NEW YORK – Just because I'm a big know-it-all doesn't mean I really know everything. But that's just between you and me. Like, for example, I don't know how to be a wiseguy, although God knows, I know how to be a wiseass.
Therefore, to fully understand the yin and yang, the juxtaposition of light and shadow, if you will, in the film noir experience that is The Sopranos, I went to two real experts. Again.
Yes, Fat Frankie and Tommy Hams (names have been changed to protect the not-even-close-to-innocent) are today's guest reviewers for the season finale of my favorite show, The Sopranos.
"It was the woist show they done outta all of them," said Fat Frankie, who doesn't want his real name used, even though his real name is just an initial, as far as I know.
Frankie, who may, in fact, be the real life "Bacala," and his capo di tutti capi, Hams, watch the show together as often as they can. Sometimes, however, they are busy, and have to tape it. Don't ask what they are busy doing — well, because.
Fat Frankie was disgusted by the whole episode.
"They're spending too much time on the kids. People want to see Tony as a killer — not as a family man who screws everyone but his wife," he said.
Said Hams, through Frankie (Hams doesn't speak to the press, and even if he did, you couldn't understand him because, well, again, don't ask), "People want to see the real thing — killings. And that Walnuts guy — who are they kidding?
"It's politically incorrect for him to have a sit-down with a captain!" (I swear to God, that's what he said!) "The captain is a boss, and Tony is the captain's boss. Walnuts would be setting himself up. And then to complain? Nah. Once a captain makes a decision, that's it. It was all wrong."
Continued Frankie, "He ain't too bright as a wiseguy, that Walnuts. And I shudda got his part anyway. I got a SAG card. Anyway, the way he handled Christopher and smelling his girl's panties and all. It was disrespectful."
But it's the whacking of Jackie Jr. that makes them really see, er, red.
"He can't do that without permission," fumed Frankie. "No, it's never just understood. Not a hit — especially since Tony liked the kid. It has to be mutually agreed on for him to do that. Tony has to OK it. Now they gotta kill Ralphie. They gotta."
Frankie and Hams are not happy that they did not do a vengeance finale. "You can't let a rapist go. And what happened to the Russian? It p---es me off," said Frankie. And seriously, folks, you really don't want to p--- off Frankie. Really.
"The only thing they got right is that all wiseguys send their sons to military school," said Frankie.
"They think it's the magic bullet that's gonna turn them into doctors or lawyers. Whadda, they kiddin? It just turns them into smarter criminals."
One other tidbit gleaned from the pair that I love the best: In real life, they tell me, Bacala is Steve Shirripa, the entertainment director of The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
When he's not taking care of Uncle Junior, I mean. When he's not taking care of Hams, Frankie is an entertainment manager himself.