The Sopranos creator David Chase thought the show would become irrelevant. Having premiered on HBO at the turn of the century, The Sopranos famously centers on the angst-ridden Italian-American mafia boss and father, Tony Soprano, who was embodied perfectly by the late James Gandolfini. Over six seasons, the show primarily explores Tony’s struggles, whether with his family or colleagues in the mafia, through intense therapy sessions with his psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco)
Over a decade after the controversial series finale aired, Chase returned to the world of The Sopranos with the feature film, The Many Saints of Newark, starring James Gandolfini’s son Michael as a teenage Tony Soprano. However, his uncle Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) is the film’s central character. While Chase co-wrote the movie with Lawrence Konner, he could not direct it due to health problems, so frequent Sopranos director Alan Taylor stepped in to fill the void. However, Chase has remained vocal and protective of his passion project.
In an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, David Chase recently opened up about all things Sopranos and Many Saints of Newark. Chase is astounded by how the HBO series has lived on and even spawned a prequel film hit on HBO Max. Instead, he thought the show would quickly become obsolete after it went off the air. Read what Chase had to say below:
See, I didn’t think that Sopranos would live on at all even after doing it and even after it got all these accolades because I thought, ‘In a couple of years the references won’t work, nobody will know what we’re talking about, the phones will be different, TVs will be different.’ That part of it is true — the technology is different — but apparently what it’s about still resonates with people. So I’m just delighted to see that. To think that you’re really reaching a generation 20 years later is astounding.
During its 86-episode run on HBO, The Sopranos won a total of 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time and is credited for ushering in the Golden Age of Television. Perhaps even better than that, the show’s popularity has persisted as it has been passed down to an entirely new generation experiencing it for the first time.
After airing its final episode in 2007, The Sopranos remained relevant for several years due to its abrupt and ambiguous ending, which angered many fans. Still, swaths of younger viewers are discovering the show now due to its streaming availability on HBO Max, a phenomenon that has been documented by the press. While the show may contain many references and technology unfamiliar to them, its core themes and relatable characters still resonate. For that reason, The Sopranos will remain timeless.