How James Gandolfini Would Have Written the End of ‘The Sopranos,’ Favorite Episode & More

Sopranos article on series finale from Channel Guide Magazine

The drama that never glorified mobsters, yet made us secretly long to be “made men” — or at least receive jewelry from them —The Sopranos — came to a close on HBO on June 10, 2007.

Through it’s six seasons and 86 episodes that spanned January 10, 1999, to June 10, 2007, the tension never eased. Each actor looked born to the part and the writing was poetry. Sure, it was profane and violent, yet even viewers who recoil from gore planned their Sundays around watching — DVRs be damned.

No plot felt forced even when the series veered into strange territory with Vito as a gay man on the lam, or Tony drifting in and out of consciousness, imagining himself as a guy named Kevin.

Among the many aspects that made The Sopranos terrific was how honestly it approached marriage, particularly longtime, traditional ones such as Tony and Carmela’s. The domestic scenes, from Carmela cooking (in real life Edie Falco doesn’t cook) to the couple arguing to their making love, represented television’s most realistic marriage.

To mark the end, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco reflected on the show that took the cast from unknowns to stars. Here is an excerpt from our sister publication Channel Guide Magazine:

THE SOPRANOS, James Gandolfini, (Season 2), 1999-2007.

Credit: Anthony Neste / ©HBO / courtesy Everett Collection

James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano)
If you could write the final episode… I would give closure to Tony by having him whacked and fed to the ducks.
Fondest memory on the set… From the first episode, Michael Imperioli trying to drive while we were shooting the sidewalk car chase scene. He ended up getting into two different fender benders on that same day. [Imperioli, like many New Yorkers, was not a driver, though he was in the process of learning.]
Favorite episode… The ones with Nancy Marchand [Livia] in them.
Now that The Sopranos is officially over, I will never… Put on another bathrobe.

THE SOPRANOS, from left: Edie Falco, James Gandolfini, 'The Happy Wanderer', (S2.E6, aired Feb 20, 2000), 1999-2007.

©HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection

Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano)
If you could write the final episode… Carmela would take over the family, and the food at the Bada Bing would be much better.
Fondest memory on the set… It was 2am, a long day, and Nancy Marchand was off-camera feeding us our lines and making us laugh over and over as she kept slapping salami onto her tongue. All I remember is that there was no other place in the world I would have rather been at that moment than with all of these wonderful people.
Favorite episode… “Isabella” (Season 1). There was something very gentle about it. The episode showed Tony Soprano’s love in a gentle manner.
Now that The Sopranos is officially over, I will never… Cook.



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