Tag: The Sopranos

Christopher on ‘The Sopranos’ Was Never Too Bright


I certainly understand if you don’t know who Michael Imperioli is. The actor is not exactly Brad Pitt. But those of us who watched The Sopranos through the years, and let the credits roll every time because of that great theme song, know that he played the idiot, jerk, thug Christopher Moltisanti. Even Sopranos fans haven’t had a thought of the guy since the show ended a decade and a half ago. But he’s getting his bonus 15 minutes of fame, trending on Twitter today because of this asinine remark:

“I’ve decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching The Sopranos, The White Lotus, Goodfellas or any other tv show I’ve been in. Thank you, Supreme Court, for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those I don’t agree with and am opposed to. USA! USA!”

Now, of course, for him to do this, he would have to have the rights to these properties and have a system for screening customers before they streamed or purchased physical media, which would require technology and surveillance that I can’t even imagine.  It’s hard to think of a worse analogy for the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision on behalf of web designer Lorie Smith that ruled she could not be compelled to create content that opposed her values.

“America Hates Dark”


Fantastic_Four_2015_posterOne of the most successful network executives ever laid down this maxim to a producer who insisted that a new cop show be “dark” and “real:” “America,” he said, “hates dark.” He’s right, of course. When audiences sit down to watch something, they rarely want to be depressed. Gripped, thrilled, grabbed, amused, scared, any or all of those things (and more) are okay … but plunged into a depressing and dark vision of the world? Not so much.

Sure, yes, a few “Dark Knights” may achieve escape velocity and make some real money at the box office, but — for day-in-day-out television viewing — it’s hard to make money that way. And it’s getting harder to make money in the movie theater that way, too. I write a bit about this in my column for The National, the English-language newspaper of Abu Dhabi:

There’s more than enough dark and depressing content on the front page of the newspaper, and audiences – at least in the United States – are expressing their bad-news-fatigue by changing the channel.