During every season of The Sopranos a group of my friends has made a social event out of watching it together. We don’t do if for every episode, but always for the opening and closing of the season, and a couple of times in between. Someone cooks Italian food and of course serves Italian wine, and on special occasions we women do our best to dress like Carmela, (within the limitations of our heavily black Manhattan wardrobes.) Unlike other communal TV-watching -- the Oscars or the Superbowl -- there is an unspoken rule of absolutely NO TALKING during the show. Afterwards we analyze the episode in minute detail. In previous seasons, we’ve talked about the progress of Tony’s therapy or whether Christopher will finally marry Adriana.
Several seasons back we obsessed over the question of how Meadow got into Columbia (some of us were parents of high school students at the time.) We felt she was lucky to have landed an Ivy League berth, her superior high school record notwithstanding. Coming from suburban New Jersey, she had geographic diversity going against her, but then again you couldn’t underestimate the soccer. (Her dad is loaded, true, but that should have been irrelevant, since Columbia practices need-blind admissions.) Of course this was before we saw Carmela blackmail Tony into forking over a $50,000 donation and realized Meadow was a “development admit.” What was next, we wondered, the Anthony Soprano School of Environmental Waste Management?
The family stuff is what we like best, when the Sopranos are concerned about college admissions and mothers who are unhappy in nursing homes. So, even though we plan to continue our tradition for the upcoming final season, my friends and I are facing it with dread. Because the Sopranos are going to end up dead, some of them. It’s a virtual certainty.
Of course we knew this all along; how could it be otherwise? But at least in our little fan club, we’ll be able to console one another.