I’ve been reluctant to comment on this show. For one thing, I didn’t want all you Crunchy Cons out there to judge me for spending the big money just to see the HBO classics. For another, I’m not sure what to make of it. Ir may well be, as Peggy says, a fundamentally nihilistic show. Most people are at heart monsters ready to do anything they can get away with to satisfy their appetites. From that view, it’s a much more realistic show about nothing than SEINFELD or CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Or it may be a slightly more ambiguous and sympathetic account of how people turn out when compelled to operate outside the law and decent conventions. Arguably Tony could have been a formidable political or corporate figure if he didn’t think he could act on all his impulses and get away with it. Or maybe in another line of work his sociopathic character would have led to his destruction much earlier. Even the rare naturally decent Mafia guy--like Bobby--is also stuck with being a murderer and getting murdered (while buying a model train set for himself--Bobby was one lovable husband, father, and friend). It’s behind question that David Chase did create a very singular and very realistic Jersey world (based very loosely--like GODFATHER I and II--on a world that actually existed) full of strange and memorable--I hesitate to add wonderful--characters.