You don't have to be an HBO subscriber to know that the series finale of The Sopranos aired last night. If you didn't see the episode and you would like to I suggest you stop reading now.
A few people were over last night watching the finale. A rather lame episode as was this entire season, but the finale didn't end as I or anyone expected. The last five minutes had brilliant pacing set up by the director as Tony is sitting at a diner awaiting his family's arrival. Each walk in with along while another minor character, who the audience guesses is important. The viewers watched their clocks as well as the characters sitting around the diner asking themselves important questions such as who will be the one to cause the series last image of violence and who will the vicitm(s) and perpetrator(s) be.
Then Meadow walks in after having much difficulty parking her vehicle. The screen turns black. All of us in the living room froze then responded with a collective "what the hell?" We were thinking maybe the cable signal went tits up or the television just decided to quit working. Neither was the case as the credits rolled to silence. To borrow a line from Obi-Wan, it was as if a million voices cried out in terror then were suddenly silenced. I imagine the cable company received numerous phone calls from people screaming about their cable box breaking only to be hung up on when the subscriber realized their mistake.
The Andy Kaufmanesque ending made many a fan's blood boil as well as put a smile on apologists of the show. Much debate will ensue over the writing decision to end this series and I'm sure they'll feel justified in their critique, but really they'll sound like aging Star Wars fans bitching about the prequels. It was a decent show, but after season three I was disappointed in it's quality. Smarter than thou David Chase fans will argue that most of you who were upset by the show's ending don't 'get it', but I got it and you know what it was hardly the stuff of brilliance. By simply passing off critiques as juvenile blood thirsty fans displays your intellectual arrogance over a freakin television show. Claiming you're aesthetic tastes are superior in the realm of television is sort of like believing that you follow the correct version of your particular faith. Either way you're still following fiction that is meant to appeal to the ignorant masses.
“None of us on the show, ... ever thought it would do anything.” - David Chase