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13 March 2012 @ 07:16 pm
rl stuff + the sopranos s1/s2 (late to the party as usual)  
1) *waves* hi world. Sorry for being scarce but if you look at my icon the reason will be clear. ;)

2) Anyway, classes have started again. Out of the two I went to out of four (the other two start this week) one is good and the other is a painful experience, mostly because I'm apparently the only one attending/giving that exam and if there's one thing I hate is attention focused completely on me in that kind of circumstance. And out of the two I have to do, one I totally don't give a damn about and the second is totally useless, but at least the only book in program for that one is by Margaret Atwood. If anything at least I'm not going to sleep through it, but I really, really don't like that out of three classes I'm taking I basically picked one and three were forced down my throat. /end rant

3) I should get a Guinness World Record certificate in the mail fairly soon. Misha Collins, if my cousins ever start thinking that I'm cool because I did your scavenger hunt, I'll owe you a drink.

4) Anyway, in the week between having my last exam and classes starting, I figured that it was time I took advantage of the shiny dvds for all the Sopranos season that I was given for Christmas and watched them. Right now I'm done with S1 and S2 and I'm spoiled just for how the finale ends (because I mean who doesn't know that by now) and for another huge thing, but I know nothing about all the rest so reaction to those ones will obviously only take those two seasons into account.

a) So, uh, this is going to sound totally, utterly and completely weird, but the only reason I sometimes find this show hard to watch is the... utter italian-ness of those people even if they're American enough to be their own thing. This probably makes no fucking sense whatsoever, but one thing I was thinking about while watching this was that they had the italian roots thing down pat (okay, it's kind of negative talking from now on, but it's still true). I mean, gosh, I've never ever seen a show that managed to nail so much how Italian façade-catholicism works.

With that I'm not referring to people who actually have faith for real, I mean that for a lot of people it's more looking like they're good religious people rather than acting like that and that a confession fixes almost everything, and it's not like the powerful part of the catholic Church here cares about souls more than about power/money (seeing from how many divorced politicians totally attend mass and do things that divorced people shouldn't in theory do). That entire part in S2 where Tony was ranting at Carmela because she was religious only when she found it convenient (according to him, but then again forcing the neighbor's wife to write the college recommendation letter for Meadow rather than for someone who really needed it wasn't much Christian...) or the both of them not even wanting to hear it when their kid is like 'hey maybe I'm agnostic or I could be agnostic' or Carmela convincing Pussy's wife not to ask for divorce because if you're Catholic you don't do it (which lol actually HERE we do that a lot - guess they take it a lot more seriously, but still that was pretty damn low) is... just, so very spot-on that at times it almost feels uncomfortable. (Let's not get into how for these people it's totally okay to kill others/beat others/earn dirty money but at the same time they have absolutely no problem whatsoever with going to Church or dismissing it as 'heck if I repent I go to Purgatory', because that's... well, quite accurate.) Or at least, I didn't need to think about all the time I had to hear 'but why don't you take the religion hour [while in high school/junior high] and spare everyone the hassle of dealing with what the fuck you'd have to do while not in class'. Or with people being like 'oh you're not baptized, but it doesn't seem proper!'. And that was just one side (which I ranted about because hey, hitting close to home!), but I get the 'oh shit TOO ITALIAN TOO CLOSE TO HOME' feeling a whole damn lot of time. That said, those people have a pretty darn good accent. [Also let's not get into the 'PEOPLE CAN'T BE GAY' thing or the fact that a man giving head to a woman is TABOO, because that part? Geez. None of my male friends would have ever admitted out loud that they'd give head to a woman whether they liked it or not.]

