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The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 4 [1999] - 24.97

Unlike the previous three, this fourth series of The Sopranos largely eschews an overriding story arc in favour of developing several interrelated plot strands, most of which are then left dangling tantalisingly at the end. This year Tony's many extra-marital affairs finally come home to roost, even as he faces challenges to his leadership from within and without. Paulie Walnuts simmers with resentment over his perceived neglect, a resentment only exacerbated by Christopher's promotion; while Christopher's growing drug habit undermines Tony's trust in him. Paulie makes overtures to Johnny Sack and the New York family; Sack himself bears a deadly grudge against Ralph Cifaretto, and also embroils Tony in a dispute between the two families. Ralph and Tony clash over a shared interest in both a race horse and a goomar--you just know it's going to end in something much worse than tears.

The women have as many problems, though: Adriana has reluctantly turned FBI informer, a drug-addled Christopher squashes her dog, and she has to confess that she can't have children; Carmela falls maddeningly, frustratingly in love with one of Tony's closest companions; Janice inveigles herself into Bobby's affections in a display of breathtaking emotional manipulation; while Meadow can no longer conceal the disgust she feels about her father's business, and Dr Melfi is increasingly sidelined, since Tony's behavioural issues have become, to all practical purposes, untreatable. The whole ends on a downbeat note as personal disillusionment overshadows the mob politics. With the imminent arrival of Steve Buscemi to the cast, the fifth series is primed to be an explosive one. --Mark Walker

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
you wont find better : series 4 of this classic show treads new ground in brilliance,the three previous series reigned supreme but series four really takes the distinction of being the best series yet and thats some praise indeed,praise that you cant ignore.
Of course if you are reading this and havent seen sopranos then you have to start at the beginning,series 4 can stand on its own but you need the previous three series as well just to make series 4 what it is.This series is pacey,direct,packed with memorable scenes and the characterisation takes off,certain characters that we think we have figured out show themselves to be different than what you think and thats whats so good about this show,it may lull you in and then it tears you away from your safety zone.
Series 4 has plenty of key incidents,uncle juniors trial being just one of them,the show has we all say doesnt end with shock or horror or twists or open endings,all of that occurs in the realms of the show but the ending may be nothing more than an ending,life is like that i guess.
Sopranos is a show that defies what you think you know about television,subtle stories blend in with high drama and the show never outsells itself,it can be slow burning at times but the lights are always on if you understand what i mean,this is more than vital viewing,series 4 has raised the standard yet again,series 5 is my next purchase.

Rating: 5:
Tony and Ralphie go head to head : All of the Sopranos series centre on some kind of struggle, power, personal or a mixture of both, between Tony and another character or characters, who present him with a problem. Sometimes it's someone like Pussy, whom he genuinely likes - his best friend - but who, in the end, weak and trapped, has to go ; or it is Richie Aprile, a thoroughly nasty little man, brought to grief by Janice (you don't strike a Soprano woman and get away with it), thus saving Tony the trouble, though he does have to clear up afterwards. Here it is the reptilian Ralphie whom Tony neither likes nor trusts (and he's right), the petulant, brutal murderer of his naive girlfriend in an earlier series, but clever, useful and difficult to winkle out. Tony does it, but for an unexpected yet typically Tonyish reason - a horse. As always the narrative turns and twists in all directions, the acting is beyond praise, the direction is pacy, the dialogue corruscates and the whole thing has a wonderful unity and inevitabliity about it. It is TV drama of the highest order, as good as it gets, and hugely watchable.

Rating: 5:
best season so far : bearing in mind iam watching this show on dvd and not tv , i have as im writing this just finished season 4 and personally think it is the best overall so far though is a slow burner . the best two episodes are :WHOEVER DID THIS and WHITECAPS.
Brilliantly acted dark realistic and disturbing . you need this dvd set in your collection

Rating: 5:
this programme is pure unadulterated genius : If like myself you feel in utter awe of not only the incredible acting, but writing of this pure gemstone of televisual genius, then this series is really going to finish you off.
The relationship between Furio and Carmella shows how the writers do subtlely like no one else. The viewer is left wretched when nothing has actually happens - just brilliant. Tony and Carm finally split, and I have to say the acting here shows us brits how it is done. Christopher is awesome in this series too, as is Adriana. Junior is also fantastic and has some killer lines as usual.
The writing of this programme is truly inspiring, the acting just breathtaking, please please buy this series, I think it is the best yet. If the scene with Ralphie and tony doesn't do it for you then clearly you should be buying Cold Feet series 4 not Sopranos series 4.

Rating: 5:
Sopranos Scores again!! Megga!! : The ongoing appeal of The Sopranos is its variety, the complexity of the characters, the interfamily bickering - both within Chez Soprano and the Mob and the many facets that we are shown of the main character.

Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is a hard man, head of a mob family who dishes out summary justice and revenge killings at the drop of a hat. In this series, one of his Captains, the weird Ralph, causes the painful death of a beautiful race horse that they owned to claim insurance money. Tony incensed by this brutality to such a wonderful, innocent creature, beats Ralph to death. This man, Tony, responsible for truck loads of brutality to humans is broken and grieving over the death of a horse. This sensitivity is just one of the endearing qualities of what should perhaps be a man the viewer might otherwise despise? Throughout Tony shows caring, compassion, vulnerability and sensitivity hand-in-hand with violence and a strong temper. He draws the viewer like a moth to a flame and he is fascintaing and attractive, to mess with him is to play with fire.

Tony Soprano (J.G.)is not a 'pretty boy' with a male model or body builder physique. That doesn't stop his character being strong or attractive to women and he continues, as ever, to enjoy extra marital relationships.

Again, series 4, highly recommended but then anyone who has seen series 1-3 wouldn't be surprised.

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