Monday, June 18, 2007

When worlds collide

As readers of this blog know, I like a few things very much. Some of these things exist in parallel and seldom cross path, and when they do I get all fired up. An example for you: Remember when Bruce Springsteen wrote an op ed called ”Chords for Change” in The New York Times, explaining why he supported John Kerry and John Edwards?

Now it is time again. The last episode of The Sopranos has been aired in the US, and even some of the political newspapers I read most often write about it. One example is an article [Lexington] in The Economist, which concludes in the following way:
”American culture has always had a weakness for sex and violence. But since the 1960s it has gleefully eliminated conventional distinctions between good and bad, and since the 1990s it has been supercharged by the dramatic increase in the power of mass communications that are bringing America's cultural offerings to every corner of the world.

The success of “The Sopranos”, both commercially and critically, can only serve to reinforce this trend. The tensions created by the growing global reach of shows like “The Sopranos” may prove far more difficult to manage in the long run than the tensions created by the passing neoconservative moment.”
The New Republic has written about The Sopranos quite a few times over the years, but now concludes that it is time to say goodbye. An article, called ”Addio”, compares the language in The Sopranos with my other favorite show; The West Wing:
”Consider only the language. Or more precisely, compare David Chase's dialogue to Aaron Sorkin's dialogue. In Sorkin's shiny nonsense, people speak in repartee, and always find the words they need, and nothing insignificant, nothing tedious, is ever uttered. They talk as nattily as they look. Even their afflictions are oddly high-spirited, as coolness conquers all. There is not an unmordant or unmoralized second in anybody's day. Sorkin's phony people go from portentousness to hipness and back. They are the figments of a disastrously glamorous imagination, the polished puppets of a shallow man's notion of profundity.

In ”The Sopranos”, by contrast, there is no eloquence, even when there is beauty. Silences abound. These people speak the way people actually speak: they lie, and lie again; they hide; they repair gladly to banalities, and to borrowed words; they struggle for adequacy in communication; they say nothing at all.”
When will Season 6, part II of The Sopranos be aired in this forgotten country?

Labels: ,


Blogger kungpao said...

I read that Lexington piece and really liked it. When uber-sadistic and gruesome "Saw" came out in the states I was working in Afghanistan, and literally saw the black market DVD in the bazaar about a week after its premiere in the States. "Saw" doesn't belong in the same category as the Sopranos, but it shares its instantaneous global reach, and, it's important to try to imagine watching it through the eyes of a religiously conservative, traditional viewer. What do they think of the West when they watch?

20/6/07 16:01  

Post a Comment

<< Home