b) That said, the whole thing is excellent. I'm starting to get the Boardwalk Empire syndrome all over again - meaning that apart from maybe a couple of people (with reserves) I don't find anyone in there sympathetic or 100% likable but I still enjoy the hell out of it. Seriously, most characters in here are a thing of beauty even if I've wanted to strangle everyone except Silvio, Dr. Melfi and Tony's son at least once. [That said, people, STEVE VAN ZANDT IS EPIC. No really, I'll admit half the reason I wanted to watch this was HIM (I mean, LITTLE STEVEN PEOPLE!), and on that side he totally delivered because Silvio is just epic.] I mean, I can sorta half-identify with poor Anthony JR because of the not wanting to do religion issues, and as stated Silvio is epic, but everyone else has had their moments of wtf are you doing. With that premise, my favorite is probably Dr. Melfi (that woman, I admire her guts, seriously), my least favorite will have to go to Livia because other than well, everything, she also reminds me of one of my grandmothers (it's the martyr syndrome part - my grandmother is actually a very loving person and wouldn't harm a fly, which I can't say about Livia, but the entire martyr complex thing just hits too close to home). Tony and Carmela are darn glorious and realistic and I love them the way you love characters you totally don't empathize with. Meadow I kind of get even if at times she frustrates me, but I can't connect with her the way I could with Claire in SFU, even if I'm not really similar to either of them. I feel like I should have a lot more thoughts on Christopher but I can sum it up in 'well, poor kid is a trainwreck'. I mean, I can't look away while he keeps-on-fucking-shit-up, and I don't necessarily like him most times (Adriana = saint), but he's a darn good character.

Re the mafia people, I think I might have a sort of 'oh my god YOU'RE ALL SO DELICIOUSLY MORALLY FUCKED' syndrome. I find them all so very compelling (and I'll miss Pussy - then again I had been waiting for him to kick it since the beginning of the season). Apart from Silvio (which is EPIC therefore above everyone) my favorite is probably good old Uncle Junior (mostly YAY SMART PERSON), but really the only one that grated on my freaking nerves was Richie Aprile.

Whose demise was pretty fucking darn surprising by the way. Well, I also had figured out that he wasn't going to get out of S2 alive but I wasn't expecting Tony's sister to kill him. That said Janice = meh. I'm far from liking her but I don't dislike her either. Too much, at least.

c) The whole psychoanalysis angle is the selling part of this though. I love the idea at the base of it and gosh the Tony/Dr. Melfi interactions are just so amazing, I can't deal. It gives Tony an entire other layer and tbh it makes him a lot more.. I don't want to say likable, but let's say more understandable. And she's just too good for this world - flawless character is flawless. Well, okay, not without-faults-flawless but I just like how they interact too damn much.

d) That episode when they went to Italy was very very good but I couldn't escape the secondhand embarrassment (while being impressed that people at HBO actually know names of villages near Naples). Apart from the rest for now my favorite episode is probably the S1 finale but that could change. I'm not sure I'll manage to marathon the rest as quickly as I did now (not two seasons each week for sure sadly :( ) but hopefully I'll go pretty quick. I mean, while I'm not sure that I'll end up liking this more than I like Deadwood/SFU because Deadwood is Over Everything That Was Aired And Will Ever Air and in SFU I actually empathized with people while here I really don't, but it's still freaking brilliant and the writing is great and the dialogue is GOOD and occasionally priceless and IT'S IN NEW JERSEY BY THE WAY (with LITTLE STEVEEENN) and I'm really getting into it, so now I'll just go see the rest and hopefully classes will give me enough time to get through it steadily enough.

5) Other than that I have stuff to catch up with and OMG GAME OF THRONES IS BACK IN LESS THAN A MONTH and about that, I'm not in the habit to post meta but there's stuff I've been brewing about a couple of certain issues so there might be some GOT related meta posted here at some point. Who am I kidding, Robb Stark related meta

6) Also, I'm trying to sort out all the comment fic/exchange fic I've never posted properly so if in the next week I end up spamming the world with round-up masterposts, sorry in advance.

