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The Sopranos. Season One.

Critics call The Sopranos as the most beloved T.V. series of all time. Well, you can't call a series "beloved" after watching only the first season, but let me tell you that the first season is usually an indicator of how good a series is, and this show already displays signs of immortality.

Created by Italian-American David Chase, The Sopranos started out as a joke: What would happen if a mobster went to see a shrink? But more than this premise, the show actually gives deeper meaning to the word "family"─first, there's the organized crime family, obviously, of which Anthony "Tony" Soprano (portrayed naturally by James Gandolfini) is one of the top capos. Season One tells the story of the power shift, deciding who takes the place of acting boss Giacomo "Jackie" Aprile after he dies of cancer; the two likeliest candidates are either Tony Soprano, or his uncle Corrado "Junior" Soprano. Second, of course, is Tony's biological family. There's his Uncle Junior, of course, his main rival as the Don of New Jersey; there's his wife Carmela, and their non-mob-related kids; then of course there's his mother, slightly demented but still an ominous presence in Tony's life. It's his struggle between these two families that provides the fuel for the entire show.

The first season will make or break a show. It decides if a second season will follow. The Sopranos has everything people look for in gangster films
lies, deceit, murder, and Italian cuisineand this show will hook gangster fans, and will create new fans as well. HBO shows are always a treat, and this first season will have you anticipating the second.

Rating: Five stars.


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