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The Gospel According to the Sopranos

10th June 2007

sopranos.jpg

Tonight the series finale of the award-winning HBO series, The Sopranos, is airing. I have been a fan of the series from the very beginning and am looking forward to watching episode 86, “Made in America.” I can’t help but think that the finale will be somewhat of a letdown, but that is perhaps to be expected for a long-running successful television series. I don’t think Tony will get whacked and I can’t see him cooperating with the FBI, so I’m not sure what will happen. (If you haven’t been following the series, check out the amusing video “7 Seven Minute Sopranos – A ‘Whacked Out’ Refresher” on YouTube).

gospel_soprano.jpgAs with many artifacts from popular culture, there has been some interesting philosophical and theological reflection on the series. One of my favourite series of “light” philosophy books has a volume entitled The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill Therefore I Am, edited by Richard Greene and Peter Vernezze (Popular Culture and Philosophy; Open Court, 2004; Buy from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com). I also liked the book on The Sopranos by Chris Seay, The Gospel According to Tony Soprano: An Unauthorized Look Into the Soul of TV’s Top Mob Boss and His Family (Relevant Books, 2002; Buy from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com). While I don’t think this volume is as strong as other “The Gospel According to…” books (not that all of the others are that strong either), it is an engaging examination of the first three seasons of The Sopranos from a Christian perspective. Seay treats the mob show as a modern parable that “provokes us, excites us, and pries back the exterior to peek into the darkest parts of our souls.” While Seay’s analyses of the show and popular culture are at times superficial, the book is fun and informative.

Will Tony Soprano be sleeping with the fishes after tonight’s episode? We’ll all have to wait and see.


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