The original HBO series is just perfect. It’s 86 episodes of sheer brilliance – from writing to acting to directing set design to presumably catering. Not only that, but the themes it presented have only become more resonating in the years since it was signed. Tony believes in the pilot that he felt like he was coming in at the end of something. He’s referring to the mafia, of course, but attentive viewers from the turn of the millennium understand that he’s referring to…just about everything else. Tony’s prediction would be proven in the middle of the series as 2001 passed, the towers fell and an indescribable way of American life was gone forever.
Younger viewers, gazing at the reality of societal dysfunction and climate collapse, come to The Sopranos‘ in droves lately and find that the show appeals to them on a deep level as well. If nearly 86 hours of entertainment proven to appeal to multiple generations and already readily available on a streaming channel, what’s the point in making more?
But maybe that’s all just nostalgic mumbo jumbo of an older millennial who doesn’t want the world to change. But even if so, there are more practical reasons to: The Sopranos not to continue on this prequel path. Chief among these is the fact that: The Sopranos just tried a prequel…and it wasn’t very good.
The Many Saints of Newark is certainly not without its charms. It was wise to focus the story on Dickie Moltisanti, a man with small Sopranos luggage who went into the story and Alessandro Nivola did a pretty good job in his performance. Michael Gandolfini taking on his father’s mantle as a young Tony Soprano was also a welcome surprise. Yet, at the end of the day, many saints didn’t bring much else to the table. This was a shockingly straightforward (and oddly short) gangster story, stripped of all the humor and Freudian musings that made the show special.
Presumably, any sopranos prequel series would once again focus on Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano. After all, with Dickie out of the picture, there aren’t many other compelling protagonists left. But what can a prequel series tell us about Anthony Soprano that the previous 86 episodes didn’t? Tony is about 18 years old when The Many Saints of Newark ends, and is around 39 when The Sopranos begins. While that leaves 20 years of Tony’s life story untold, many of those years have already been accounted for.
Thanks to the events of The Sopranos,,We know a lot of Tony’s childhood. He loved to spend time with his cousin Tony Blundetto’s family farm. He attended Seton University for a year, but then dropped out. At some point, he, Jackie Aprile, and Silvio Dante all robbed Feech La Manna’s legendary card game. And that’s about it! If there were other important focal points in young Tony Soprano’s life, they probably would have emerged during his many therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi.