I have a confession to make: I've yet to see the concluding episode of The Sopranos.
I stopped watching sometime in the fourth season — not because I lost interest, but because life got in the way. My daughters were getting older and staying up later, and weren't yet old enough to process all those cutaway shots of Tony exercising employer's privilege with his strippers (to take just one 'for instance'), so the family television was devoted to other shows and movies, until such a time as my wife and I could return to watching the morally awkward stuff.
But then The Wire came along, and several other pretty-good shows, and . . . I did lose interest. With Gandolfini's death, it's back, kind of. Who knows? Someday I might yet finish watching The Sopranos, but there's no point making any promises. I've still got Breaking Bad and three more seasons of Mad Men to catch up on.
But I'm gratified to know I am not alone: Terry Teachout admits the same. And he's actually paid to watch and write about this stuff. So, in answer to Ken Tucker's (rhetorical) question: “Who have been television's Pauline Kaels, its Andrew Sarrises?”: no-one, of course. And there are several very good reasons for this absence of Elite Critical Consideration Sandwiched Between Hardcovers — besides the (to understate the case) marathoner's commitment required of such a task — which I will address in a piecemeal manner, until I conclude with the obvious counter-observation (“Check teh interwebz, stoopid!”).
|If I never watch it, will it never end?|