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One of the most anticipated events in recent television history, the final episode of The Sopranos on HBO, apparently left legions of fans (including this one) staring at their television sets in dumb wonder at 10:05pm on June 10.

An anguished outcry ensued (including Nikki Finke’s whining screed, with side commentary on how much HBO basically sucks and that subscribers are jumping ship in droves), which I admit I joined for about 15 seconds…and then I realized that this is actually the only way this series COULD end.

Life doesn’t end, even if one life does.  Just ask Phil Leotardo’s daughter, or Janice, or even Ginny Sack.

This series is quintessentially New York, including the bridge & tunnel crowd, of which the Soprano crew were proud members.  Things in the tri-state area don’t get wrapped up neatly, unless it’s a hero from Satriale’s.

In the Land of LA, appearance is all.  Gotta hide anything that ain’t perfect behind the hedge, or out past the Valley.  This is not to say that appearance doesn’t matter in NY – just TRY to get away without a predominantly-black outfit at certain social events – but in NY, we like our art a little messy.  Things don’t get completely resolved.  Life has ragged edges.

So, I think last night’s episode – in spite of some of its more obvious moments, like “Don’t Stop Believing” as the denouement’s auditory backdrop – but that cut-to-black?

Brilliant.

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