Americans are suckers for a redemption story. You make a mistake, go to rehab, and come back reformed. A clearly defined arc. But if we've learned anything from our favorite television dramas, men like Tony Soprano make the same mistakes time after time.
The brilliance of Breaking Bad is that we can't stop watching Walt. Walter White is very smart, highly charismatic, identity challenged, sociopathically inclined, and amorphous. But -- is he alone in this breed?
The death of any young person -- particularly from potentially-preventable causes -- is a tragedy. And events like this, because of their notoriety and widespread media coverage, have the opportunity to spur change.
I've always felt one of the most underrated aspects of Tony Soprano's universal appeal was the fact that he looked like the guy next door, the little league umpire, not Luke Skywalker or The Man of Steel. Tony Soprano looked like me.
We crave real portrayals of people like ourselves: people who can be confused, get angry, celebrate joyous moments and sometimes feel rejected and unloved. James Gandolfini made Tony Soprano, the Jersey mob boss, one of us.
I will never have any idea what weird bravado came over me, but, I stepped right up to James Gandolfini, draped my arm over his shoulder (What!?), he looked at me like "This better be good!" and I said, with all the Mafia Tony arrogance I could muster...
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln opens in wide release today, after a limited release last Friday -- and with luck, Barack Obama will not only see it but take it as a template for the current lame-duck session of Congress and for his impending second term.
Although it seems that Paul Simon has been on the road frequently over the last few years, his latest tour seems much more date-packed as he heralds his latest and one of the best albums of his career, So Beautiful Or So What.