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