What are the Sopranos doing now

The Sopranos - How the most important series of the last 20 years is resurrected

Hardly any series has left such a deep mark on the TV landscape as The Sopranos with James Gandolfini. Twenty years after the series began, a prequel is starting to take shape, and it's high time.

When the first episode of The Sopranos flickered on HBO's home screens in 1999, no one involved suspected the importance of the series. And how? Already in the opening episode we experience a mafia boss who - this much is already clear - is an authority and has visibly brought it to a certain level of prosperity, but is by no means the unscrupulous macho that we should take him to be . Tony Soprano's almost tender handling of the ducks in his pool is both irritating and fascinating. Viewers and critics were then ready to sit down for 6 seasons Gangster in psychotherapy to let in. A new age of television saw the light of day.

The Sopranos represent a new quality of television

The realization that criminals are only human was of course not new at the end of the 1990s, after all, Quentin Tarantino had only just reminded a larger audience of this with his first films. That in addition to the cinema, television - home of game shows and telenovelas - for so much more than distraction one or the other audience still had to be convinced and so it was up to the Sopranos to do pioneering work.

Of course, there were good series before that, but none of them had succeeded, and the station bosses had the potential darker stories with contradicting characters to bring them closer to a comparable extent. Even geniuses like David Lynch and Mark Frost had previously bit their teeth, because for the second season of their later cult (and resurrected in 2017) Twin Peaks they had to put their vision on the back burner.

Today, however, there are mature scripts original ideas and film-grade production standards are what everyone strives for. But it was a long way to get there. A quality series can even give your station a face and turn it into a brand that casts shadows far beyond national borders. Long before HBO stood for Game of Thrones the Sopranos tore down a wall.

How James Gandolfini became legend through The Sopranos

However, even the best script and the largest sums of money do not necessarily bring together a cast that harmonizes as perfectly as that of Die Sopranos. The series started without superstars, but to the great surprise of the producers, no one was put off in front of the domestic screens. On the contrary: the charisma of leading actor James Gandolfini was enough to paint the picture of a professional criminal who seemed familiar to genre fans in some points and at the same time revealed something completely new.

What set Gandolfini apart from mafia film icons like Robert De Niro is the vulnerability he breathed into his characters. Only he managed to play a gang boss larger than life and at the same time like a guy next door. If Tony Soprano doesn't get what he wants, he becomes a whimpering toddler who, due to his position of power, can suddenly resort to cruel, momentous means. This in turn makes him dangerous, but it is far from the whole truth about the character.

A gang boss in psychotherapy

For example, if we look at Tony's scruples about getting his good friend Big Pussy out of the way for suspected fraud, it becomes clear that he practices violence primarily because his environment demands it of him. In his position as a family man, he conveys that burden to his son Anthony Jr., who is desperate to enter the adult world. In short: The Sopranos is the ultimate series about being a man - and unlike Frank Underwood, we don't even have to feel bad all the time for taking the main character to our hearts.

Why it has to go on with the Sopranos

In 2019 we are long in the age of Peak TV arrived: High-class series regularly sprout - not only at HBO - but always threaten to drown in a confusing mass of productions. This also explains why there is an urgent nostalgia for modern television classics, which the broadcasters diligently satisfy. So we can currently, for example, next to a final, long-planned Deadwood movie also on one Resurrecting Breaking Bad looking forward.

The announcement of a Sopranos prequels accordingly hardly surprised last spring. With the film The Many Saints of Newark, set in the 1960s, a large fan base can be made happy without the intermittent death of several actors from the main cast such as Frank Vincent and of course James Gandolfini having to be a problem. As has meanwhile been established, there will actually be a young Tony Soprano appear in the film that, according to a report by Deadline, Michael Gandolfini - the son of the three-time Emmy Prize winner - is supposed to play.

Michael Gandolfini in The Deuce

Michael Gandolfini follows in big footsteps for the Sopranos film

With that message, the makers of the Sopranos film are already causing a stir, because Michael Gandolfini's commitment is working as obvious as it is spectacular. Apart from a role in the critically acclaimed The Deuce, the 19-year-old has hardly had any acting experience, but now he is supposed to bring what is possibly the most legendary series character back to life. On the other hand, who better to do this than someone with the genes of James Gandolfini?

It is said that Michael Gandolfini beat out numerous applicants during the audition, so his cast in The Many Saints of Newark is at least not based solely on potential fan service. Certainly the decision to bring Tony Soprano back into play (and now even on the big screen) is arguable, but none other than Sopranos creator David Chase is heavily involved in the creative process as a screenwriter, which reassures many supporters of the original should. And let's be honest: nothing is more tempting than the idea of ​​seeing Tony Soprano fishing the newspaper out of the mailbox in his dressing gown again.

Do you think Michael Gandolfini is the perfect young Tony Soprano?