I’m re-watching the Sopranos thoroughly. It’s lauded plenty, so the kudos are rote by now. But The Sopranos remains quite astonishing. Certainly the most richly detailed film / tv composition that an average viewer like me could ever figure to contemplate. By a long shot.
I just watched the episode about Carmela’s dad’s 75th birthday, in which Tony gives old Hugh a cased Beretta upland shotgun. Now I know they didn’t scrimp on the Sopranos, as a rule they seemed to spend what they had to spend to get Chase’s vision right. There’s a shot here where the camera lingers briefly on the exquisite marble cake walnut stock and engraved receiver of this shotgun. This is kind of a trope-ish moment in a hunter or gun enthusiast’s life. If you travel in certain circles, you encounter this. And my side business services the niche of the ‘presentation gun’. But really I doubt that popular story telling has treated this anywhere else. Chase or his director get every detail right, especially the shotgun itself, which may have required a loan agreement with a fine gun store there in Jersey during filming. They have little production assistants I suppose employed for the exact purpose of leasing and fetching great props from here and there. But it strikes me as an enormous pain in the ass to go that extent to get a detail right that will be lost on the broader lay public. So they could have used a more pedestrian piece, and not many would be the wiser. But Chase and his crew consistently went extra to get little details like that right.
What’s the point? Bri at WWP yesterday tosses a pro-forma snarkburger at the talk radio right and 1280 the Patriot. I think this is an outdated line by now. Talk radio has like a lot of things been diminished by the entertainment available through on demand streaming. The implications of this are obvious to a point, but one thing is, those grass roots righty political energies that swirled around talk radio over the 90’s and 00’s are a lot less vibrant. I think this is what we mean when we observe diminished conservative vitriol (we may not exactly agree on this observation).
But I think it’s a thing. Ya know, I won’t now belittle how much I enjoyed listening to AM1500, KTLK, and the Patriot over the years. It was good, interesting listening, and I’ll go so far to say it was good public affairs radio in general. But I don’t listen much anymore. Haven’t heard Jason Lewis in more than a year, maybe 3, I think. That stuff got usurped.
And I think I’m less vitriolic, less pissed off, and I do not encounter those vitriolic conversations that used to germinate from right wing radio listening.
Tony gets whacked in the end by the way. As a matter of literary allusion, this is undeniable. I am kind of melancholy about that.