The Sopranos is a television drama on HBO about a mafia family of the same name. It has enjoyed five very successful seasons, with its sixth season currently in production with 12 new episodes premiering in March 2006. more...
In August of 2005, HBO announced it was also producing eight "bonus" episodes that would debut in January, 2007. It is currently believed that those eight bonus episodes will be the last of the series.
Since it first aired in 1999, the show has become a cultural phenomenon —gaining wide popularity and exceptional critical acclaim for its groundbreaking approach to its view into the mafia lifestyle, the American family, and the effects of violence on the human soul. Like other HBO programs, The Sopranos is rated for mature audiences only —for its adult issues, depictions of violence, and strong language.
The series stars James Gandolfini and Edie Falco and highlights the difficulties faced by Tony Soprano, a Mafia boss in suburban Essex County, New Jersey, as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his wife and family, and his crime "family".
The series begins with Tony collapsing after suffering an anxiety attack, which prompts him to begin therapy with Dr. Jennifer Melfi. Gradually, it is revealed that Tony's mother is manipulative and possibly psychotic; someone in his organization is talking to the FBI; his children have troubled futures; and even his own superiors are plotting his death.
One of the most recognizable parts of The Sopranos is the program's opening, in which the theme song "Woke Up This Morning", performed by A3, is heard. The show's main character Tony Soprano is seen emerging from the Port Authority's Lincoln Tunnel, and entering the New Jersey Turnpike. Numerous landmarks in Newark, NJ (many of which are now famous due to the show's success) are shown in this opening. The sequence ends with Tony pulling into the driveway of his suburban home in Essex County.
As Tony turns into the New Jersey Turnpike, an image of the World Trade Center towers can be seen in his rear view mirror. Just prior to the start of the fourth season, HBO and Sopranos creator and producer David Chase removed this cut altogether in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 in which the towers were destroyed.
The opening sequence was sufficiently recognizable to be parodied on an episode of The Simpsons in 2004, with Fat Tony standing in for Tony Soprano. It was also parodied in the Adult Swim show Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, in 2003, in an episode where Fred Flintstone is a mob boss.
The following is a partial listing of characters from the series:
Notable plots and timeline
Season 1 (1999)
- Introduction to the Soprano blood and crime families.
- Acting New Jersey mob capo, Tony Soprano begins seeing a psychiatrist after suffering a series of panic attacks. He soon falls in love with her, but Melfi tells him thats a byproduct of his therapy. He assigns a crooked cop, Detective Vin Makazian, to tail Melfi.
- When Tony finds out that his Uncle Junior plans to kill a rival in a restaurant belonging to Artie Bucco, a childhood friend of Tony's, he sends Silvio Dante to torch the restaurant. Tony believes this is preferable to the bad publicity that would be generated by a murder on the premises.
- Tony moves his mother Livia to a nursing home after she accidentally sets her kitchen on fire and drives away a Trinidadian nurse.
- Christopher and his friend, Brendan Filone, begin carjacking trucks owned by Comley Trucking, a company which Uncle Junior has a percentage of.
- Uncle Junior warns Tony about the truck hijacking shenanigans and Tony relays the message to Chris and Brendan, though Brendan pulls off another hijacking nonetheless, resulting in the accidental death of the truck driver.
- Meadow and Hunter try to score Crystal Meth from Brendan and Chris in order to stay up late and study for their exams.
- Uncle Junior, who is enraged by Christopher and Brendan's loose cannon behavior, gets leadership advice from Livia to stage a mock execution for Christopher and a real one for Brendan. Brendan Filone is shot in his bathtub, clean through the eye by Mikey Palmice as Junior watches.
- Chris and Adriana go to Brendan's home and find him dead in his bathtub. Chris is extremely annoyed and he wants to confront Mikey for the death of Brendan.
- Jackie Aprile, the acting mob boss for the DiMeo Crime family succumbs to cancer. Tony then nominates Uncle Junior as the official new boss, whilst conspiring to run the family from behind the scenes.
- Anthony Jr. finds out that his father is involved with organized crime.
- Tony accompanies Meadow on a trip to a series of colleges in Maine. When they arrive, Tony sees an old Soprano associate who turned out to be an informant and went into the Witness Protection Program. Tony murders him the following day.
- Junior becomes power hungry due to his new title, and begins taxing all the capos and Tony's old friend, Hesh. Tony conspires with Johnny Sack to relieve Hesh of the debt while making Junior feel like he's in control.
- A.J. is suspended from school for stealing wine from the church and showing up to gym class drunk. The school reveals that A.J. has borderline ADD, although Tony doesn't buy that diagonsis.
- Livia finds out from A.J. that Tony is going to a therapist, and immediately assumes that Tony is complaining about her. She begins to manipulate Uncle Junior.
- The Family finds out that the F.B.I. is going to be conducting raids. Pussy is arrested for running away from the police after guns are found inside the Bing.
- Tony learns that one of his associates is an FBI informant. Tony is told by Detective Makazian that Pussy is the rat. The family later finds out that Jimmy Altieri is an FBI informant. Altieri is soon murdered and is found dead in an alley with a rat in his mouth.
- Detective Makazian commits suicide after being found in a brothel and his mafia connections are revealed.
- Livia and Uncle Junior arrange for Tony's murder after he begins to get out of hand. The assassination attempt ultimately fails.
- The F.B.I. informs Tony that his mother and uncle were behind the hit against him, and offer to put his family into witness protection. Tony refuses and vows revenge.
- Chucky Signore and Mikey Palmice are shot to death to prevent Junior from launching another assassination attempt on Tony.
- Uncle Junior is arrested, sparing him from an assault from Tony, who goes to his mother's retirement home to suffocate her with a pillow, only to find out that she has suffered from a stroke.
- Tony becomes the permanent boss of the Soprano mob family and seizes Junior's territory and income.
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