‘Sopranos’ fans left fuming

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Many fans of the critically acclaimed HBO series, “The Sopranos,” felt they were left hanging by Sunday night’s final episode.

“I was like, ‘That’s it?’” said Tammy Batchelor, 42, senior manager of Clovis’ Hollywood Video. “Literally, I spent money on HBO for two years for that.”

After a blood bath that eliminated his rival, Tony Soprano (portrayed by James Gandolfini) is shown eating dinner with his family in the final scene.

According to the show’s Web site, hbo.com/sopranos, a shadowy character is seen walking into the bathroom just as Tony’s family is about to eat. Then the screen went black, offering only silence for a few seconds before the credits rolled, according to the Associated Press.

“We hated it,” said Melissa Mills, 40, a Clovis bookkeeper who watched it with her husband. “It just kind of left you hanging. They just didn’t do anything. It didn’t end.

“I liked it better a couple years ago when it was a really good, hard-hitting show.”

Others said the series finale simply continued the theme of ambiguity and disorderliness that characterized the show.

“In our popular culture, we’ve come to expect things to get tied up neatly,” Jerry Herron, a professor at Wayne State University in Michigan told the Associated Press. “The claim that (director David) Chase is making as an artist here is, real life doesn’t have neat endings. He’s saying that life goes on, and art goes on, and he’s just going to end it right here.”

Batchelor offered her speculation that Tony was killed but the audience didn’t witness it.

“The way I saw it, I think he got popped in the end,” she said. “In the very beginning of the season, when Tony and Bobby were talking, he said you never see it coming.”

Others speculated about a possible a sequel on the big-screen.

“I think they did it on purpose, but they pissed everyone off so much, I won’t watch it,” Batchelor said. “I’ll wait until it comes out on video.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.