‘The Sopranos’ Creator David Chase Says TV Is Dumbed Down Now Amid Show’s 25th Anniversary

The Sopranos and David Chase
HBO/Courtesy: Everett Collection

The Sopranos is celebrating its 25th anniversary and many people call it one of the greatest shows of all time. Despite all the high praise of a show that has been off the air for decades, the creator isn’t feeling great. Series creator David Chase opened up about the changes in television over the past 25+ years.

He shared, “Yes, this is the 25th anniversary, so of course it’s a celebration. But perhaps we shouldn’t look at it like that. Maybe we should look at it like a funeral. That was a blip. A 25-year blip. And to be clear, I’m not talking only about ‘The Sopranos,’ but a lot of other hugely talented people out there who I feel increasingly bad for.”

The Sopranos Michael Imperioli, James Gandolfini, Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt,'Rat Pack', (Season 5, aired 03/14/2004), 1999-2007

HBO/Everett Collection

The HBO show premiered in 1999 and led the way for some epic dramas including Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Since then, there have been so many changes to television in the era of cancel culture and streaming services. At first, streamers like Netflix were a huge deal and a way to watch the latest and greatest without ads. Unfortunately, now there are so many streaming service options that they are adding commercials, and things are going back to the way they were in a sense.

The Sopranos series creator David Chase', (Season 3, 2001), 1999-2007

HBO/Everett Collection

Chase also talked about audiences and their short attention spans when it comes to TV. He said, “And I’ve already been told to dumb it down. As the human race goes on we are more into multitasking. Your phone is just one symptom, but who can really focus? Your mother could be dying and you are by her hospital bed taking calls. We seem to be confused and audiences can’t keep their minds on things, so we can’t make anything that makes too much sense, takes our attention and requires an audience to focus. And as for streaming executives? It is getting worse. We’re going back to where we were.”

The Sopranos Robert Iler, James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Season 5, Ep.64, 'Long Term Parking' aired May 23, 2004. 1999-2007

HBO/Everett Collection

Despite a seemingly pessimistic attitude about the future of TV, Chase does say that he is glad he helped create such an iconic show and is grateful people are still talking about it. He added, “Still, it’s been gratifying to see people hold an interest. How could that be anything but pleasing to the ego, to your place in the human race?” Watch The Sopranos on Hulu or Max.

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