April 05, 2004

Tony & Al, HBO Sunday Night

The Sopranos again this week ended with a dramatic act by Carmella -- it was also a mysterious but revealing act. After hearing nothing but vitriol streaming from her toward Tony for all three of the episodes so far this season, she actually supports him in his attempt to somehow rescue his relationship with his young protegé, Chrissie Moltisante.

Watching both couples: Tony and Carm, and Chris and Adrianna, walking into Vesuvio's for dinner was positively surreal. And all with their game faces on, portraying a big happy family for the spectators at the other tables. Just a couple of scenes previous we had seen Chris beating up Adrianna. (God that hurt.) And shooting up Tony's car. And nearly eating a bullet from Tony.

(Who is that fat guy and where did he come from anyway? Did they decide the need a replacement for Pussy?)

So what does it mean? Does Carmella still have a soft spot for Tony? You know she must. The way he turns all those other women -- Carmella is still a woman. Or does she really give a shit about Chris and Adrianna's relationship? She seems to care about them both individually. Carmella is becoming the eye of the Sopranos storm. In subtle ways, everything is swirling around her.

I thought it was great the way they showed the spreading of the false rumor. A blow to the head turned into a blowjob in the course of a couple of cell phone calls. And I've always noticed with this show how effectively they use the teasers and the highlights from the coming week. The scenes before this week's show made you wonder if Chris was going to find out that Adrianna is a snitch and whack her. We know it's going to happen sometime. However, Adrianna told the FBI lady to blow off last we saw. We know something will come of that.

The Next Hour: Deadwood.

That show keeps getting hotter. Al's got some competition now. Something he loathes. We all have to like anything that Al loathes. Heck, he even got dressed up this week to go meet the new saloon owners. That must've been painful for him, since he thought he owned the town.

Much of why we dislike Al Swearingen, comes from the weak personalities with which he surrounds himself. That hotel owner is so lame he gave himself up for execution, but then Al decided he could use him.

And the pencil-neck from New York got what you knew he was going to get. So now will his wife go to work for Al in the saloon? I think she wants to. But the wild card there is the other prospector who witnessed the murder. What will he do?

Wild Bill Hickok is still just drifting in this story. He doesn't have anything to do yet, and he doesn't like it. Obviously he is used to being the center of attention. He has killed a couple of bad guys I suppose, but that's like breathing for him. He got so bored this week that he started to help the Montana sheriff turned hardware dealer build his store. But, Bill came to his senses and left to go play poker.

Deadwood is still a character-driven drama. And that is fine because the characters are powerful and diverse. The plotline is sparse at best and the story just plods along.

Posted by Wayne at April 5, 2004 06:15 PM
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