7 reasons why The Sopranos is still 'capo di tutti capi' in 2024

As of today, the world of television is saturated more than ever. So, let's take a look at 7 reasons why you should still watch The Sopranos in 2024.

1/5/20246 min read

2024. A year where the world of television is saturated more than ever and keeps getting flooded with newcomers trying to take the stripes and medals, earned by the veterans in the business. House of the Dragon, Stranger Things, Squid Game, you name it. But in this chaotic battle of streaming services and top-notch releases, one show remains seated in it's multi-million dollar mansion, sipping on a whiskey and puffing on a cuban. HBO's Sopranos. Let's take a deep dive into 7 reasons why The Sopranos is still 'capo di tutti capi' in 2024.

  1. Tony Soprano: the mob boss with a 'shrink'

So, we take a look at the main man of the show, Tony Soprano. Big Italian looking guy, gold jewelry and a look on hice face that could make tough guys immediately do a number two in their pants. But here's the interesting part – he's got his issues. All right, I hear you think, 'all criminals have their issues'. But mr. Soprano has different issues. Like, 'let's sit on a therapist's couch and spill my guts' kind of issues. In a world where mob bosses usually just yell, shoot at their enemies and make them sleep with the fishes, The Sopranos brought therapy into the mix. I mean, who knew a mobster could have an existential crisis? In 2024, when even our microwaves, ovens and coffee machines seem to need therapy, Tony's emotional rollercoaster feels strangely relatable. And very progressive for a TV show which aired before the turn of the century.

  1. A show about a genuine crime 'family'

You would think mobsters spend their days breaking knees and counting money, right? Well, The Sopranos don't really care about stereotypes. Of course they're quite fond of a little whacking here and there, but the show also displays their (somewhat) 'human' side. These guys have families, and not just in the 'casa nostra' type of way. They barbecue, make sure their parents are taken care of (even though the parents might feel a little different about this) and they genuinely care about their kids. Even if they are more likely to inherit a strip club with a funny name than a couple of Van Gogh paintings and some jewelry. Well, to be completely honest, it wouldn't actually be that weird to inherit these paintings and jewelry when you're a descendant of New Jersey's most feared mobster. But I would question the way these pieces found their way to his basement. Anyway, in a world where every show wants to be dark and edgy, The Sopranos throws in a sprinkle of family drama, edgy family members and humor to keep things relatable and somewhat light-hearted.

  1. The Sopranos cinematography set a new standard

It is one of the first things you'll hear when you ask someone 'What made The Sopranos so good?'. They redifined the television landscape. People will tell you: without The Sopranos we wouldn't have a Breaking Bad or a Peaky Blinders. I mean, even Bryan Cranston said that without Tony Sopranos, there would be no Walter White. The Sopranos didn't just want to tell you a story; they wanted to make art. When you watch a current TV show, every episode of a season feels like a movie on itself contributing to something bigger. The Sopranos dit that 25 years ago. It's like they let a bunch of film students loose with a camera and said, "Go nuts and bring us something we've never seen." But, hey, it worked. In 2024, when everyone's got a 4K camera in the pocket of their jeans and editing software available in every appstore, The Sopranos' visual mastery is still something only a few people are able to replicate. All hail David Chase.

  1. So accurate that The Sopranos looks like real life

The Sopranos cast, with James Gandolfini at the head of the table, does an outstanding job portaying their characters. This results in the show giving an authentic (and almost hard to distinguish from the real deal) look at the world of organized crime. Unlike many other movies and series that glamorize the mob, this series gives a good look at all its brutality, moral dilemmas, and the price you have to pay when you're that close to 'the life'. James Gandolfini once received a phone call from an unknown person with a rather interesting, yet funny message to compliment him on how good the show depicts the mob life. The person on the other end of the phone told him that he did an outstanding job portaying the mob boss, but he added a very important message. "A don never wears shorts". You might be wondering 'Did Tony Soprano ever wear shorts?' Yes, he did. In the Sopranos, Tony is seen wearing shorts on a number of occasions. Fair play to David Chase, because he actually put this in the series. In the first episode of season 4, Carmine Lupertazzi pulls Tony aside to tell him te same thing James was told in real life. "A don doesn't wear shorts".

  1. Paulie Walnuts

My favorite character of the show. Period. Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, portrayed by the late Tony Sirico, is in my opinion the sole reason why people still doubt if The Sopranos is a crime or a comedy. The amount of times I searched for ‘paulie walnuts funny moments’ on YouTube is diabolical. Some lines and scenes are just so well written for his character and I think there is no one else that could’ve done more justice to the character than Tony Sirico himself. To be fair, David Chase did actually write the character for Tony after he auditioned for Uncle Junior. Wait, what? Yep. Tony Sirico actually did his audition for the role of Uncle Junior, but David had a different plan for the ex-real life mobster. The result: one of the most well-written characters of the show. Alternating very serious and dark scenes with some of the funniest bits of the show. Paulie will forever be my favorite character. His unique mannerisms, the way he handles tense situations with humor (sometimes unintentionally), and his loyalty to Tony Sopranos make him an unforgettable part of the show.

  1. Pine Barrens

‘Pine Barrens’ is an episode from the third season of the show and well known as a fan favourite of many. Not necessarily my favourite, but definitely an honourable mention. This episode (small spoiler alert) shows Paulie and Christopher on a mission to collect money from a Russian mobster. However, the situation quickly gets out of hand when they believe they’ve actually killed the man. Their plan afterwards is to dump the man’s body in the snowy ‘Pine Barrens’.

At some point in this episode, they find themselves lost in the woods with no mobile phone connection while the day turns into the night. Paulie and Christopher turn out not to possess the world’s best survival instincts and this leads to a series of comical moments and well-known Sopranos quotes. Anyway, I’m not going to tell you more about the episode, because I don’t want to spoil too much of the fun. You just have to find out for yourself. And trust me, it’s worth the watch. Little fun fact: the episode was directed by Steve Buscemi.

  1. The impact of The Sopranos on popular culture

The Sopranos has had an enormous impact on both pop culture and television. The show is globally recognized as the one that kicked off the "Golden Age of Television," demonstrating that TV shows could achieve the same level of depth, complexity, and quality as big screen cinema. It's success opened the door for other ambitious, dark-themed dramas, influencing a generation of TV creators and their fictional characters as written earlier on in this blog. The show's iconic scenes, quotes, and characters have cemented themselves into popular culture and becoming references in social media like Reddit and everyday conversations. Tony Soprano, in particular, has become a cultural icon, symbolizing the embodiment of the anti-hero aspect. The series' themes and storytelling techniques have been discussed thoroughly, contributing to numerous articles on television and media.

The Sopranos not only entertained audiences but also changed the way people perceive and engage with TV, leaving a legacy in the entertainment industry. To this day, you can buy a wide array of Sopranos products online. A Tony Soprano funko pop, Sopranos cookbook and Sopranos merchandise like t-shirts and mugs. You name it. The show seems more popular than ever before. Also noted by one of the actors, Steve Schirripa, who portrayed Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri.

Conclusion: just watch The Sopranos

So, here we are in 2024, where TV shows come and go like seasons of a reality show like The Kardashians. Yet, The Sopranos stands tall, not worried by the newcomers, cigar in hand and laughing at the thought of retirement and all the royalties still coming it's way. It's more than just a TV show; it's the embodiment of a new age in TV world where we actually start to root for someone who’s not that good of a person. Just a bunch of mobsters trying to figure out life (one therapy session at a time). The Sopranos: still making us laugh, cry, and question our life choices and moral compass in 2024. Want to read more blogs like this? Check out all Evrythe blogs on our website!