One week after HBO aired its ambiguous conclusion to The Sopranos, I’m still groping for closure. Fortunately, we live in an era when if you don’t like how a movie or TV show ends, you can change it. That’s what various parodists have done on YouTube.
This one is too pedestrian. C-minus.
This one strikes me as a bit conventional, and there’s a small continuity problem. But thank heaven our Meadow is safe. I give it a C-plus.
This one thinks a bit bigger, but it’s a little obvious. I give it a B-minus.
This one re-engineers an important influence on the Sopranos finale to bring it in line with David Chase’s vision. I give it an A-minus on concept but a C-plus on execution.
On the other hand, I give this one a C-plus on concept but an A-plus on execution.
This one is funnier than it really should be. B.
This is an intriguing Chase-Scorsese mash-up. B-plus.
Note to reader: I make no promises that these links will still work by the time you read this. It seems obvious to me that these parodies all constitute fair comment, and therefore lie beyond the reach of copyright protection. Nevertheless, HBO has systematically been forcing YouTube to yank them down, and by linking to them here I’ve probably made HBO’s work easier. If our winner vanishes, try clicking here.
[Update, June 20: A late entry by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boasts a strong script, a stellar cast (note the cameos by Vince Curatola, who played Johnny Sack, and a certain former president who prefers onion rings to carrots), and excellent production values. Because it isn’t really an amateur effort, it is ineligible for inclusion in this competition. (Also, Celine Dion? Hillary may have lost my vote right there.)
For those who wish to engage in more obsessive, Zapruder-style scrutiny of the Sopranos finale, I found this shot-by-shot analysis fairly helpful. Note the reappearance of the Ginger Cat (assuming tigers count). This one is not, apparently, part of the actual Holsten’s decor. Our guide also points out that the onion rings may be meant to connote not only communion wafers but also the coins placed in the mouths of the dead in Greek myth to pay the ferryman crossing the Styx. The white-armed waitress as angel of death is more fanciful, but I won’t dismiss it out of hand.]