Author Topic: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini  (Read 7644 times)

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Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2013, 09:38:35 AM »
William White?
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Offline dooley_womack1

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2013, 09:51:03 AM »
Can you say florid hyperbole? He is far from the most influential character in TV history. Let's see who's more influential....Archie Bunker, Maude, Bill Cosby's character in I Spy, Marlo Thomas' character in That Girl, Frank Furillo, Murphy Brown, Jody Dallas, Will Truman...and that's just with a couple moments thought. He was a very good actor who did well with a well-written character. And edgy cable series were being written before The Sopranos, so, again, florid hyperbole.

Look, it's a bummer he died, and Amy Winehouse sure didn't belong on the NYT's A1. But let's not go down the Olerud worm hole.
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Offline LongTimeListener

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2013, 09:52:50 AM »
Dick did just give a nice theme paper on Sepinwall's book, though.

Offline beanpole

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2013, 09:54:26 AM »
I agree, it got great play on the website, and that's where most people who want to know the NYT's take on Gandofini would look for it. I have no problem with the refer to the second-day story inside the paper.
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Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2013, 09:55:15 AM »
If one of Bill Cosby's characters is on the "Most Influential" list, it's not his character in I Spy.

And who the hell are half of the others you listed?
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Offline BTExpress

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2013, 09:55:42 AM »
Quote
The character he played was perhaps the most influential character in the history of television,

I stopped right there.

There really are places that people under the age of 30 just should not wander into. No matter how pseudo-educated.

You simply do not have the perspective.



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Offline TheSportsPredictor

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2013, 09:58:42 AM »
No way is he worth A1. Heck, Chase has a better shot down the line.

And Dick, "Yes. Absolutely. No question. Without a doubt. Inarguable." is below your usual level of intellectual rigor. A few of us are a'doubtin'. Defend your view.

The character he played was perhaps the most influential character in the history of television, spawning Don Draper, William White, and many others. The show he starred on - and the character and the show were almost indistinguishable - was equally influential, spawning shows with sweep like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Wire," and also network shows like "LOST" and "Heroes," which rode the formula. "The Sopranos" changed television - for one thing, it drew movie-goers like myself into dramatic television, which we had largely abandoned up until then. It also provided an alternative to what was at that point an onslaught of low-cost reality television. People forget, but there were a lot of obituaries being written for scripted television shows in the early 2000s, upon the arrival of "Survivor" and its antecedents.

Gandolfini was at the center of that revolution, as the actor who breathed life into one of the iconic television characters of all time. One of the iconic screen characters, really. One of the iconic characters, really. I understand the counter-argument: Tony Soprano didn't die. James Gandolfini did. But James Gandolfini was Tony Soprano. You can't really separate them. An apt comparison might be Lucille Ball or Carroll O'Connor. I've seen another one today: Marlon Brando. Just a few days ago, the New York Times had an A1 piece about how fashion magazines are putting television stars on their covers nowadays instead of movie stars. It's a seismic shift, and it's because television acting is now considered a respectable near-equivalent to screen acting.

And who do you think laid that foundation?

Tom Fontana and Oz.

Offline dooley_womack1

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2013, 09:59:37 AM »
If one of Bill Cosby's characters is on the "Most Influential" list, it's not his character in I Spy.

And who the hell are half of the others you listed?

Yes it is. He's the first black to carry a network TV series. Bill Cosby of the 1980s does not happen without Bill Cosby of the 1960s. As for the other, I wish there were some way for one to instantly look up historical information to answer any gaps in knowledge.
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Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2013, 10:13:31 AM »
Oh, there is. I just don't give enough of a shit to do it. But I'm sure whoever Jody Dallas is/was, he/she is proud to be on your list.
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Offline dooley_womack1

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2013, 10:15:57 AM »
OK, so you don't know about the first openly gay main character on U.S. network TV. Whatevs
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Offline Versatile

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2013, 10:19:21 AM »
I watch a lot of TV. I've never seen an episode of The Sopranos. Everyone has heard Amy Winehouse's music. I've only seen James Gandolfini in a small handful of supporting roles: Get Shorty, Crimson Tide, All the King's Men and Money for Nothing.
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Offline Dick Whitman

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2013, 10:23:17 AM »
Can you say florid hyperbole? He is far from the most influential character in TV history. Let's see who's more influential....Archie Bunker, Maude, Bill Cosby's character in I Spy, Marlo Thomas' character in That Girl, Frank Furillo, Murphy Brown, Jody Dallas, Will Truman...and that's just with a couple moments thought. He was a very good actor who did well with a well-written character. And edgy cable series were being written before The Sopranos, so, again, florid hyperbole.

Look, it's a bummer he died, and Amy Winehouse sure didn't belong on the NYT's A1. But let's not go down the Olerud worm hole.

Dooley, your list is almost exclusively sitcom characters. That says something right there about Tony Soprano, does it not? I think that for a long time, television was considered a good vehicle for comedy, but not so much for drama. Granted, "Oz" and some others came first, not least of all "Hill Street Blues." But Buddy Holly preceded the Beatles, right?

I stand by the assertion that he's arguably the most influential television character of all time. So many shows directly trace the lineage of their lead character to him. Billy Crystal and Bill Cosby's characters each had a breakthrough trait, I'll give you that. But Tony Soprano altered our understanding about what kind of canvas a show creator was working on when breathing life into his protagonist.

Now, don't get me wrong: I don't think "The Sopranos" was a perfect show. I think that it got a little plot heavy in later seasons, and I think that it did a poor job of introducing characters, and sometimes awkwardly ramped up the significance of peripheral characters.

But I do think that Tony Soprano was nearly a perfect character.

And played perfectly.

