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Maureen Ryan

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'The Sopranos': Critics Look Back At TV's Game-Changer

Posted: 06/25/2013 4:55 pm

sopranos

The influence of "The Sopranos" is so vast that it's difficult to gauge, but it's worth giving it a shot, right?

Several months ago, I participated in a roundtable discussion of "The Sopranos" with three other critics. We discussed the huge impact the show had on modern television, that infamous ending and what the next stages of the post-"Sopranos" revolution might bring, among many other topics.

The discussion was moderated by New York magazine TV critic and RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz (who covered "The Sopranos" for The Star-Ledger, Tony's hometown newspaper, for several seasons of the HBO drama's run). Other participants included Sarah D. Bunting, a founder of Television Without Pity and of previously.tv, and Ryan McGee, who writes for several outlets, including the AV Club and his own site, and with whom I do the Talking TV podcast every week.

The discussion has been split into six videos, and I've included one of my favorite segments below. Over on RogerEbert.com, you'll find all six videos, as well as transcripts of the discussion, if you'd rather experience it that way.

This sitdown was one of the most enjoyable things I've done all year, and I'm very grateful to Matt for providing the venue, arranging the camera crew and leading the discussion so ably (many thanks also to Dave Bunting for his fine editing). I hope you have as much fun listening to us talk as we did sharing ideas and opinions with each other. An IndieWire writer said the discussion reminded him of the "Siskel & Ebert"/"At the Movies" show, which was a very gratifying comparison, considering how much we all admired Roger Ebert.

It just so happened that the videos were ready a short time after the passing of James Gandolfini. In memory of his titanic talent, we've dedicated this video series to the actor.

 

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