The Sopranos: Season 1
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Sopranos, The: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Meet Tony Soprano: your average, middle-aged businessman. Tony's got a dutiful wife. A not-so-dutiful daughter. A son named Anthony Jr. A pill of a mother. A hot-headed uncle. A not-too-secret mistress. And a shrink to whom he tells all his secrets, except the one she already knows: Tony's a mob boss. In Season One, feeling his handle on his family and his business slipping away, Tony (James Gandolfini) suffers a series of anxiety attacks that land him in the office of a psychiatrist (Lorraine Bracco). Opening up to his shrink, Tony relates the details of his life as a 'waste-management consultant,' and tries to come to terms with the professional and private strains that have brought him to the brink of a breakdown. Co-starring Edie Falco as his wife, Michael Imperioli as his nephew and Dominic Chianese as his uncle.]]>
The Sopranos, writer-producer-director David Chase's extraordinary television series, is nominally an urban gangster drama, but its true impact strikes closer to home: Like 1999's other screen touchstone, American Beauty, the HBO series chronicles a dysfunctional, suburban American family in bold relief. And for protagonist Tony Soprano, there's the added complexity posed by heading twin families, his collegial mob clan and his own, nouveau riche brood.
The series' brilliant first season is built around what Tony learns when, whipsawed between those two worlds, he finds himself plunged into depression and seeks psychotherapy--a gesture at odds with his midlevel capo's machismo, yet instantly recognizable as a modern emotional test. With analysis built into the very spine of the show's elaborate episodic structure, creator Chase and his formidable corps of directors, writers, and actors weave an unpredictable series of parallel and intersecting plot arcs that twist from tragedy to farce to social realism. While creating for a smaller screen, they enjoy a far larger canvas than a single movie would afford, and the results, like the very best episodic television, attain a richness and scope far closer to a novel than movies normally get.
Unlike Francis Coppola's operatic dramatization of Mario Puzo's Godfather epic, The Sopranos sustains a poignant, even mundane intimacy in its focus on Tony, brought to vivid life by James Gandolfini's mercurial performance. Alternately seductive, exasperated, fearful, and murderous, Gandolfini is utterly convincing even when executing brutal shifts between domestic comedy and dramatic violence. Both he and the superb team of Italian-American actors recruited as his loyal (and, sometimes, not-so-loyal) henchmen and their various "associates" make this mob as credible as the evocative Bronx and New Jersey locations where the episodes were filmed.
The first season's other life force is Livia Soprano, Tony's monstrous, meddlesome mother. As Livia, the late Nancy Marchand eclipses her long career of patrician performances to create an indelibly earthy, calculating matriarch who shakes up both families; Livia also serves as foil and rival to Tony's loyal, usually level-headed wife, Carmela (Edie Falco). Lorraine Bracco makes Tony's therapist, Dr. Melfi, a convincing confidante, by turns "professional," perceptive, and sexy; the duo's therapeutic relationship is also depicted with uncommon accuracy. Such grace notes only enrich what's not merely an aesthetic high point for commercial television, but an absorbing film masterwork that deepens with subsequent screenings. --Sam Sutherland
- Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 1.25 inches; 13.6 Ounces
- Item model number : 2221469
- Media Format : Subtitled, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
- Run time : 11 hours and 20 minutes
- Release date : August 27, 2007
- Actors : James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Dominic Chianese, Nancy Marchand, Michael Imperioli
- Dubbed: : Spanish
- Subtitles: : French, English, Spanish
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 4.0), Spanish (Mono)
- Studio : HBO Studios
- ASIN : B00003CXOP
- Number of discs : 4
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Now we understand why everyone else liked this series!
Sadly, I did not know until yesterday that James Gandalfini had died in 2013. NO! What a great actor!
I highly recommend this to all who have not taken a step with the Sopranos! Back to watching! :)
Great show but I never got to watch it when it first run on HBO. Now I'm enjoying the entire series on Prime.
This isn't just a mob story. It's almost like a reality show in the lives of those members of this organized crime family and their associates.
What really goes on inside the mind of the would be boss is pretty interesting and the fact that they also have a normal lives and normal issues like everyone else such as children's school, family and parents.
The main character Tony Soprano starts as a cool guy in the family and as you progress into the series you see him getting more corrupt and forgets his priorities.
He deals with depression and infidelity and the latter seems to be a cure for the former. He likes the attention from women and does not realize how that affects his married life.
Tony, in a sense, is a good guy who could have been a legitimate business man but he had no chance of that life due to his upbringing.
We see the same outcome with the children of all these mobster characters portrayed in the series, they hardly had a chance in a leading a normal life.
I still got one last season to watch so I don't know the fate of any of these characters but I really enjoyed the series.
I do caution that this is NOT for kids. Then language, the sex - important to the story's realism, but not for kids.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing is top drawer - and the acting does it justice. Amongst a plethora of great performances, James Galdolfini's portrayal of Tony Soprano is already a modern-day classic.
The justified cult status achieved so quickly, with praise coming from fans and critics alike, is a fitting tribute to the quality of all the aspects of this enthralling drama. This is definitely one for the "watch time and time again" section, with each and every viewing allowing a greater insight. This is further helped by the perfect blend of serious and light-hearted moments, timed to great effect to ensure the plot doesn't become overburdening or the realism go out of the window. These are realistic characters, with a sense of humour as well as a sense of duty and a code of silence; and, whilst their means are different to the ones used by the majority of people, their feelings, emotions and doubts, as well as some of their goals, are completely human. For you can live above the law of the land; but you can't live above the law of the heart, and its contradicting rules. The characters in "The Sopranos" have no option but to acknowledge that; they might not do it in the most explicit of manners, but you're left in no doubt. You become a silent, invisible confidant, their psychological doubts taking priority over gun-shots and murders. And, once they've let you through that door, no matter how unknowingly, there's no way you're going to want to leave.