I’ve been watching the Sopranos again, decades after it first aired. My wife is less than impressed that I’m using our TV to watch overweight men in New Jersey doing terrible things to one another.
It’s dated in strange ways. James Gandolfini is strangely slim in the pilot, and for a TV series that was meant to have premium production values, there are laughably bad sound effects while Tony Soprano is running over somebody in Christopher Moltisanti’s Lexus.
My theory was that, like another artifact of the last century, American Psycho, it’s one of those series which gradually becomes more depraved. Thus you identify with Tony and only much later in the series do you realise how awful things are and how you shouldn’t synpathise. Similarly with Patrick Bateman, things gradually got worse and worse, so if you read the book from start to finish, you’re too desensitized to notice the horror, but if you dip in at random, it’s utterly horrible.
However, the Sopranos has men being shot, beaten with a meat tenderiser, or a telephone, or threatened with castration, so maybe things were in the abyss from the beginning, not something that viewers were gradually led into.
I wonder if I should be watching six series of this again, or finding something new. There’s a lot of books I need to read…