Friday, June 01, 2007

The Sopranos: Frustrated expectations

The Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert has a typically insightful take on the impending end of The Sopranos, which includes this defense of its story structure:

Some critics have complained about this flipping and flopping [Tony and others appearing to change for the better, then "backsliding"], saying that "The Sopranos" is weakened precisely because the characters don't clearly change according to a traditional plot arc. But the back and forths are what have distinguished the series; only the more artificially constructed dramas on TV alter characters overnight and build to simple resolutions. When it comes to an epic like "The Sopranos," messiness is a blessing.

I agree, but now that we've had the The Sopranos redefine serial TV, the next great development would indeed be a series (and not a miniseries based on a novel or real events) in which the characters clearly change over the course of a plot arc. David Chase has upped the ante; it's not clear whether anyone will go to the next step.

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