Archive for the ‘The Sopranos’ Category

Carmela Gets Her Groove Back

January 25, 2010

I love the Sopranos episode “Sentimental Education” (5×06) it’s one of my favorites of the series so far. Carmela’s single and ready to mingle with Anthony’s teacher, Mr. Wegler, and I love it, which is not to say I love him. I’m coming to accept that there’s something really appealing to me about Jersey style, since I admire Carmela’s plunging neckline and subsequent display of her glorious endowments, which are, of course, supporting about ten pounds of necklace. And all this for a parent-teacher conference!

After a date she’s goes for a girly post-morten with her unwitting not gay gay best friend, Father Intintola who definitely still has feelings for her. Obliviously, or maybe awesomely bitchily she’s all “I met someone! I thought he was gay, he reminds me of you!….. You know… an intellectual.”
He wants Carmela to talk it all out with Tony and is basically like, “You’re just horny.” And she doesn’t say as much, but intimates “And you’re just jealous!”

Perhaps I’ve seen too many of those Italian “hot men of the cloth” calendars, but I reeeeeeeally want these two to hook up, especially since he’s way hotter than Mr. Wegler. Happily, Nurse Jackie exists, where they bone in closets all the time.

Anthony jr. decides he wants to come home since Tony never has any food except fruit roll ups and pop tarts, which actually sounds kind of awesome. I love fruit roll ups.

Carmela is kick ass: “For me to even consider having you back we’re going to have to establish some non negotiable ground rules. First and foremost, school comes first. That means putting the breaks on your social life: parties, phone calls, Devon. You’re at a crisis point gradewise so you’ll make sure that your work is done on time and correctly. I will not tolerate cursing. This is my house, you’ll treat me with respect. I want you to involve me in your life a little.”

Anthony agrees. I love that Carmela is asserting herself and demanding what she needs, we definitely see this again with Tony later in the season. Tony tries to take credit for Anthony’s improvement, but neither Carmela nor I buy that weak crap.

Carmela is all nervous about her “first time”– since Tony anyway. While I love Carmela getting back on the horse, I am less than fond of the horse she’s chosen (I think that’s probably fairly evident). Mr. Wegler just seems like a huuuuge poser to me. Reading Abelard and Heloise in the bathroom? Who does that? And he’s all condescending at Carmela about Madame Butterfly. Um whatever dude, you teach high school, stop acting like you’re dean of Yale.

Anyway, Carmela confesses the sexin’ to Father Phil. She feels guilty, but she’s not stopping because “something” has been reawakened. Mmmmm yes, but maybe not anything very spiritual. Father Phil reminds her that she took a vow and tells her to do something nice for Tony or to pray for God to touch both of their hearts.

“Sex agrees with you, you look great!” Rosie Aprile is both completely correct and all into it and wants details, and Carmela is all “He took his time.” Awwww yeah.

Anthony jr. comes home all “Mr. Wegler is faaaaaag!” Probably not. Tony says the same thing and Carmela is like, “Oh really, what are the signs? Education, culture?” and points out that since he’s so worried about it, maybe Tony is gay. I feel confident is saying that Tony is the least gay man I’ve ever seen.

Mr. Wegler is trying to get his swerve on, but Carmela rebuffs him out of concern about Anthony’s plagiarism. He kisses all over her while she’s talking about Anthony. Gross! No one wants to talk about a family member while getting it on. Carmela says: “I can’t right now, I’m too upset.” Mr. Wegler takes it on himself to talk to Anthony’s English teacher about manipulating his grade up to passing.

Now when I first watched this I thought maybe Mr. Wegler had a point about Carmela being a user (though I thought it was subconscious) but now I think that he’s just a disgusting sleazy hornball and that Carmela is a real person who has concerns outside of getting laid.

