What's the buzz on ... the Sopranos finale?
Each week, CNN.com takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation with the help of analysis tools from Umbria Inc. This week, we focus on the series finale of The Sopranos, the hit HBO mob show. The June 10 airing of "Made in America" ended with a black screen, leaving loose ends untied for fans. Some viewers thought the blackout was a cable outage, but writer David Chase said he intended for them to figure out what happened next. As a result, the ending created controversy in the media. The episode once again became a hot topic in the blogosphere when Sen. Hillary Clinton released a parody of "Made in America" on June 19.
Overall opinion (June 13-19)
So what does this mean?
Roughly half of bloggers' comments spoke positively of the highly anticipated finale, and only a small portion appeared to have negative opinions. Many of these positive comments were based on the assertion that multiple viewings of the finale were required before it could be fully appreciated, raising the likelihood that more negative comments could have been made immediately after the show and before the analysis timeframe began.
Those who made positive comments about the finale said Chase has always created fascinating shows and expressed respect for the decision to leave the ending up to the viewer. Some said the cameos and hidden meanings of the show took a while to sink in. Overall, bloggers seemed to be split between those who did and didn't think Tony Soprano got "whacked." Among the negative comments, some said they were disappointed that Tony wasn't whacked. Others wanted to see a "big bang," some kind of explanation or a better ending in general. Among the viewers who thought their cable had gone out or their video recorder had skipped, comments were made about misunderstanding the ending and feeling disbelief afterward.
Others said the show's many parodies demonstrate that the finale was a success. In particular, Clinton's June 19 spoof got bloggers' attention. Like the actual finale, roughly half appeared to have positive opinions about the parody, but a third of the examined bloggers made negative remarks. Some said Clinton was "marketing her image" well with the "clever" and "hip" nod to popular culture, while others said Tony Soprano might not be the best person for a presidential candidate to mimic. Others said the music was poorly chosen and, overall, the parody was "odd," "painful" and "boring."
In their own words
Jamal Episcokhan on IDWID: It do what it do
In concluding The Sopranos, What David Chase has actually done here is expressed his conscious decision to make no final decisions. It is perhaps a statement on Tony himself, who year after year has refused to take responsibility for his actions … My own problem with the final scene of "Made in America" is that in announcing its decision to do nothing, it has supplied us a gimmicky device that feels heavy-handed, as if the whole point of the scene is to stick it to us for having expectations at all.
Nima in a comment thread on Complications Ensue
I loved it. My assumption is that Tony is killed at the diner and, from his perspective, everything just goes black. ... It was like Alexander the Great taking a sword to the Gordian neat little bows of traditional storytelling.
thelast on The Last Psychiatrist
In any movie or show, even when the main character dies, the movie continues (the movie never ends/it goes on and on and on and on). It is still about him - you see the reactions of other people to his death, you see consequences. But in reality, when you die, it ends. There's no more; you don't get to see the reactions of other people to your death. You don't get to do anything. I knew Tony Soprano was dead because it was too abrupt, too final. … There was no denouement, there was no winding down, no debriefing, no resolution.
Brillig in a comment thread on The View from Here
Everyone's talking about it. It was the perfect way to make sure that everyone would talk about it. Why "end" it when instead you can have it live on in infamy?
Richard Hodge on speculativebubble.com
I have to admit this was clever; doing a parody of the Sopranos episode everyone is talking about. … Funny that the best song [Clinton] could pick is written and sung by Canadians.
Brettbum on No More Incumbents Blog
I have nothing against The Sopranos for entertainment purposes, but why would a politician, especially a New York politician want to associate herself with the image of organized crime.