Nikke Finke says of the unsatisfying Sopranos conclusion:
The Nielsen reality is that people don’t watch TV closely anymore, much less remember what went on from week to week, to give such a subtle ending its proper due.
Well by all means let’s make sure all our art kowtows to the idiots in the audience. Remember when The Sopranos was being praised for being complex, Shakespearean and a cut above the normal TV fare for its evolving morality and lack of tidy wrap-ups? Now David Chase is being condemned for ending his series in that same way.
I didn’t watch the show since I haven’t subscribed to HBO for a while and have just never been moved to rent the DVDs – though I’ve now added them to my Netflix queue. But it seems to me that leaving the fate of Tony and his family open to interpretation is completely in line with the series as it had been to date – there are no easy answers and there’s never really a light at the end of the tunnel, whether it’s redemption or death.
Good for Chase for completely messing with people’s expectations like this. It’s good that the audience be presented with art that is thought provoking instead of easily palatable and bland. If people feel the Sopranos or any other show is too complex to keep up with I suggest any of the number of reality or procedural dramas on the networks that offer easy-to-follow plots and nice tidy wrap-ups at the end of 45 minutes.