Everyone has an opinion on which Sopranos episode 'Jumped the Shark.' Episode 67, "Join the Club" has to be high up on everyone's list.
I held off writing this post until after I saw the next few episodes to see if indeed the Sopranos had reached it's peak and that from here on it would all be downhill.
Last Sunday's episode 69 redeemed itself: the show not only still had life, but "just when I think I am out, they pull me back in."
So why did episode 67 engender so many complaints? Well, let's face it; dream sequences are usually a lazy substitute for clever writing. But some ask, How else do you get Tony Soprano to ask himself, "I'm 46 years old. I mean who am I? Where am I going?" But who cares?
Sometimes modern writers will note that authors of ancient classics used dream sequences to explore themes that would be too outrageous to mention in polite company. One book that comes to mind is Chaucer's The Legend of Good Women. Perhaps today's scribblers assume they can utilize the dream device for an easy jump into fantasy. Perhaps it's an opportunity to dump years of accumulated private jokes from the cast unto us poor unsuspecting viewers. Anyone out there know of a decent dream sequence in any modern film?
Anyway, we didn't sign on to view the life of a solar heating systems salesman from Arizona. We are here for the whacking and extortion, the sex and the mayhem, the intrigues and the sausage grinder.
From S. T. Karnick: As the great film producer Jack Warner said, if you want to send a message, use Western Union. Just telling a good story is far more valuable than telling us how to live and think.
I have to say that dream sequences leave me as dissatisfied as a dream dinner. I wake up hungry no matter how much I eat in the dream.
But with episode 69 all is forgiven. Please Mr Chase, no more messages, just the simple guys from Jersey.
Some bloggers were predicting Tony would be back on his feet by episode five. Seems a safe bet now.
See my Episode Guide to Season 6