What do Bernie Madoff and Tony Soprano have in common (besides their fondness for lives of crime)? It turns out that Bernie's son, Andrew Madoff, sold his previous apartment on East 66th Street to none other than Sopranos creator David Chase in 2005. Ominous foreshadowing? Complete coincidence? We have no idea, but this does suggest who the front-runner is when the time comes to turn the tawdry Madoff family tale into a film or movie of the week. (And if Tony Sirico can shed the Italian accent and trade in the polyester outfit for a suit from Syms, he may have the looks to play Bernie.) The official record of the sale is below.
"This emphasizes the blackness, nothingness and eternal nature of death." No, not Philip Larkin's poetry, the last frame of the last episode of the HBO mafia drama The Sopranos. Some enterprising blogger went all Warren Commission on the celluloid and decided that Tony was in fact whacked and that this was tied existentially to the war on terror, The Godfather, cold cuts, and more. The chapter headings alone of his pictorially outfitted thesis should command a doctorate from the Duke English Department.
"A federal jury on Wednesday ruled against a New Jersey man who says his services helped 'Sopranos' creator David Chase develop ideas for the hit HBO mob drama." The losing plaintiff, Robert Baer, promptly boarded a midnight train leaving from Newark Penn Station. When the conductor asked where he was headed, he simply sighed and replied, "Oh, anywhere!" Roll credits. [WNBC]
"Dozens of alleged members of the Lucchese Crime Family were arrested Tuesday morning in raids in New Jersey and New York that authorities say broke up a major sports betting ring." A little drug trafficking here, a little weapons-smuggling there. Aww, guys, did no one tell you that David Chase brought you to an ambiguously anticlimactic end like, a year ago? It's so hard to be the last to know. [ABC]
David Chase took to the stand on Tuesday to offer his defense in a lawsuit alleging that the Sopranos creator bilked Robert Baer, an early contributor to the series, out of financial compensation. David Chase has responded by calling Baer "self-delusional." Chase's lawyer has adduced evidence to corroborate the charge of mental illness: Baer liked the dream sequence episode. [AP]
The Sopranos creator David Chase, who once dismissed the series's fans as an unruly mob of closure-obsessed Tony-turncoats, has made the pilgrimage back to his old stomping grounds to testify in a federal lawsuit brought against him from a former judge who claims he was never fairly compensated for helping to create the now-legendary series:
It's been a week since viewers saw the final episode of "The Sopranos." In that time, there's been much discussion, here and elsewhere, about what it all actually meant. The speculations and theories have been endless, and seem to prove, if any such evidence were required, that David Chase is a genius. But after all the hullaballoo, I decided to take a look again for myself.
As reaction to the finale of "The Sopranos" continues to run heavily against David Chase's decision to end on an ambiguous note—or so says the media, the Star-Ledger, as we mentioned earlier, runs an absolutely terrific interview with the show's creator. Chase, "hiding out" in France to avoid the inevitable disgruntled reaction from a bunch of mooks who like their endings spelled out in giant block letters, denies intentionally upsetting the show's fans. "We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off.'" But will there be a 'Sopranos' movie?
In today's New York Times, television business reporter Bill Carter explains that he wasn't able to interview menacing-looking Sopranos creator David Chase after the final episode because Chase had "told publicity executives at HBO that he was leaving for France and would not take any calls asking him to comment about the ending of his classic television series." Oh, really? What about the superb interview Chase gave to the Star-Ledger on Sunday night?
[Do we still need to say there will be spoilers in a post about the Sopranos finale? Well, there will be. Adjust your reading accordingly.—Ed.] Knowing that ending his beloved Sopranos—the Greatest Achievement in the History of a Debased Medium, unless you're one of those The Wire cultists—with four and a half minutes of "Don't Stop Believin'," Meadow's heart-palpitating struggles to parallel park in an enormous space, paranoid shots of a man whose Members Only-inspired fashion sense was a clear signifier of murderous intent, and then the Cut to Black That Shook The World might frustrate fans seeking the tidy closure only a spectacular whacking could provide, series creator David Chase escaped to France to wait out any angry mobs wanting to put two bullets in his temple and then crush his skull beneath an SUV's tire. He's now reemerged from his overseas cooling-off period with an interview with the Star-Ledger, in which he swears he didn't choose this ending just to fuck with viewers' heads:
So last night "The Sopranos" - the greatest television show EVER, etc. - drew down the curtain. Balk and Choire rose at an ungodly hour to sort out the whole thing. If you're the sort of person who has not yet seen the episode and doesn't want it ruined, call in sick to work and watch it now. Then come back here and read this conversation which, it goes without saying, has more spoilers in it than [certain character who got shot last night] has holes in him. Enjoy and chime in.
The NYT's Bill Carter profiles HBO Chairman, Chris Albrecht. Albrecht is largely responsible for series hits like "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," all of which have helped to make HBO tremendously profitable. "Sopranos" creator, David Chase, refers to Albrecht as "the Harry Cohn of today" (but much nicer, Carter says) and peers say only Les Moonves has as much power over a network.