Yes, I saw The Sopranos season finale.

If you missed it, and are waiting for the replay tonight or tomorrow ... bad deal for you. The papers already gave away the story. Jackie Jr. got whacked.

I gave up episodic TV a numbers of years ago when I was watching one of the re-run channels like TV Land realized that I'd seen every Mork and Mindy, and every Barney Miller, and every Taxi — the first time they aired.

I thought what a waste of time, and I swore it off.

Then The Sopranos came along, and I got sucked in again.

At first I thought it was because I moved to New Jersey, and The Sopranos are to New Jersey what The Beach Boys are to California.

You understand The Beach Boys, you understand Southern California ... same with The Sopranos and Jersey.

But there's more to it than knowing where Fountains of Wayne is, or what it feels like to pick up a ticket at the toll plaza on the turnpike.

It's James Gandolfini ... Tony Soprano. He can make you feel a mobster's pain, and that's even better than Clinton.

It's the other guys too. I actually carry a picture of Stevie Van Zandt around in his Silvio Dante role. Whatever you do, don't let my hair look like this.

After a Soprano episode, I end up dreaming about Soprano life for two or three nights. And there's always one image I can't get out of my mind.

Will I miss The Sopranos? Sure. But maybe 13 episodes all bunched together in the Spring is the way to go. You get a year of The Sopranos, and you still have most of the year to do things other than sit in front of the box.

Look at this: we've seen all The Sopranos episodes. No new ones till next March, and we still have the whole summer.

Reward yourself by watching this show instead.


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