Television is a vast wasteland, according to Newton Minow.

Poor you.

Posted: 11 June 2007 | posted by David J. Loehr |

It goes on and on and on... -- "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey

“Made in America,” directed and written by Chase, was an unexpected detour into dark humor, according to Mark A. Perigard, tv critic for the Boston Herald. Unexpected how? What series has he been watching all these years?

I couldn't describe this episode any better or ask for better analysis than the one over at The House Next Door, Matt Zoller Seitz's blog. In fact, if you want some of the best analysis of the series individually and as a whole, dip into the archives over there. And then check out the archives at tv critic Alan Sepinwall's site, What's Alan Watching.

Now a quote, and the reason I'm putting my two cents in...

And the blogosphere is busy dissecting every final moment, with some wanting to see profundity in the screen going black because of Tony's conversation with Bobby -- you wouldn't even know it had happened: everything would just go black. Or making a game of the foreshadowing moments -- the jukebox song below "Don't Stop Believing" was "Any Way You Want It". Phooey. The Nielsen reality is that people don't watch TV closely anymore, much less remember what went on from week to week, to give such a subtle ending its proper due. according to Nikki Finke.

That's just silly. If you're not going to pay attention--especially to a show that has demanded and earned attention for all these years, then why bother watching at all?

Besides, The Sopranos was not a show that went on inside your head. It was a richly visual series whose most memorable moments were graphic and in your face and damn proud of it. Nikki again.

Richly visual? Fine, yes, no argument. But some of its quieter moments were the moments that lingered, that people debated. Tony curled up with a gun in the next to last episode wasn't exactly graphic or in your face except in the way you as a viewer reacted to it. I don't feel like making a laundry list of quiet, powerful moments like that, but they're there.

But seriously, why shouldn't it go on inside your head? Why shouldn't Chase and co. aspire to making the audience think a little bit? As a creative artist myself, I'd argue that that's the artist's prerogative in making the art to begin with. But even if it isn't at first, certainly Chase and The Sopranos have earned that right and, presumably, that respect. If nothing else, he has the right to craft his stories the way he wants. He's the writer.

It's his story. We were just listening.