Back in May, I ran a Super Six List about "Present Day" TV characters (but not currently on the air) who could probably be dead by now.
One of those on the list was Jersey gangster Tony Soprano. And now we can say that the mob boss is definitely dead - for when actor James Gandolfini suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack in Italy yesterday, Tony Soprano died with him. There could never be a recastaway for that role.
I always figured that the only thing that would stop the talk about a 'Sopranos' reunion movie would be the death of James Gandolfini or the death of David Chase. Practically the rest of the cast and storylines were wiped out/wrapped up, but it didn't stop the persistent questions from the press and others. That should end now - who wants to see "Meadow and AJ - The Next Generation"?
I liked the show a lot. I LOVED the first season, and that's not just because I was crazy for the girl who loaned me the tapes. If they ended the series with Tony actually killing his mother in the nursing home, I would have declared it the greatest mini-series in the history of the medium. But it continued, with what I considered to be diminishing returns, and with Chase even cannibalizing one of his plot lines from 'The Rockford Files' to use in the show.
And even so, there was no denying the power of Gandolfini's performance, which galvanized the entire production as the center of its universe.
Gandolfini appeared on Broadway and in the movies, but what he really needed was another role that would have been on a par with "T". As it is, he will be forever defined by Tony Soprano.
In the end, that's not such a bad thing, considering. Look at the company he's in.....
Good night and may God bless........