Sopranos or die!

I’m the guy who never has anything good to say about anything (I guess that means I shouldn’t be saying anything at all).

I’m the guy who always has the opposing viewpoint (just to make everyone mad, my friends say).

I’m the guy who always has to be different than everyone else.

It’s only because I won’t sell my soul or sacrifice my first born to watch HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

I actually think about barfing when I think about “The Sopranos.” That’s not the show’s fault. It’s Julian’s. He was this hip philosophy major from college – with side-burns that connected to his turtle neck – who asked once if I’d “witnessed” a recent episode of the popular mob series (this was back in 2003). I hadn’t. He replied, “Too bad bro, it was spiritual.”

It was embarrassing (mostly for him). But after being ridiculed by other fanatics, apparently I really had been missing out on some pay-per-view miracle. I was too busy watching episodes of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” when I should have been soiling myself over Tony and the boys.



I finally saw that life-changing Sopranos episode Julian had referred me to. You probably saw it too. It’s the one where Tony has a weird dream, freaks out, hallucinates and spends the rest of the hour telling his shrink about it. Oh wait, that’s every episode!

My response to Julian and other Sopranos fanatics is; don’t mistake good filler for genius.

Sopranos is a decent show. It’s pleasing to watch. Will I jump on the-greatest-show-in-the-history-of-life-boat? Absolutely not. Will people probably threaten my life? Absolutely.

The show has been dragged out way too long – because more episodes means more money – but that’s OK. It happens. I keep going back because right now there’s no better way to spend 9 to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

But why should I even have to explain? Why can’t we, the viewers, just watch a TV show without having to shout our love for it from the hills and mountain tops? At the very least, why can’t I just like “The Sopranos” and not have to commit to a serious relationship with it? Possibly even marry it for fear of banishment?

“Do you, Mike McGuire, take ‘The Sopranos’ to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?”

“Um.”

“Well, son?”

“I-I-I’m sorry, I can’t do this. I’m just not ready, Sopranos.”

A collective gasp fills the church as my cold feet run out the door.

“I can’t believe he did that,” they all say.

“What a slime ball.”

“Who leaves their fiancé on the alter like that?”

I do.

I’m sick of being told what is great and what isn’t, and being made to feel foolish if I don’t like or don’t know about something.

“Have you watched ‘The Office,’ dude?”

“Haven’t actually caught it yet.”

“Loser, why not? It’s the funniest show of all time. Dwight pepper sprayed this guy, then Michael wore a women’s suit, and ...”

Note: If this is how you pitch your favorite show, don’t. That is annoying.

Here’s the correct way people talk about TV:

“Have you checked out ‘The Office’ yet?”

“Haven’t actually caught it yet.”

“If you get a chance, do it.”

“Will do.”

“How’s that rash, by the way?”

“Better.”

Note: if you are a jack-ass and you tell people something is cool, they will probably think it is stupid coming from you. If your goal is to promulgate a TV show – and since none of us truly know if we are idiots or not – it’s best to always be subtle or use reverse psychology when representing your favorite programs.

“Have you ever watched ‘The Office,’ dude?”

“No, I haven’t caught it yet (you jerk).”

“It’s totally weak, bro.”

“Oh really Scottie (I’ll have to check it out then, slick).”

It’s like I always say; if people are going to mock you in their heads, you might as well have a hand in what TV shows they watch. Mission accomplished.

Whether it’s criticizing people for how they feel about “The Sopranos” or convincing people to love “The Office,” remember – you can pick your friends, you can pick your shows, but you can’t pick your friend’s shows.

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