In The Sopranos, Tony Soprano’s two children—A.J. and Meadow—have different personalities. A.J. is lazy and self-centered while Meadow is kind and hardworking. Meadow’s parents consider her the better sibling, hence they are more proud of her. She has indeed done plenty to justify the favoritism directed towards her.
Tony and Carmela see A.J. as nothing more than a source of stress and disappointment but some fans might have a different opinion. The younger Soprano sibling has traits that are appealing too. Some of the traits that are used to paint him in a bad light are also desirable when examined from a different perspective.
Meadow: She Is Closer To Her Parents
Whereas AJ spends most of his time arguing with his parents, Meadow prefers to tighten the bonds. She engages with Tony and Carmela more and generally appears happy around them.
Thanks to the good relationship, Meadow’s parents feel comfortable enough to have sensitive conversations with her. Among Meadow Soprano’s best ever quotes is one where she bluntly asks her father, “Are you in the mafia?.” Interestingly, he admits it. Tony has also proven that he’d do anything for Meadow but not AJ. He was willing to risk relationships with the Lupertazzi Crime Family by beating one of their members because he offended Meadow.
A.J: Relates Well With People Outside The Family
A.J.’s peers like him and enjoy hanging out with him. He is also close to most of the mobsters. Big Pussy is more than glad to give A.J. advice, reminding viewers why he is one of the most intelligent DiMeo Crime Family members. He even oversees his confirmation. Bobby likes him too and A.J. is deeply devastated when the mobster dies.
How well a person relates with others is an accurate measure of how decent a human being they are. The youngster’s great relations outside the family hint at the problem being Tony and Carmela, not A.J. himself. They raised him after all and they had been shown to be a bit too lenient on him. This is a possible reason for his unruliness.
Meadow: She Is An Overachiever
During her time in the series, Meadow attends a prestigious college before going on to become a human rights lawyer. AJ, on the other hand, struggles to get good grades or land a proper career.
Parents are always proud of children that do well in life and for that reason, Meadow gets more points. Never at one point do Tony and Carmela have to worry about her getting poor grades or not amounting to anything in life. The fact that she’s specific about being a lawyer that fights for the rights of Italian Americans is even more impressive.
A.J: He Is Relatble
In as much as A.J. does plenty of annoying things, he is the typical spoiled teenager and this makes him relatable in comparison to Meadow who always has her affairs in order. A.J. is fun-loving, rebellious, and prone to mistakes.
A.J’s numerous moments of conflict with his parents are what create appeal for his character. He helps develop Tony and Carmela’s family arc as he gives them something else to worry about outside their normal mob routines. A.J’s mistakes also create numerous redemption angles for him.
Meadow: She Understands The Family Business
Meadow doesn’t even flinch when Tony admits that he is a mobster. She understands him. She also keeps it a secret, unlike AJ who uses his status as a mob boss’s son to gain access to VIP sections of nightclubs and intimidate people.
What’s more impressive about Meadow’s acknowledgment of her family’s mob lifestyle is that she separates it from her own life. She doesn’t choose to be a badass criminal because her father is one. She becomes a career woman while remaining supportive to her parents. She also reminds others to adhere to the mafia code. This is best seen during Jackie Aprille Jr’s funeral when she calls out one of her relatives for discussing mob business with an outsider.
A.J: He Is Brave
A.J’s biggest cool factor comes from him not being afraid of anything, not even his own father. A.J. has squared off against Tony a couple of times. He was also willing to kill Junior for accidentally shooting Tony, despite the fact that he had never used a gun before.
This particular trait does not appeal to A.J’s parents but in a show full of gangsters, being courageous puts a character on the likable side rather than the unlikable one. Though A.J. isn’t confrontational, he is never hesitant to defend himself. His courage does a great job of masking many of his other flaws.
Meadow: She Looks Out For Her Brother
Meadow is the only person in the family who appears to be fond of AJ. She gives him advice from time to time and helps him cover up some of his mischiefs, which would otherwise land him in trouble.
Meadow’s attitude towards AJ makes her more likable since it highlights her ability to be understanding. While Tony and Carmela have a problem with AJ, Meadow doesn’t see the big deal. She knows that everyone is different and for that reason, she loves her brother as he is. By being warm towards AJ, she helps him feel less secluded too.
A.J: He Is Fun Loving
A.J. listens to music, goes to nightclubs, and drives one of the best cars on The Sopranos. In most of the seasons, he is portrayed as a heavy metal music fan. He is in possession of shirts posters and stickers of bands like Nevermore, Slipknot, Trivium, and Limp Bizkit. His sister Meadow hardly even watches a movie.
The Soprano son’s hobbies make him the undisputed selection if a choice has to be made about which sibling to hang out with. Things tend to be chaotic in Tony’s household and New Jersey in general, so having fun is a necessary thing to do. Carmela does it, Tony does it and so do all his fellow mobsters.
Meadow: She Has An Interesting Love Life
As a young adult, Meadow gets to date a mobster’s son, a schoolmate (who Tony highly disapproves of), and a hardworking fellow professional who has the tendency of seeing things he shouldn’t. All of Meadow’s boyfriends receive great story arcs. AJ, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky with love.
Romance is a recurring theme on the show and Meadow’s forays into cupid’s territory make her a more interesting character to follow. Even when things don’t go well for her (which has happened a lot), she doesn’t sulk like AJ. She simply moves on. Her happily-ever-after moment at the end of the show makes fans proud of her, considering everything she has been through.
A.J: He Is Positively Emotional
A.J. is more in tune with his emotions. He is heartbroken when his fiancé Bianca dumps and grieves more than anyone when Bobby is killed by hitmen from the Lupertazzi Crime Family.
In a show where everyone appears to not care about even the most serious things, including a character’s death, A.J’s emotions make him appear more human. Meadow sees one of her boyfriends die but moves on whereas A.J. is deeply affected by a simple breakup. His concern about his future also makes him work harder towards the end of the show.