|[Stunned that I have a relevant, but not good, Sopranos photo from my own camera. Paparazzi, Paparazzi]|
James Gandolfini - that guy scares me.
I don't want to be mean, I'm sure he's nice and all, but he just has that whole intimidation thing going on. This is why I have never watched his little show, The Sopranos.
Proving why 7th grade me was not a casting agent in 1999 and had no right to critical judgements based on a scary exterior, that demeanor which put me off is also what lead to Gandolfini's successful stint playing a mob dude for six seasons.
All my sense of detachment from that show was thrown for a loop today.
When a sophisticated voting body declares a show that I already referred to as "little", as the greatest television show ever written, I begin to question where my mind has been in the years since it became age appropriate - there could have been many weekends marathoning through this HBO hit.
Just because the Writer's Guild of America says that The Sopranos tops the list of the 101 Best Written television shows, doesn't mean it actually is, right? Actually, all likelihood points to yes - writing seems like it's their specialty.
Sure, Gandolfini scares me, and I have felt personally intimidated by several other cast members bombarding a local Olean, NY street fair (only Vincent Pastore was caught in a quick snapshot, as seen above), but shouldn't I have known their show was well written! Ball dropped.
I already have the mindset that solid storytelling is where brilliance begins, so the WGA endorsement has pushed me to put aside my preconceived notions in order to be depressed by swarms of people getting sent to swim with the fishes in New Jersey. But seriously, I will be giving it a chance.
The number two slot on the list also went over my head. Seinfeld wasn't a staple in my household and not even the WGA could convince me to get wrapped up in that right now.
It wasn't until I browsed to spot number seven that my eyes really lit up; anyone watching Mad Men can attest that it is the brilliantly written characters and mysteriously simple, yet enthralling plot which makes it unmatchable week after week.
Other favorites of mine that strived to make non-typical, thoughtful, mind bending, and wacky stories, like 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, The X-Files, Arrested Development, and I Love Lucy, also placed in the Top 50.
Going through an epic list of 101 TV shows made me realize, I love TV, but there is still loads to catch up on, including (but not limited to); The Wire, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Deadwood and Battlestar Galactica.
Check out the full list here and start compiling your own list of new shows that will continue your addiction to well made television. While you're at it, give yourself a little praise for those that made the list which you already knew were excellent.