Particularly since Mr. Wegler waits until after sex to initiate the following conversation:

Mr. Wegler: I don’t know any other way to put this. I’ve been thinking and I don’t know, I think you’re a user Carmela. Maybe you saw an opportunity in me and you took what you needed.
Carmela: That is not true, I am here because I enjoy being with you. It was wonderful, in fact. How can asking someone you’re with be using them, that’s what people do! Bob, this hurts. Oh my stomach I feel sick.
Mr. Wegler: You strong armed me using the only weapon you have– your pussy. [Mixed Metaphor Alert! Now I am picturing some kind of internal arm, but like a really beefy Popeye arm.]
Carmela: How dare you talk to me that way.
Mr. Wegler: Okay, pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Carmela: I don’t. OF course I don’t have a fucking Master’s degree.
Mr. Wegler: Leaving me with a massive hard-on the other night [please, I’m SO sure it was “massive” Mr. Wegler. So sure.] and then practically attacking me sexually after you got what you wanted.
Carmela: You know what Bob? You are fucked up. You need help. What a fucking idiot I am. Believe it or not I thought you cared about me.
Mr. Wegler: I thought you should know how I feel.
Carmela: Fuck you! You’d better watch your step.

You had better watch your step! I hope Mr. Wegler gets whacked. (I’m not this bloodthirsty in real life, but in fiction I’ll kill for the slightest indiscretion.)

Carmela has herself a good cry realizing that “Whatever I say, whatever I do, because I was married to a man like Tony my motives will always be called into question.” Well, definitely if you keep dating jerks.


Where’s Johnny?

December 26, 2009

Oh man, can I just say it? I love Johnny Sack. He is not the titular Johnny of Sopranos episode 5×3, “Where’s Johnny”, but he is the Johnny of my heart. If we were together we could just hang out and be bitter assholes and he wouldn’t even mind if I let myself go! It would be a beautiful relationship. Johnny is also a great party planner, check out what he arranged for Little Carmine’s bachelor party:

Johnny: I was in his wedding party! Organized his whole fucking bachelor party, lesbian show… whores… fucking disgusting!
Christopher: I had no idea you guys were so close.

Call me, Prince Charming!

I basically glutted myself on the whole fifth season of the Sopranos last week, but there was a lot in there, so I’m going to try to go through it more blogularly minded. The strangest thing for me is that I seem to managed to be entirely unspoiled for the Sopranos despite knowings lots of people who watched it and not living in a hole in the ground. I’m not sure why it took me so long to watch it, although I guess the answer is that I’m not all that interested in masculinity issues, and it’s a pretty butch show. Like, so sorry you feel put upon old white dudes, maybe you’d like to go roll around in your money-bed until you feel better?

Tony and Uncle Junior have a big fight at dinner about how Tony has tiny hands, and didn’t have the chops to be a varsity athlete, and it’s pretty hilarious. I love when the Sopranos are petty. Janice basically insults Tony’s dick all “Small haaaands. I’ve heard that about you.” Love. Her. Tony yells about undermining. I love that he’s basically that person we all know who starts going to therapy and then it always yammering in therapy-speak and telling people to use “I” statements and talking about undermining. Basically, Junior’s not far wrong when he says that Tony’s problem is that he’s a goddamn hothouse flower.

But Junior may not be the most reliable narrator, since he is clearly having an episode-long senior moment, or mini-strokes per his doctor. He wanders off looking for the ghost of Johnny Soprano and into some weird sales meeting at a church where a middle-aged man is teaching kids how to do a hard sell. “When they say they’re not interested, you say, ‘You’re not interested in keeping kids off drugs?!'”

So then! Junior is chilling on a bench when he has a existential encounter with a prostitute.

Whore: Hey there handsome. Where you living now?
Junior: Do you know me?
Lady of the Evening: Do I know you?
Junior: Jupiter club on 6th street?
Fallen Woman: Caught fire that place, lot of people died.
Junior: Do you know my brother johnny.
Hooker: You got all the looks, I’ll tell you that.
Junior: What are you saying? You and I had relations?
Streetwalker: Some bitch in a taxi cab run me right over my foot.
Junior: I have a car.
World’s Oldest Professional: Want a date? I’ll give you half and half in the back seat.

Ah, love in your twilight years. I don’t exactly know what a half and half is, but I can guess. So then Junior is found wandering around some dumpsters by the cops, and he’s super belligerent.

Officer: How you doing?
Junior: I don’t gotta tell you shit.
Officer: Can I see some ID, Sir?
Junior: Fuck you, copper, I know my rights.

The cops take him home, seeming to boggle at how the mighty have fallen. Junior bids them goodbye pleasantly all: “Go shit in your hat!”

Tony goes off on Janice, who tries to give him marriage advice, which is pretty hilarious, considering that she’s Janice fucking Soprano who killed her fiance in a rage. “Free spirit Janice! Rebel without a cause! While I sit here mired in [Mon’s] bullshit trying to be a good son while you’re off dropping acid and blowing roadies!”

