The Sopranos: Complete HBO Season 5 -
Facing an indeterminate sentence of weeks/months/years until new episodes, Sopranos fans are advised to take the fifth; season, that is. At this point, superlatives don't do The Sopranos justice, but justice was at last served to this benchmark series. For the first time, The Sopranos rubbed out The West Wing to take home its first Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Series. Michael Imperioli and Drea de Matteo also earned Best Supporting Actor and Actress honors for some of their finest hours as Christopher and Adriana. From the moment a wayward bear lumbers into the Sopranos' yard in the season opener, it is clear that The Sopranos is in anything but a "stagmire." The series benefits from an infusion of new blood, the so-called "Class of 2004," imprisoned "family" members freshly released from jail. Most notable among these is Tony's cousin, Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi, who directed the pivotal season 3 episode "Pine Barrens"), who initially wants to go straight, but proves himself to be something of a "free agent," setting up a climactic stand-off between Tony and New York boss Johnny Sack.
These 13 mostly riveting episodes unfold with a page-turning intensity with many rich subplots. Estranged couple Tony and Carmela (the incomparable James Gandolfini and Edie Falco) work toward a reconciliation (greased by Tony's purchase of a $600,000 piece of property for Carmela to develop). The Feds lean harder on an increasingly stressed-out and distraught Adriana to "snitch" with inevitable results. This season's hot-button episode is "The Test Dream," in which Tony is visited by some of the series' dear, and not-so-dearly, departed in a harrowing nightmare. With this set, fans can enjoy marathon viewings of an especially satisfying season, but considering the long wait ahead for season 6, best to take Tony's advice to his son, who, at one point, gulps down a champagne toast. "Slow down," Tony says. "You're supposed to savor it." --Donald Liebenson, Amazon.com
Customer reviews (av rating: 4.0):
Ignore Bad Reviews, Season 5 is great !! : Season 5 is a great addition to the sopranos series, Many plot twists and turns including a few major suprises during the last few episodes. Season 5 sets up for season 6 beautifully, leaving many questions for the viewer. Dont be put off by negative reviews, this season is well worth watching.
Ran out of steam a long time ago! : The first two seasons of the Sopranos were some of the finest examnples of television drama in the history of the medium, with many people agreeing that each episode was better than most movies! However since then it has gone gradually down hill resulting in a fith season which is, quite frankly, just plain boring!
I struggle to remember anything of note happening throughout the series other than allot of idle posturing and a series trying too hard to live up to its own reputation.
The most worrying thing about the latest installments of the series though is that its lost its sense of humour, James Gandolfini himself once commented that if the show ever lost that it would be 'in the worst kind of trouble', well it has - and it is.
The characters who were larger than life and who, despite their (many) flaws seemed to have genuine affection for each other, now just scheme and plot and fly into rages with little prompting.
David Chase wrote the first series as a movie with Robert De Nero in mind, the Seccond series was a pleasant suprise, and in many ways was superior to its predecessor, since then though there is just the feeling that the show has continued without any real idea of where it was going, and its wholly possible the show wasn't meant to go on for so long and has succumb to the demands of the money men. Its a true crying shame, crucified grace at its most profound.
just when I thought I was out - they pull me back in.. : Each season of the Sopranos stands on it's own as truly fantastic drama - it will make you laugh, cry, jump out of your seat with shock, infuriate, even educate us Brits on all sorts of little things in family life in New jersey, like how to dispose of a body, or cook spaghetti properly, or get into Georgetown, or how not to bleed a guy too much..
Get season 5 if you have seen the previous four. Otherwise, start at the beginning, or you will miss out on the delicate character relationships that have been developed over several years.
I look on Tony as a management genius, they way he handles his captains, evades the feds, looks after his family, but then again, he does have his dark side (don't we all).
The quality of the Sopranos is proven by the fact that you can re-watch them, knowing the outcome, but still able to enjoy the dialogue, and plot twists.
Thank you to the cast, writers and crew - we are not worthy.
"Listen, everything's all right ..." : While series 5 of the Spotranos suffers slightly by comparison with some of its illustrious predecessors, the series builds to a great climax in the last 3 episodes. I agree with one or two of the criticisms by other reviewers, and the first three or four episodes are slower and apparently less consequential than many earlier episiodes, but the final four episodes of the series (especially the penultimate installment) make compelling viewing.
The problem that series 4 and 5 of the Sopranos have had is how to keep things fresh- after all, this is a series that has churned out 60-odd episodes of about 45 minutes each, all with Hollywood-standard production values. The biggest flaw is a felling of 'here we go again' when older characters (Vito, Little Paulie and Bobby for example) are promoted or given more prominence and new characters (Phil Leotardo, Tony Blundetto) are introduced. For the first half of the series, Tony Blundetto appears to be filling the shoes left by Ralph and Richie Aprile before that, but Steve Buscemi's excellent, understated acting gives the character added depth and significance.
The last part of the series effectively drums home the message that the Sopranos has been reiterating for years - no matter how cosy and cuddly these characters may appear, they are ruthless murderers and no matter how much they talk about family and honour, they are as motivated by greed and self interest as any petty thieves, points perhaps obscured in even the greatest Mafia movies.
My big hope is that the fact that the show now has a very limited shelf-life (20-odd more episodes) might give season 6 and the following specials a natural dramatic impetus.
Biggest disappointment in season 5 - not enough Junior!
If only 1 star : Terrible: Sopranos has totally lost the plot! we loved series 1 - 4 (especially 3); but series 5 is drudgery. It shows that an excellent show can go really bad. We have just sat through episode 12 or 13? ( the dream sequence ) and it was awful. Save your money; stay with series 1 - 4 and remember it as a classic. Series 5 spoils the rest!!
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