You know, all good things must come to an end.
Over the last 8 years there were some really great moments that will stay with me forever. And then there were some downright dreadful times that I wish I could forget and yet I probably never will.
I was very loyal, I mean - loyal to a fault sometimes. My commitment made me miss some other things that I really wanted to be a part of of, but there I was week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out.
And in the end, all my wife could say was, "I'm sorry sweetie."
"I'm sorry sweetie."
I know she meant it from the bottom of her heart, but it didn't take away my disappointment. It didn't take away the hurt. It didn't make me feel like less of a fool.
I should have walked away three years ago, before my son was born. Then he too, wouldn't have had to see the sadness in his fathers eyes. I'm just not the same man I was three years ago. Now I'm bitter and jaded. I've been teased, taunted and strung along. I think the term I'm looking for is "played like a fiddle."
I was there through it all:
-The thing on the boat five years ago...
-That dreadful Columbus Day parade...
-That night, lost in the woods in knee deep snow...
-The trip to Italy...
-The new house by the woods...
And what do I get in return?
The worst series finale in television history!
I have to say - MY TELEVISION DIDN'T LAND ON TONY SOPRANO, TONY SOPRANO LANDED ON MY TELEVISION!
Eight years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. The opening scene showed a much younger and much smaller Tony Soprano watching some ducks landing on his pool at the old house. He walked out to get a closer look and they flew away. He passed out. This was his first of many stress induced blackouts that drove him into the office of Dr. Jennifer Melfi.
My loyalty to the Sopranos over the last eight years is very much like a real marriage, you have to be faithful and supportive, you have to forsake all other shows [in the same time slot], you have to listen carefully and understand what is going on, but most of all you have to take the good with the bad. Unfortunately, the last three seasons have ranged from boring to awful to terrible. I think David Chase and the other writers and people behind the scenes have taken the loyalty of us Sopranos fans for granted. I think they just figured they could throw any mis-mash of storylines and artsy-fartsy perspective together and call it "an episode." Well, that's just what they did, and my stupid-self, I kept watching and hoping that something special was still yet to come. It never did.
As the last season pulled along slowly and painfully, I knew that time was running out for a stellar mind blowing ending. For whatever reason, Chase tried to develop the loathsome, boring son of Tony Soprano, (Anthony Jr.) in the last 7 episodes. This is something that should have been attempted six years ago while anybody still gave a damn. At this point, nobody cared about AJ. When he tried to kill himself a few weeks ago, I was hoping that he'd succeed just so we could get him out of the way, but even at that, he couldn't get the job done.
I was so burnt out heading into last night's series finale, I had said that only one thing would make me like the show, that would have been for Silvio Dante to be awake from his coma and listening to "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen when Tony walked in to visit him. Then I wanted Sil to say, "Hey Ton', you know, that Bruce Springsteen, he's got a really good band." This would have been classic because Steven Van Zandt, the actor who plays Silvio, plays guitar in Bruce's E Street Band. But, even that was too much to ask.
So, last night, my eight year marriage to Tony Soprano, Sil, Dr. Melfi, Chris, Paulie Walnuts, Uncle June, Bobby Bacala, Meadow, and The Bing came to a close with a sad little whimper, a whimper and a squish.
When it was done, I was sad. I felt stupid for sticking with a once great show for three years after its greatness left. I sat there in stunned silence. My wife knew I was crushed, so she patted me on my leg and said, "I'm sorry sweetie."
I was too.