Good Bye To The Ultimate Wise Guy
I was shocked to wake up this morning to read of the death of James Gandolfini at the young age of 51. Gandolfini, who was a wonderful actor, is best known for playing the Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano. When The Sopranos debuted in 1999, Tony Soprano was like no television character I had ever seen before. He brought humor, compassion, and angst. He also brought brutality; loads and loads of brutality. Gandolfini was Tony Soprano, and Tony Soprano was James Gandolfini. He was the perfect mob boss. He was also the father of all the television anti-heroes that we hate to love today.
Tony Soprano begat Dexter Morgan and Walter White. He begat Nucky Thompson and Eric Northman. He begat the entire Borgia family. He begat a new generation of television characters who were both viciously unlikeable and yet likeable at the same time. Tony Soprano was the Travis Bickle of the 21st century,which is a huge reason for my mourning of James Gandolfini. He was the man who made Tony Soprano larger than life, and I thank him for it.
RIP James Gandolfini. You were, and forever will be the baddest ass of them all.