And Bobby’s all, “Roadies?!?” While I’m like, “Roadies!!! Hee, hee, I’m twelve. Of course. That’s soooo Janice.”

Anyway, Tony and Junior sort of make up, because Tony realizes that Junior is having medical issues although Tony can’t really let it go. He’s all, “Let’s assume that you don’t know what you’re saying, that you forget and say something over and over, why’s it gotta be something mean? Why can’t you repeat something good? [Long Pause] Don’t you love me?”

Aaaaaaand, no answer from Junior, cut to credits. That shit is BRUTAL.

Hope everyone’s Christmas was good. I got my dead mother’s bronzed baby shoe. There are Soprano levels of weirdness and dysfunction stirring in my extended family.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: The Sopranos and Gossip Girl

December 4, 2009

All my tv-viewing this week seemed to be about Thanksgiving, which doesn’t seem that notable, just topical, except that some of it was old stuff like the Melrose I posted and the Sopranos episode “He Is Risen” (3×08). Perhaps it’s a testament to the fact that I consume whole seasons of tv shows over the course of a normal week though. Shh. Don’t tell.

More Thanksgiving episodes of TV should involve hijacked turkeys because that’s always funny. The plot of this episode is basically that Tony doesn’t doesn’t want the annoying mobster (the one with the David Spade on Just Shoot me Hair, the one who always says “hooo-er” for “whore” which comes up a lot since he killed one. Fuck it, if I’m going to keep talking about him I should look up his name… Ralphie Cifaretto!) to come to Thanksgiving dinner even though Carmela has invited his special lady, Rosalie Aprile, and even though Meadow has popped an enormous ladyboner for Jackie Aprile jr. Eventually Carmela uninvites them, though Meadow and Jackie hook up anyway after a sexay minor (and totally avoidable) car accident.

One thing I looooooove about James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano is how real he seems and how there are moments that I can’t remember having seen such a familiar real life thing happening on tv as when Tony frantically tears through the turkey bag for antacids and chomps down on like 10 at a time. So. great.

Other things that are realistic but too horrifying for network tv: Gigi Cestone straining to take the first Thanksgiving dump while reading Playboy. It’s like a soft porn including episode of “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” I don’t get the porn in the bathroom thing guys do. The last time I lived with a dude he had an ENORMOUS stack of magazines and some pornographic “classy” wall art. Do guys get so bored while pooping that they need to masturbate? Wouldn’t you worry about creating a horrifying association between sex and scat? Happily (for us, not him) Gigi dies on the can so Operant Conditioning doesn’t have time to take effect.

Season three is interesting. I keep wanting Tony to whack some misogynists, like Ralphie, like he’s a murderous Gloria Steinem, which is unrealistic since Tony is definitely not a role model in the gender equality department. I’m pretty sure that if Dr. Malfi had told him about the rape he would have killed her rapist, and I can see why the show didn’t go there, but that’s some catharsis I could have gotten behind. Also, I’m sooooo tired rape as a plot device. Please imperil your female characters in less sexual ways, I’m over it, I’m tired of seeing it, it upsets me and disturbs me, (although so far I’m impressed that the Sopranos doesn’t seem to have forgotten it happened and has Dr. Malfi going to therapy and being affected for more than just an episode).

On the more current Thanksgiving tip, most of my thoughts on the Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episode are covered in this brilliant offering by the Fug Girls.

This is actually the stage [Acceptance] I’m still struggling with, because I REFUSE to be okay with Serena wearing a men’s figure-skating outfit to sit around the family table and give thanks for, like, boob tape and unavailable politicos who hate their wives.

Friends. It is true. That is exactly what Serena is wearing. I spent the whole episode squinting at the screen and unfortunately at this lovely lady’s crotch to determine whether it was a lace front formal catsuit, and it WAS. Ugh. Fortunately Serena’s hair was in this really adorable updo that I covet more than anything she’s ever done with her hair. But it didn’t come close to making up for the catsuit.

