The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 21, 2013

Soprano more than a memorable TV character

(Continued)

Their audiences shrinking and the stakes higher, the broadcast networks have generally responded by being less willing to take chances.

“The Sopranos” broke ground with its structure, too. New story lines popped up all the time, sometimes dramatic, sometimes banal. Sometimes they were resolved. Sometimes, like an odd trip to the pine barrens, they were forgotten. Sometimes what seems to be important turns out to be random and withers away. Like in life itself.

That gave the show’s finale all of its power. Tony’s family gathers for a family dinner, bonding over onion rings. All of the show’s unresolved story lines provided the backdrop. The timing — the show’s last supper — offered an edge-of-your-seat tension. Will there be one grand climax? How many questions will be answered? Will Tony pay for his sins by being blown away?

Nah. Nothing much happened. Kind of like most nights for most people, really.

Ever since that ending there have been periodic reports or hopes that the cast of “The Sopranos” would gather again for a feature film. That dream ended Wednesday night in Rome. That’s not to diminish the work of all of the other actors in “The Sopranos” cast,.

It’s just that without Tony, without James Gandolfini, what’s the point?

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