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Sopranos premiere: Woke up this morning, got myself a blog

When the Sopranos premiered in 1999, I was one of the relatively few viewers that caught the first episode that Sunday night. It was such a unique spin on the standard Mafia story, I was hooked from the first few minutes. The thing that got me most was that Tony Soprano was a mob boss whose biggest problem turned out to be his chaotic family.

Sure, he was a step away from a federal racketeering charge… a few cronies wanted to kill him… his mom was the spawn of satan… But after dealing with that during his “day job,” he’d come home and have even less control on his personal life.

Anyway, the next day, I raved about the show to anyone at work who would listen. Not many did, because I’m usually as good at spotting trends as an Amish media consultant. But, I had the right feel about this one. I haven’t missed a single episode since.

So, tonight, I’m breaking new ground at Sweet Monkey Pie by actually blogging about a show that I’ve actually followed from the get-go. I’m not sure how this is going to go.

9:00:08 PM – The Wife and I just discussed how important it is that HBO hit a home run with Big Love, the new drama about a polygamist (played by Bill Paxton of Twister fame). HBO’s lost Six Feet Under and Sex and the City. The Sopranos are next. They need the new one to come through… big time.

And about Big Love, only HBO could try that. Can you imagine pitching this to NBC? It would make the George Costanza pitch about a “show about nothingâ€? look like a walk in the park. I’m honestly looking forward to Big Love. Hope I’m not being set up for a letdown.

9:01:58 PM – Random shot of Stevie Van Zandt on the red carpet prior to the premiere. Man, does he look like warmed-over hell in real life.

9:02:41 PM – Speaking of looking like hell, Anthony Jr. (aka Robert Iler) just appeared. That kid’s on the Rudy Huxtable track to an ugly post-adolescence.

9:04:02 PM – Credits are starting. No nudity, but some strong language. Really. Whatever, I’m officially on the edge of my chair.

9:04:44 PM – Wow… the review of last season is intense enough. I had forgotten way too much.

9:05:25 PM – OK, here’s one thing I forgot. Remember Meadow’s fiancé finding out about that fat mob guy (Vito?) giving a Lewinsky to that other dude outside of the construction site. I can’t even talk about this…

9:07:12 PM – OK, I’m mentally exhausted after that. Finally, the credits. “Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…â€? Has there ever been a better theme song to a TV show? Ok, maybe Good Times, the Jeffersons and Who’s the Boss. Oh, and I’m kidding about one of those. And it’s the last one, in case you needed clarification.

9:09:20 PM – We start out with an FBI guy puking. Good start to the season. I saw an interview with the actor who plays this FBI guy. He said that people give him shit in real life for trying to take down the Sopranos. Way to separate reality from fiction, people.

9:11:35 PM – Adriana makes a guest appearance as a ghost. That didn’t take very long. Big Pussy was gone for a season before he showed up in a dream sequence.

9:12:56 PM – Uncle Junior seems to have lost a few more fries from his Happy Meal. But, Tony doesn’t think he needs to be put in a home. Something tells me that’s a bad call.

9:14:23 PM – Phil and Johnny Sac are talking in prison. Not much to say here, but whoever plays Johnny is one helluva actor.

9:15:54 PM – Some guy – whoever – is coming to Tony and asking to “retireâ€? from being a made man. That took some guts. The Wife just asked if something bad is going to happen to this guy. I was hoping not, but he’s being a real prick to his family. Maybe Tony should do something about him. You inherit $2 million and Tony whacks you in the same week.

9:18:50 PM – Tony and Carm are eating Sushi. There’s a joke here. I can’t come up with it.

9:20:34 PM – Hesh and a friend just got jacked. Don’t know why, of course, but Hesh’s friend is going to need a long, long stay in the hospital.

9:21:27 PM – First appearance by Mike Seaver’s friend from Growing Pains as the unnamed (at least to me) henchman.

9:21:59 PM – Tony gives a warm welcome to the FBI guy. That’s sweet.

9:23:19 PM – That was Hesh’s son in law. He’s in the hospital… alive, but probably wished that he wasn’t.

9:25:12 PM – Carm and her dad are putting together a house that’s apparently made of the wrong materials. Even the Mafia can’t cover that up.

9:26:32 PM – The old informant guy just fell over dead while ratting out Tony to the FBI. Tony had just been asking for a good break. I think he got it.

9:28:59 PM – Ladies and gentleman, Franki Valli! What great casting. Was Dion from the Bellmonts not available? And I probably lost about 99% of my readers with that one.

9:29:56 PM – Tony’s in a giving mood and gives Carm a Porsche Cheyenne. She’s a happy mafia wife.

9:30:34 PM – Anthony Jr. looks like a 70s rocker. Is he trying out for a school production of Spinal Tap? Not a good look for him.

9:31:17 PM – We’re 30 minutes in, and it’s back at Dr. Melfi’s office. Melfi brings up the “circle of life,” and Tony just coins the “circle jerk of lifeâ€? concept. The man has a way with words.

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