Well, its finally over and I have to say, “fughettaboutit!” The Sopranos, which has been called the best television series EVER, has finally broken my heart for the last time. When I think back to when we first met, I cannot help but smile though.
It was January of 1999, Prince had warned us that the entire year was going to be one heck of a party. As I wandered through the doldrums of television looking for my “little red corvette,” I found something cooler. It was love at first site as mobsters gathered around for a pool party at the boss’ house. I was smitten by the brutality in the deaths of “rats” and people who just rubbed Tony the wrong way. Silvio made me skip a beat the first time I saw his turned down smile. When I met Livia, I knew it was love.
By the year 2000, it was the Sopranos crew that kept me from heading to the hills with my Y2K survival kit to rocking back and forth violently. The relationship between Janice and Ritchie made for uncomfortable bedroom scenes, but I couldn’t turn away. When Big Pussy was sent to sleep with the fishes, I knew the love would last.
In March of 2001, she began testing my patience. Not only did I have to wait an unbearable extra 2 months for new episodes, but something in the tone was just not the same. Sure, we were still the same people, but we seemed to have grown apart. The characters seemed weaker, the drama seemed overacted, and the script seemed hurried. Maybe I was just getting too comfortable – surely, this would pass.
By September of 2002, the wait between seasons was a year and four months. If she really loved me, would she make me wait like this? They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I guess it’s true – I missed her despite last years falling out. Who does she show up with when she finally arrives? Furio. Like the series, I liked him at first, but when the story devolved into some sort of Carmella/Fabio romance cover, I think I threw up just a little inside. Between that and the ridiculous horse hijinx, I started to wonder what I had ever loved in her.
March 2004, another long absence – but by then I really didn’t care. I was really starting to find her appearance sickening. Sure, when she rolled into town, I would try to rekindle some of the fire. I could spend one Sunday night with her, right? Surely, we could “have a little fun” and go our separate ways. I spent most of the next three months hating her more after each rendezvous. I cannot think of one memorable moment from this period in our relationship.
We held off seeing each other for almost two years by March of 2006. Maybe she sensed she was letting me down? Maybe she would try to make amends? She walks in with existential dreaming and Johnny Cakes and I knew that it was going to be an agonizing visit. I tried to make the best of it as Paulie got bent out of shape over the accident at the fundraiser amusement ride. I tried to be there when Little Anthony went from fun little brat, to wimpy man overnight, but I spent most of our Sundays mocking her. Midway through our visit she walked out the door.
Ten months later, in April of 2007 the Sopranos waltzed back in the door as if there wasn’t a break. She went back to pandering to liberal causes. She went back to sickening soap opera storylines. She went back to to weakest show about tough guys ever. Surely, this is her revenge – now, it was her mocking me. “I’ll show you, I’ll show them all… even if I am old, tired, and senile… you’ll love me… I’ll make you love me,” she seemed to be saying. But, the damage was done. My heart was too hardened to see she was trying. The hurt from years of letting me down was too much to overcome… now I just wanted her out of my life forever. Someone just kill her – or better yet, maybe she would kill herself.
In a final “screw you,” she didn’t walk out with dignity, she didn’t do the honorable thing and take her own life, she simply slid out the same way she always did. As usual, she left the door open just a crack. Why did I expect any different? She has always done things her own way – regardless of whether I loved or hated her.
I however, have closed the door behind her this time.
by Chris Doelle
Also published on Medium.