HBO scored an impressive hit with the release of The Sopranos in 1999 from creator David Chase, and it quickly became known as one of the greatest TV series ever made as it explored the trials and tribulations of a New Jersey mob family over six seasons that developed a loyal and intense fanbase.
As we prepare to return to Jersey for the upcoming prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark, fans are heading back to the hit series to re-explore The Sopranos or discover the dysfunctional family for the first time only to realize there are quite a few things about the show that still annoys even dedicated fans, which we’ll be taking a closer look at today.
10 The Dream Sequences Varied In Quality And Took Away From Pacing
The Sopranos did more than just explore the life of a mafia family in New Jersey as it also dived deep into the mindset of lead Tony Soprano, played wonderfully by the late James Gandolfini in a career-defining role. This exploration inside Tony Soprano was done through episode symbolism, intense therapy sessions and a series of dream sequences that sometimes lasted entire episodes.
While they served to adequately explore Tony’s sometimes fever dream consciousness, the various sequences varied in quality and effectiveness, and sometimes the placement interrupted the pacing of the episodes or seasons.
9 The Use Of Bad CGI After The Real-Life Death Of Tony’s Mother
Livia Soprano was the ruthless and abusive matriarch of the Soprano family who was played by Nancy Marchand for two seasons, though the actor passed away prior to the third season leading to her character being killed off as well.
However, the third season’s “Proshai, Livushka” attempted to bring closure to give a final moment to Tony and Livia’s troubled relationship before her death in the show, leading to poor use of early CGI technology to replicate her face on a body double that was jarring when it aired and has become cringe-worthy upon modern rewatches.
8 The Sopranos’ Kids Are Some Of The Most Annoying Characters On TV
It’s quite a claim to claim any character on TV is most annoying considering how many characters have existed in the medium over the last century but given the cultural impact of a show like The Sopranos, but Meadow and Anthony, Jr./AJ Soprano are without a doubt two of the most annoying kids on television.
It’s really a testament to Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler’s skills as actors that they were so perfectly able to capture both the annoying qualities of the spoiled entitled kids as well as the damage and trauma they dealt with in the home of a violent mafioso.
7 The Graphic Abuse Of Women Across The Entire Series
The Sopranos made a long career out of shocking viewers every week with violent scenes, which fit the criminal nature of the series and highlighted the dark characters well. However, it became an issue that grew past an annoyance when that violence was frequently turned towards the women in the show, which became more and more graphic as the series progressed.
While Drea de Matteo’s Adriana was a frequent victim of this abuse, Ariel Kiley’s Tracee was also violently beaten to death in the third season at the hands of Ralphie, while she was pregnant with his child, is a tragic example of the repeated violent acts against women that became harder and harder to watch.
6 The Sopranos’ Frequently Poor Representation Of Various Cultures
An issue that first arose while The Sopranos aired on HBO and one that continues to cause discussions among fans is the series poor representation of different races and cultures over the course of the series, including the Italian-American leads of the series. The series relied on damaging and stereotypical portrayals of Italian-American characters that made up the majority of the cast.
This stereotypical treatment extended to African-American and American Indian cultures, both of whom were also frequently racially attacked by characters over the course of the series, which can be both triggering and annoying to see when used in continuingly problematic ways.
5 Junior Soprano’s Disappointing Fate In The Mental Institution
One of the best characters in The Sopranos was Corrado Soprano Jr./Junior played by Dominic Chianese, the elder uncle of Tony Soprano who became a rival initially for control of the criminal family before his legal and health issues took him out of the game. However, Junior remained a constant source of witty quotes that began to disappear when he developed dementia.
The opportunity to take Junior out of the show naturally following his misguided attempt on his nephew’s life passed, and he was instead locked away in a mental institution to become a distraction instead of giving the character a definitive exit.
4 The Extended Time Jumps Between Seasons For Old Fans And New
While it doesn’t have quite the same effect given the current climate of release and binge-watching, The Sopranos attempted to move events in-between seasons in real-time, which sometimes led to time-jumps and character developments that were sometimes over a year with the long break in between some seasons.
This was sometimes jarring to fans who were watching the series when it aired but is even more annoying to fans binge-watching the seasons who don’t have a similar context for the various time jumps between the seasons.
3 The Authorities And Criminals Were Both Incompetent In Their Work
While The Sopranos explored a number of criminal activities that included a number of murders over the course of the series, any fan of true crime can see that they weren’t exactly careful about cleaning up the evidence or even hiding their potential involvement.
This should have led to a number of sweeping arrests that would have depleted the Jersey family, but thankfully the FBI are equally incompetent in their work over the course of the series and fail multiple attempts at bugging Tony’s home, and while they managed to turn a few family members into informants, nothing panned out against Tony even though he wasn’t very careful either.
2 Dr. Melfi Didn’t Receive Much Of An Ending After Six Seasons
The Sopranos’ first episode opened in the first therapy session between Tony Soprano and his new psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, played by Lorraine Bracco. This established the exploratory relationship between the two that reached different levels over the course of the series and ranged from professional to romantic as the characters grew closer together.
Fans even got to see Dr. Melfi’s own therapy sessions with her somewhat annoying one doctor, really diving into the process while getting to know the character. Unfortunately, the final episode featured a dramatic end to their working relationship and gave little room for Dr. Melfi’s send-off which annoyed her fans.
1 The Fade-To-Black Ending Disappointed Quite A Few Fans
Of course, the most annoying thing about The Sopranos is without a doubt the fade-to-black ending in the sixth season’s “Made in America” series finale, which saw the Soprano family gathering together inside a restaurant amidst a tense climate of a potential mob hit on Tony that left fans wondering when the scene simply cut to black at a possibly tense moment.
The finale left a number of unresolved questions about other characters as well including the fate of Sylvio that have annoyed fans, but nothing can compete with the abrupt fade-to-black ending that has been lampooned and parodied numerous times since it first aired.
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