7) Fic speaking (and last point): anyone who finished ADWD would be cool with betaing my fic for smallfandombang? It's, uuh, 18k of post-ADWD Jon/Sam, very much NC17. If you're interested I can give you details. Thanks in advance! ;)

Also: to the new people who friended me the last week, would you like for me to friend you back or anything? I don't do it automatically so it's just to know.
feeling: weirdweird
falafel_musings: sopranosfalafel_musings on March 13th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
Hey, I just finished S2 of the Sopranos too! I have S3 ready to go. I should probably try to watch it before Mad Men and Game of Thrones return. It's certainly interesting to get your Italian perspective on this show! So far my favourite characters are Chris, Carmela, Melfi, AJ and Adriana. I tend to prefer the family and therapy centric stories more so than the gangster aspect. I've not really warmed to any of Tony's gang members, aside from Chris (though yes, Chris is a headcase but his little movie dreams made me so sad). I kinda enjoy Livia and Janice too, even though I probably shouldn't.
the female ghost of tom joad: sopranosjanie_tangerine on March 13th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
*high five* I'm set on doing at least three and four before GOT starts again. Let's hope I manage! The Italian thing is weird - I feel like I get the mechanisms, a lot, but on the other side it's cause of endless secondhand embarrassment. I'll get over it, hopefully. And aw, Chris's little movie dreams were kind of heartbreaking. I do really like him though - I just can't help the trainwreck feeling. I like the gangster aspect but I generally like gangster stuff as a genre, and while Tony's mafia friends are people I'd never want to meet in RL I kind of enjoy them. (Also er well Silvio Dante is Bruce Springsteen's best friend, I couldn't dislike him even if I tried. ;) ) I'm wondering if I'd enjoy Livia more if she didn't remind me of my grandmother that much, but I'm afraid I'll never know that..
I want another pony: Verucaverucasalt123 on March 13th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Give it time, you will eventually hate Janice and Anthony Junior :) Oh, and how I loved Uncle June, what a fantastic character.

Tony Soprano is a really complex character, and my favorite kind, the kind that you can't pin down into one little category. He's so many things. A killer and a thief and a liar and yet you can't hate his guts for some reason.

What I love about the Italian-ness is that I finally get to hear other people pronounce the names of foods the way I've heard them my whole life. The first time someone told me she was using capicola in a recipe I was all like "What's that?" and then "ohhhhhhh, gabagool, ok".
the female ghost of tom joad: sopranosjanie_tangerine on March 13th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I dislike Janice enough that I could totally hate her without much effort ;) she has some redeeming traits for now (ie at least she's not as narrow-minded as her relatives), but I have no patience for emotional manipulators - see Livia. :/ Uncle Junior, I like him in the way you appreciate a smart villain, but I totally can't rule out disliking him later.

Sooo much word on Tony. I don't hate his guts at all - actually I find him incredibly compelling - I just can't empathize with him much. But then again the only person I might empathize with in here is AJ, so that's probably not an issue. ;)

And heee they do had the accents pretty nicely! I like that HBO at least has the grace to pick actors who know enough to at least pronounce stuff right.
fragrantwoodsfragrantwoods on March 13th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh, Sopranos is one I pretty much watched/caught up with at the time. That thing about liking Antony Jr? Good luck with that :-)
Livia made me squirm because I have known people like her, so yeah, I know there can be that anti-maternal thing...but I loved the actress and even when Livia had moments of evil, I was still "aw, Nancy Marchand!"

Trivia: Dr. Melfi was married to Bill Adama once upon a time. Still makes my head spin...

Big Pussy's last moments...tore me up.

I loved Silvio so much, right up to the end. He was so...Silvio. I never listened to Little Stevie's radio show the same after the Sopranos.

Tony was never the figure of dramatic perfection that Al Swearengen was, although I'd put Carmella up against anyone. What I note is the career trajectory of Soprano alumni and Deadwood alumni...different beasts indeed.

You have so, so much more enjoyment ahead of you!
the female ghost of tom joad: sopranosjanie_tangerine on March 14th, 2012 09:06 am (UTC)
First: OMG YOUR ICON. *dies*

Ha, the AJ thing makes me think he's going to end up somewhere I don't like but we shall see. Sadly I hadn't seen Nancy Marchand in anything else and I can't get over the fact that she seems my grandmother gone darkside, but at times I did sort of get the character. I just can't even begin to like her. ;)

... oh gosh really? *mind is boggled*

They tore me up too :( I had seen it coming, but still. I didn't want it to happen :((

Silvio is just epic. The epicness can't be measured. Little Steven should probably go acting some more...