So the A plot is that Serena is a TERRIBLE PERSON. She is helping Trip cheat on Maureen and making this sad puppy face like she’s the victim here even though she is a HORRIBLE CHEATER van der CHEATERSON. JESUS. CHRIST. And all this is happening despite the fact that a) Trip is not cute, b) Trip has crazy bugged out eyes c) Trip has no personality d)Serena has known him for three seconds and e) Nate Archibland, Serena’s childhood bestie with whom she has previously slept (so it’s not a kibbutz syndrome situation) IS cute and is into Serena. Serena thinks she has some sort of get out of jail free card because of something mysterious involving her dad, but she is an adult person now, adults engaging in adultery don’t get to blame it on others. WHY is it HAPPENING?

I have no answers. In other Satanic pairings, Dan is now suddenly in love with Vanessa, which makes me want to hurl. I cannot imagine how horribly self-righteous and Brooklyn these terrible people are going to be when they get together. It’s going to be completely repulsive. They are going to renovate lofts, write poems, and wash their hair with hemp shampoo I just know it and it’s just horrible. It’s such a piss-off too, because one of the reasons I always hated Dan was that he was always moralizing at Serena because of her wealth. For once he has something to *actually* moralize about, and he doesn’t care! Apparently it’s fine to fuck a married congressman but wrong to buy your boyfriend a nice birthday gift. WHY. WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

Gossip Girl continues its tradition of appalling guests ruining holidays at the homes of others, like Cece (whose “heart pumps secrets and gin”) who threatens to spill some secret of Lily’s or Maureen who is there JUST to have a showdown with Trip and Serena. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty tacky. Have your fight at home or Trip’s office. Or Nate, leaking the Trip/Serena make out tape. Thanks to said tape, Lily finds out and takes it! personally! And I’m forced to defend a fucking cheater (which I always hate) because Lily has NO room to judge anyone for cheating or for sleeping with a married a man. She cheated on Bart with Rufus and slept with Rufus when he was married to the HumpMom.

Blair is hilarious. She thinks her mom is pregnant and tries to force her hand by offering her unpasteurized cheese and booze. I love the way she talks. To Jenny: “Where are you dragging me? Haven’t you heard of a whispered aside?…. How do you find having a sibling? Someone whose sole purpose on earth is to compete for your parents love and attention?”

Blair is the greatest ever, though her declaration: “I want pie.” made me worry. Remember the Thanksgiving when Eleanor enabled her bulimia all “Choose a dessert and take it to your room.” and Blair ate a whole pie and barfed? I do, and it was VERY upsetting. But they make up and, as far as we know, Blair doesn’t eat and puke a whole pie. And, in better pie news, apparently Tom Colicchio lives in Dorota’s boyfriend Vanya’s building! JEALOUS.

ANYway. Cute Nate asks Serena not to run away with a married congressman, and for inexplicable reasons, she does not stay and goes with Representative BugEyes. HOTLY, Chuck breaks plans with Blair for the evening in order to stay and comfort a sad but hot Nate. They decide to get drunk, and one thing leads to another. In my mind anyway.

Still the One

November 1, 2009

I’ve been working my way through season two of The Sopranos, and I just finished watched episode 10, “Bust Out,” in which Carmela meets a sexy (to the middle-aged eye) contractor and they make out in her bathroom and then schedule a sex date for the next day, which falls through when the dude develops a conscience.

As far as we know, this is Carmela’s first time cheating, and I am all for it. I realize that I seem to have a double standard for men and women about cheating on tv (hate Don’s, love Betty’s; hate Tony’s, love Carmela’s) but I think I’m actually just in favor of the long suffering partner demanding what they want and what the other person has been taking with impunity. For example on Grey’s Anatomy I didn’t initially like Addison, who cheated on Derrick with his best friend, at ALL but I was in favor of him pursuing Meredith.

But, what got me to my keyboard today was that when Carmela’s preparing her lunch of adultery she’s rocking out to the Shania Twain song “Still the One.” When Doostyn and I met, nearly ten years ago, it was at one of those cheeseball teen events for gifted future leaders. (As you can tell, that worked out *really* well.) As is customary, at the end of the week-long event there was a dance, and we danced to “Still the One” dramatically but ironically, while all the teens swayed and cried and sang along to their objets de tendresse whom they had met one week previously. Ever since, it’s been “our song” and we’ll occasionally call the other one up when we hear it the radio and sing it loudly.

It struck me that there’s practically no worse song to sing about an affair you’re just starting when you’ve been married for twenty odd years. “You’re still the one since I met you yesterday when your sister whose husband my husband is bankrupting brought you over?” “You’re still the one Tony even though I’m totally cheating on you?”