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The Sopranos: Season 2 (2000)

DVD Cover (HBO Studios)
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The Sopranos
> The Sopranos: Season 1 (1999)
> The Sopranos: Season 2 (2000)
> The Sopranos: Season 3 (2001)
Genres:
Crime Drama, Family Drama, Gangster Show, Prime-Time Drama, Psychological Drama

9.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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The story of New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads. Those difficulties are often highlighted through his ongoing professional relationship with psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi. The show features Tony's family members and Mafia associates in prominent roles and story arcs, most notably his wife Carmela and his cousin and protégé Christopher Moltisanti. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: August 09, 2010
After finally settling down with the first season of The Sopranos, I knew that it wouldn't take long before I was back for more. I couldn't wait to kick back and watch the further adventures of Tony Soprano and both of his families, and to cut right to the chase, the second season does not disappoint. This is the season where the writers were comfortable with the characters, the audience knows who everyone is, and things started to really pick up in both aspects of the episodes. Things are getting much more dramatic in both Tony's family life and in his life of crime, and to say that this provides for one hell of a season would be an understatement.

A lot has changed since we wrapped things up in season one. Tony (James Gandolfini) is now the acting capo in the Jersey family due to Junior's (Dominic Chianese) indictment, Big Pussy (Vincent Pastore) is now wearing a wire for the government, Carmela (Edie Falco) is getting fed up with Tony's adulterous ways, and Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is about to graduate high school. As if that wasn't enough, Tony's sister Janice (Aida Turturro) shows up in town to take care of their mother (Nancy Marchand in her last on-screen appearance before her death), and to say that this brother and sister pair does not get along with one another would be putting it lightly. Adding even more fuel to that fire is the fact that Richie (David Proval) has just got out of jail, detests the ground that Tony walks on, and is planning on marrying Janice. Oh, the drama!

A lot of things have changed, but a lot has stayed the same as well. Tony is still seeing Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) for his stress and depression, and this still isn't going over very well with his criminal buddies. He's also still having to continually balance his personal and his "professional" lives, and yes, the government is starting to come down hard on him and threatening to drastically impact both sides of his life. He's still dealing with two rebellious teenagers while trying to earn that almighty dollar, and there are plenty of mini plot devices that spring up throughout the season that I will leave to the virgin viewer.

I mentioned in my review for the first season that if the show retained the quality found there throughout the rest of its run, that it would quickly find a spot in my "favorite television shows ever" list. Season two does nothing to deter me from that, and in fact, I would say that this season is better than the first in a lot of ways. For starters, the obligatory character introductions are out of the way, and we're able to immediately get down to business in the first episode. Now, we obviously needed those introductions and they didn't hurt the first season in any way, but having them over and done with allowed the writers to simply get on with the story without devoting a good chunk of the season to showing us who's who and how their character operates.

One other thing that has changed in this season is that the episodes now take on more of a "day in the life" feel than in the previous season. When you finish watching one episode and start on the next, you may find that a week or even a month has passed in this world. The important storyline pieces are continued from episode to episode, it's not like each episode is completely separate from the others, but this allows us to skip over wrapping up some of the more mundane details of certain storyline arcs. For example, a character may show up and be the focus of one episode, but in the next, he is completely gone - his storyline was basically wrapped up in "his" episode save for the minor details, and we may then see him pop up a time or two in later episodes to remind us that he still exists. I enjoyed this approach, as it allows for one to view the season at his or her leisure - if you can't marathon through the season, you're not going to risk forgetting important details.

On that same subject, I also enjoyed how the writers continued to stay away from the age-old trick of ending every episode in a cliffhanger. That simply doesn't happen here, and in fact, even the season finale avoids that trap. I mentioned this in my review of the first season, but it's so nice to be able to sit down and watch just a single episode without having to spend the rest of the day wondering where the storyline will go from there or how the writers will follow up a shocking twist.

Overall, season two of The Sopranos is just as good as the first, and yes, it is actually better in some ways. The acting is still top-notch, the writing is still damned good, and everything about this show just clicks together in a way that television shows rarely do. I truly regret waiting so long to get into this show, but I'm certainly enjoying making up for lost time. 10/10.
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