Monday, June 11, 2007

Goodbye, 'Sopranos': I Never Knew You...Literally

I feel that I'm part of a tiny minority today. Almost everyone I heard on the radio and many bloggers I read were talking about the last episode of 'The Sopranos.' Even Chris Matthews devoted some time to it during 'Hardball.'

But I'm not mourning the passing of 'The Sopranos.' That's because my wife and I got rid of HBO a few years back. We never watched the network because none of the programming appealed to us. So, we had the cable people whack it. So, no 'Sopranos' for us.

The decision to get rid of HBO wasn't a moral one. At least not the way you might think. Some readers will likely jump to the conclusion that being a pastor and wife (or a librarian and husband), that we had moral qualms about HBO's programming. Maybe if we'd ever watched HBO--other than to see the excellent Elizabeth I just before we rubbed the network out of our cable package--we would have had moral qualms.

But the only morality involved was our moral squeamishness over wasting money. That's what we were doing by continuing to pay for a network that we weren't watching.

As to why HBO's program previews didn't lure us in, it seemed to me that most of what they offered was dark and cynical, a slightly more extreme version of the stuff you can watch on conventional TV every night of the week. I'm tired of dark and cynical, frankly. There's enough dark and cynical in the world, thank you very much.

Give me a little honestly hopeful any day. Or informative. Or just entertaining. Maybe 'The Sopranos' has been all these things. But I'll never know. And I'm okay with that.

4 comments:

Deborah said...

I once watched abut 15 minutes of The Sopranos, and found it to be dark, violent, angry and foreboding. Frankly, I didn't "get" it, and was bored. Never again watched it.

People in the media often said how realistic it is/was... but I've never known or experienced anything close to people with such lives or worldviews.

We disconnected HBO years ago, partly due to morality. Mainly because we didn't want our sons, then teenagers, to watch the late night fare.

We much prefer our secret vice of Dancing with the Stars... :)

Charlie said...

Without even considering the issue of what effect a show that glorifies hoodlums has on our hearts and minds, I look at every new season's offerings thinking about the time I will have to commit to this entertainment if I watch it and like it and find myself wanting to watch it unfold week after week.

The Sopranos was never a light-hearted indulgence, but a show that the writers used to ask difficult moral questions and pose their answers to those questions. It lingered on in discussions on the Internet from week to week. It was a Greek tragedy.

I never watched it because I knew that if I did, I'd have to be all in, watching and debating, receiving and pushing back against the received messages. On the defensive, in other words, over a TV show.

There are too many good books on my shelves waiting for my attention.

busbyje said...


The way you people talk, you make The Sopranos seem like it WAS real. I don't see how you could be spooked by a TV show unless you are overly sheltered or something. As for your teenagers, I am sure if they wanted material like that HBO had on their late night fare, they knew where to get it.


Reality TV is the downfall of TV in general. CBS's Jericho, I believe was a victim of reality TV.


I am glad that there are shows like Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Rescue Me for entertainment. My goodness I shouldn't have said Nip/Tuck, I might offended someone.

Kim said...

http://www.watchsopranos.net

watch it again free full episodes streaming.