So The Sopranos is now officially over. If you haven’t yet watched the finale that aired last night—and if you didn’t, what are you doing on the Internet? How on earth will you avoid spoilers?—stop reading now, as I must Discuss. I’ve said here before that I’ve watched this show pretty much from the beginning, although I think I might have missed a half a season around year 5 or so. All told, though, I was invested, and ever since it came back this winter I’ve been wondering, along with the rest of world, how it would all end. Like most people, I like closure. My students used to get so annoyed with me because I would get frustrated when their stories didn’t have a clear arc, beginning, middle, end. I don’t need EVERYTHING tied up at the finish, but I do like SOME sense of resolution, so you don’t walk away feeling like nothing’s changed.
(That said, there where also moments teaching when I tried really hard to give my students the benefit of the doubt. Like when a story would totally just END on page 10, with no lead up to a finish, the narrartor just looks out the window and it’s over. I’d be trying to read meaning into this choice, give it the benefit of nuance. “Why did you make this choice?” I’d ask, genuinely interested, only to have the author squirm a bit and say, “Well, you said it had to be ten pages.” At which point I’d want to put my head down on the desk and weep. But I digress.)
My point is, The Sopranos never gave us perfect closure. Which was frustrating to me, but also innovative. It was also why the writing was so good, and reminded me so much of a novel or short story: you had a work a little harder, and the finale was no exception. When it was all said and done, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “WHAT?” But then, the more I thought about it, I saw there were dozens of meanings in the very lack of one very big one handed to me. And it’s a bold choice to leave something so open, and the viewer to try to close it. I don’t know if I could do it in one of my books, but I admire those who can. So well played, David Chase. Well played.
Meanwhile, we had a VERY nice party here this weekend, with an even better end result: I have so much barbecue in my fridge, I can’t even tell you. AND my favorite Mac n’Cheese, from Bullock’s Barbecue of Durham, NC, and cole slaw, and potato salad AND fried chicken. Good Lord help me. I ate these things at the party, then for lunch and dinner yesterday, so that’s basically thirty-six hours of the same menu, with no end in sight. I have a feeling that the baby needs a salad, badly, which is why I am going to pack it all up today and distribute it to others, so that I can get back to eating somewhat healthy. Although it WILL be hard to see that fried chicken go. Maybe just one more piece, for lunch?
No. Must be strong and resist. Wish me luck!