Why I like Tony Soprano

Watching as many TV series as possible took a new meaning for me in 2020. Though everyone wants to forget 2020 for you know what, I want to remember it for some of the best content that I have seen since my introduction to on-demand video. Among all the amazing content that I consumed, ‘The Sopranos’ hit me like a wrecking ball but in a good way. I had always known and read about The Sopranos and it kept popping up in many TV series related discussions I used to have with my friends and colleagues. I had always wanted to watch the show and it was lying there in my watch list since ages. What truly drove me to watch the show was a quote from The New York Times — “The Sopranos just may be the greatest work of American popular culture of the last quarter century.” Without giving it an ounce of thought, I started watching the show.

I know, I know I am super late to the party but The Sopranos has completely changed the way I now look at TV shows, especially crime dramas. The show has been there for a long time and it has been 13 years since the finale. Every other TV/Movie critic, journalist, media house and a true fan has analyzed the show and its characters to the end of the world. Forget that, people have gone crazy analyzing its ending, which, according to my opinion is one of the best, weird and mysterious ending I have ever seen.

I am a changed TV Series consumer now. Like millions of you, I have become a Tony Soprano fanboy. I always used to think of Deadpool as one of the best anti-hero but no one comes close to Tony Soprano. There are many reasons I like Tony Soprano. A few of them I have listed down here,

  • Tony is a thorough professional — Ton is a mob boss, he is feared and part of a very hierarchical crime syndicate. He can literally whatever the hell he wants without being questions…well most of the times. However, what I realized that, he is punctual, committed to his profession & family and knows when to work and when to play. He goes all out when he is having fun. When he is working, his mind is fully focused on work and when he is having fun, he IS having fun and nothing else. Well, sometimes in the series his psyches cross but most of the time he behaves like a professional
  • Tony understands the human mind — Well this is bit of a contradictory statement given the fact that during the 6 seasons of Sopranos, Tony keeps visiting his therapist to understand his mental and work related stress and problems. However, Tony knows the thought process behind every single word that comes out of anybody’s mouth whether they are a friend or a foe. He contemplates even the smallest things that are said around him and he is in constant analysis mode. Sometimes that makes him go crazy but most of the times he is able to anticipate trouble and strategize accordingly.
  • Tony is a sucker for organizational culture— The mafia is a very hierarchical crime syndicate and Tony understands. Knowing a set of organizational protocols and following them to the T are two completely different things. Tony knows rules are rules and hardly makes an exception when somebody breaks them. He knows that the mafia has been successful for so many years because they follow a strict code. It is this understanding that makes him a good leader. His knows, “If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”
  • Tony has a multitude of shades to his personality — It is very very difficult to predict Tony. You can use all these words to describe Tony’s personality — loving, intimidating, sadistic, funny, charismatic, cruel, vicious, chivalrous etc. In many episodes you can see Tony going through all shades of his personality. It always reminded me of how Cuttlefish’s go through a multitude of colors to confuse everyone around them. His personality is so complex that in many scenes you can feel that he himself is surprised by his behavior in that given moment.
  • Deep down Tony knows who he is — Tony has all the happiness in the world. He is the Boss, has a huge house, loving wife, two great kids, a slew of loyal associates and all the respect that anyone can garner. However, deep down he knows who he is and what is his purpose. “I find I have to be the sad clown,” he says, “laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.”

There is a reason why I chose this particular picture of Tony Soprano to go with this post. He reminds of of Neo, the chosen one, from the Matrix movie franchise. Like Neo, Tony lives two lives — One as a loving family man who runs a waste management business and the other as a feared Mafia boss, who can’t be messed with.

Please let me know if you agree or disagree with what I have written. If you found any other facets of Tony’s personality utterly fascinating then do let me know.

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Vikram Deo

Vikram Deo

books, TV series, photography give me happiness