My friend Michael called his local cable provider yesterday and cancelled his subscription to HBO.
"Have you been dissatisfied with your subscription to HBO?" asked the salesperson.
"No," replied Michael. "But The Sopranos is over."
I wonder how many subscribers HBO has lost in the past week and a half. Not that it’s their fault. David Chase pulled the plug on The Sopranos after six seasons spread across nine years. And he did it in way that infuriated a lot of people who wanted "closure." That is, they wanted to know if Tony got whacked, or if he went into the Witness Protection Program, or if he took over the New York mob. For the record, I thought the right ending, and the one I predicted, was: Business As Usual….and then, I thought the ducks would come back.
I thought "business as usual" was the perfect ending. The mob is still out there, Tony is still out there. He might get killed, he might not. Sil might recover and he might not. Meadow might become a mob lawyer, and she might not.
My own point of view might be skewed by the fact that I often get asked on airplanes if I am James Gandolfini (or worse, Tony Soprano), and the fact that all my middle-aged men friends identify with Tony in one way or another. He is the same guy as the rest of us: trying to handle his business stress and his family stress and do the best he can — the only difference is, his job is a little more corrupt and violent than ours. Otherwise, we’re Tony. Practically everyone I know is Tony. Pursuing the American dream and gobbling anti-depressants.
And the sad thing is, as Bobby Bacala noted, Quasimodo predicted all this.
Whaddaya gonna do?