The Sopranos creator acknowledges a significant error regarding the mob drama.

The Sopranos creator acknowledges a significant error regarding the mob drama.
That’s saying a lot because The Sopranos is among the most influential television series of the last 20 years. And David Chase’s critically renowned mob drama, which makes its 25th anniversary this year, continues to enthrall viewers with its exploration of mafia life in the 20th and 21st centuries. Tony Soprano was a mobster and family guy who endeured himself to audiences through his interactions with those in his immediate vicinity and his dubious behavior. Despite the show’s widespread accolades, Chase exposed a significant inconsistency in the series, suggesting that the portrayal of the mafia is not totally accurate.

Ever since the show’s six-season run ended in 2007, David Chase has talked about it now and then, giving fans a glimpse into the creative decisions made by his crew behind the scenes. During a roundtable discussion celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary with Empire (via Screen Rant), Chase disclosed a significant distinction between the show and real-world mob activity, which has to do with the violence on the show:
Here’s the thing about all the murders on the program, though. If you look at the real Mob, I believe there were nine Mob killings in the New York metropolitan region between 1999 and 2007. A season, we were working on nine. [Giggles] Hence, it is true that not everyone survived.

Considering how many killings occur in mob movies that last two hours or longer, nine deaths out of thirteen hour-long episodes isn’t that awful. The sheer number of character fatalities on the show is one of the things that has made it so fantastic and helped it endure over time. (And some fans aren’t over some of them yet.) The creator of Many Saints of Newark does raise a worthwhile issue. However, since viewers have been amused and are unlikely to consider how realistic the amount of killing is, it probably doesn’t really matter if the carnage was true to reality.

Of course, David Chase was definitely right in saying that not everyone made it out alive, as many major characters met gruesome demises. One of the most iconic Sopranos episodes involved the murder of beloved character Adriana La Cerva. I won’t discuss additional major deaths, in case there are readers who still haven’t checked out the show. But what I will say is that if you watch, don’t be surprised if some of the killing remain in your mind for a while.

Near killings that weren’t part of Tony’s crew — but were still important to episodes — remain important as well. One such example is the case of the Russian commando that Paulie and Christopher may or may not have killed in the famous episode “Pine Barrens.” Of course, there’s also the ominous fate of James Gandolfini’s Tony, which has been widely debated since the series finale aired all those years ago. But, overall, the unpredictability of the show is partially what makes it so compelling and, if that means that the body count had to be exaggerated by David Chase and co., then this fan is fine with that inaccuracy.

Whether you’ve seen the show in its entirety or want to take a drive with Tony down the New Jersey turnpike for the first time, you can check out the Sopranos cast’s work by streaming the show with a Max subscription. You can also check out the 2024 TV schedule for news on newer drama series.

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