Well, there's also that no one can be the dramatic perfection that Al Swearengen could be - you can reach that level of amazing once in a century or something, but still Tony could do a lot worse in that department. *nodnod*

I totally can't wait to see the rest! (and all this Al talking is making me want to re-watch Deadwood I have no time dammit)
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: boardwalk empirejanie_tangerine on March 14th, 2012 09:13 am (UTC)
Sopranos is too italian for its own good. I can only imagine how BE would feel for an Irish person.. *shudders* though for me it's a lot more nicely comfortable to watch ;) ;) ;)

halfdutch: Brando by mothergoddamnhalfdutch on March 14th, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
(Using the closest thing I have to a Godfather icon).

The Sopranos was such great TV for the first two seasons. I loved the fucked-up relationship with his mother and his therapy sessions and once Livia was gone, the show lost a really key element, imho. I stopped watching.. can't recall when exactly but episodes started focusing on very minor characters I didn't care about, so I lost interest. As an Italian-loving foodie, I knew what most of the food terms were. Which is funny because when I was in Italy, I could order off the menu without needing a translation guide but two Aussies I met didn't even know what "funghi" was!

Meadow drove me bananas. One of the most spoiled, irritating kids on TV ever. AJ was at a jerk but I did feel some sympathy for him and I always liked seeing how his issues parallel Tony's. But Meadow, AUGH! I got tired of Christuffa too. ;) But Michael Imperioli is so good. And, btw, I'm always recommending "Celebrity Ghost Stories" to people -- it turns out about half the cast has been on! I highly recommend Imperioli's segment but they're all good. Here's one with Vincent Curatola, but Aida Turturro, John Ventimiglia, etc. have been on. And Chazz Palmintieri. Lots of Italians!
the female ghost of tom joad: sopranosjanie_tangerine on March 14th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC)
I'll have to see how it is without Livia because while I can totally see that without her you lose a lot, I also had seriously 'I want to throw stuff at the TV' reactions whenever she was on and whenever she started having her martyr complex I really, really felt uncomfortable watching it. I'll see how it goes now.. -nod- and heee, go you for the food knowledge! (also woah, really? They didn't know about funghi? I'M VERY DISAPPOINTED. ;) )

Meadow is just all kinds of MEH. I hated her more in the beginning, but the spoiled little brat rich kid thing she has going on makes her lose so many freaking points ew. AJ is better and he has (for now) the religious crisis thing going on which I can half-related to so I don't have nearly as many issues with him as I have with her sister. And haha Chris - such a trainwreck. An entertaining one but. ;) And oooh interesting thanks for the link! I'm totally watching it the second I don't have to be in class. ;)

Edited at 2012-03-14 09:12 am (UTC)
Big Bag of Weird: Retro use your teethgehirnstuerm on March 14th, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
Geez. None of my male friends would have ever admitted out loud that they'd give head to a woman whether they liked it or not.
I haven't watched the Sopranos, but... wow, really? O.O German guys are different - at least the ones I know. They're more like "Hell yeah, and I'm GOOD!" (whether it's true or not *g*) when it comes to performing oral sex on a girl :D
the female ghost of tom joad: porn 2.0janie_tangerine on March 14th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
In Sopranos there was one of the mob people who gave head to his lover and when found out everyone was like OMG INDECENT RESPECT IS LOST, which is the general attitude here. It's not considered very manly I guess, but then again in this country talking about sex out loud is generally outrageous *raises hands in defeat* advantages of the entire Catholicism heritage I guess...

(that said, your friends are awesome xD)
goldenusagigoldenusagi on March 24th, 2012 07:36 am (UTC)
Sopranos! yay!

That was one of the first things I ever watched when I got Netflix.