We post the Pilot – the vey first episode – of David Chase’s “The Sopranos” – the Pilot is the film the producers showed to HBO, the US Cable Channel, to “show what they could do,” in order to secure funding for one season’s worth of episodes. It contains all the seeds to what the 6 and a half year seasons’ worth of shows became.
Tony, the mobster, Dr. Melfi, his shrink (!) his wife Carmela, his sociopath Mamma… It’s an incredible Italian story… or rather an awesome Italian-American epic, a stunning, devastating portrait of third-generation Italy abroad… though many (even some characters in the series) protested its depiction of Italian culture, as cliché mob hits, cummàs, and mafia ties…
It’s benchmark television done superbly.
We link to the Pilot episode on google docs… which means you can watch it there until a certain number of views… then it offers you the option of downloading the episode, which we, in principle, DON’T recommend.
We do recommend you watch it as soon as you can… for so many reasons. (and we also recommend seeing the whole series on DVD, one episode at a time. For its depiction of Italians abroad… for its acting, and directing… it’s riveting television…. we know, we know… that’s all-too-rarely a sentence at all.
“Te Sopranos, Pilot” David Gray, 1999, Full episode, linked here.
The photo above is Annie Liebovitz’ “Last Suppper.”