I’m not even going to try to summarize this, as that would mean pretending I had the faintest idea what was going on, and who was who. I know, I know, I’m revealing my cultural deprivation – I haven’t been following the series. What I will say, though, is that even with that ignorance, the quality of this chronicle of the ups and downs of a New Jersey mob’s lives, loves and deaths, is undeniable. But then, you knew that, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Do note, of course, that this is only …art 1 of the season, so you’ll be looking at the best part of 200 smackers for the whole thing when it becomes available. Ouch. But what superb work.
The series itself may be right up there with the best theatrical gangster epics, but the sound is a little disappointing. The main theme, one of the most cracking songs on TV, should just rock the house, but it sits rather sedately in the front speakers, needing far more energy. The dialogue, too, occasionally distorts. On the plus side, the environmental effects, though low key, are rather well done.
The picture is much more unqualified a success. The colours are rich and warm, with very nice blacks, reds and flesh tones. Grain and edge enhancement are not an issue, and the image is sharp. To return to an earlier comparison, the look of the series is much more cinematic than televisual.
There are four commentary tracks: by the cast on episode 2, by the writer on episode 7, by the writer and cast on episode 9, and by series creator David Chase ono episode 12. These are solid efforts, and the round tables are far less silly than many of their ilk.
Handsome box. Great series. But still only half a season.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries