Being that The Sopranos is my favorite television show of all time, I was so sad to learn yesterday that James Gandolfini had died of a heart attack at only 51. He was, in my opinion, the greatest television actor of all time.
When you’re watching The Sopranos, you don’t feel like you are watching people acting. You aren’t watching James Gandolfini portray a character- you really feel like you are getting a glimpse into the public and private life of a mob boss: Tony Soprano. While I love many other shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, there is always a part of me that knows I am watching people acting, and reading lines from a script. That is not to say that Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm aren’t outstanding actors, but they, and no other actor on television, can do what James Gandolfini did. He became Tony Soprano- he made you forget you were watching a fictional show. My favorite moments in particular were between him and Carmela (Edie Falco). I have yet to see a couple portrayed so realistically on screen.
If you haven’t seen The Sopranos, or just haven’t seen the show in a while, here are my top ten favorite episodes (in order) that deserve a re-watch.
- “University” (Season 3, Episode 6)
- “Long Term Parking” (Season 5, Episode 12)
- “Employee of the Month” (Season 3, Episode 4)
- “College” (Season 1, Episode 5)
- “The Second Coming” (Season 6, Episode 19)
- “Soprano Home Movies” (Season 6, Episode 13)
- “Funhouse” (Season 2, Episode 13)
- “Pine Barrens” (Season 3, Episode 11)
- “Kennedy and Heidi” (Season 6, Episode 18)
- “Mr. Ruggerio’s Neighborhood” (Season 3, Episode 1)