Offline Alma

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2013, 10:23:22 AM »
No way is he worth A1. Heck, Chase has a better shot down the line.

And Dick, "Yes. Absolutely. No question. Without a doubt. Inarguable." is below your usual level of intellectual rigor. A few of us are a'doubtin'. Defend your view.

The character he played was perhaps the most influential character in the history of television, spawning Don Draper, William White, and many others. The show he starred on - and the character and the show were almost indistinguishable - was equally influential, spawning shows with sweep like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Wire," and also network shows like "LOST" and "Heroes," which rode the formula. "The Sopranos" changed television - for one thing, it drew movie-goers like myself into dramatic television, which we had largely abandoned up until then. It also provided an alternative to what was at that point an onslaught of low-cost reality television. People forget, but there were a lot of obituaries being written for scripted television shows in the early 2000s, upon the arrival of "Survivor" and its antecedents.

Gandolfini was at the center of that revolution, as the actor who breathed life into one of the iconic television characters of all time. One of the iconic screen characters, really. One of the iconic characters, really. I understand the counter-argument: Tony Soprano didn't die. James Gandolfini did. But James Gandolfini was Tony Soprano. You can't really separate them. An apt comparison might be Lucille Ball or Carroll O'Connor. I've seen another one today: Marlon Brando. Just a few days ago, the New York Times had an A1 piece about how fashion magazines are putting television stars on their covers nowadays instead of movie stars. It's a seismic shift, and it's because television acting is now considered a respectable near-equivalent to screen acting.

And who do you think laid that foundation?

Titanic influence isn't measured in five years, Dick. The Sopranos has only been off TV since 2007.

Further, the presumption that it's best TV shows ever is a byproduct of the tyranny of now. TV critics who just started writing in the last decade just don't have the clout to declare that for themselves. Some of the "great" shows of today, as labeled by critics, are just nihilistic, upscale soap operas. Postmodernism and relativism reign today, so, through that prism, these shows look excellent. Some are (The Sopranos) and some most definitely are not.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 10:26:13 AM by Alma »
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Offline Dick Whitman

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2013, 10:25:04 AM »
Some of the "great" shows of today, as labeled by critics, are just nihilistic, upscale soap operas.

Any in particular you're thinking of? :)

Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2013, 10:25:46 AM »
OK, so you don't know about the first openly gay main character on U.S. network TV. Whatevs

That would seem to be the case.

Whatevs? Should I be ashamed? Is that a put-down?
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Offline Versatile

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2013, 10:27:12 AM »
No way is he worth A1. Heck, Chase has a better shot down the line.

And Dick, "Yes. Absolutely. No question. Without a doubt. Inarguable." is below your usual level of intellectual rigor. A few of us are a'doubtin'. Defend your view.

The character he played was perhaps the most influential character in the history of television, spawning Don Draper, William White, and many others. The show he starred on - and the character and the show were almost indistinguishable - was equally influential, spawning shows with sweep like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Wire," and also network shows like "LOST" and "Heroes," which rode the formula. "The Sopranos" changed television - for one thing, it drew movie-goers like myself into dramatic television, which we had largely abandoned up until then. It also provided an alternative to what was at that point an onslaught of low-cost reality television. People forget, but there were a lot of obituaries being written for scripted television shows in the early 2000s, upon the arrival of "Survivor" and its antecedents.

Gandolfini was at the center of that revolution, as the actor who breathed life into one of the iconic television characters of all time. One of the iconic screen characters, really. One of the iconic characters, really. I understand the counter-argument: Tony Soprano didn't die. James Gandolfini did. But James Gandolfini was Tony Soprano. You can't really separate them. An apt comparison might be Lucille Ball or Carroll O'Connor. I've seen another one today: Marlon Brando. Just a few days ago, the New York Times had an A1 piece about how fashion magazines are putting television stars on their covers nowadays instead of movie stars. It's a seismic shift, and it's because television acting is now considered a respectable near-equivalent to screen acting.

And who do you think laid that foundation?

Lucille Ball had two huge TV shows in the era when she was pulling in almost a quarter of the country to watch. Carroll O'Connor was the star of the show that led the ratings (for any time slot) for five years in a row, meaning more than 30 percent of those with TVs were watching. Marlon Brando may be the greatest actor of all time and had his name on that list before The Godfather.

James Gandolfini has a cult following that includes a lot of people you (and I) follow on Twitter. There's a problem with that, as there is with what Alma is describing. I'm all for an intellectual oligarchy in many cases, but fame is for the people en masse to decide.
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Offline dooley_womack1

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2013, 10:29:59 AM »
Can you say florid hyperbole? He is far from the most influential character in TV history. Let's see who's more influential....Archie Bunker, Maude, Bill Cosby's character in I Spy, Marlo Thomas' character in That Girl, Frank Furillo, Murphy Brown, Jody Dallas, Will Truman...and that's just with a couple moments thought. He was a very good actor who did well with a well-written character. And edgy cable series were being written before The Sopranos, so, again, florid hyperbole.

Look, it's a bummer he died, and Amy Winehouse sure didn't belong on the NYT's A1. But let's not go down the Olerud worm hole.

Dooley, your list is almost exclusively sitcom characters. That says something right there about Tony Soprano, does it not? I think that for a long time, television was considered a good vehicle for comedy, but not so much for drama. Granted, "Oz" and some others came first, not least of all "Hill Street Blues." But Buddy Holly preceded the Beatles, right?

I stand by the assertion that he's arguably the most influential television character of all time. So many shows directly trace the lineage of their lead character to him. Billy Crystal and Bill Cosby's characters each had a breakthrough trait, I'll give you that. But Tony Soprano altered our understanding about what kind of canvas a show creator was working on when breathing life into his protagonist.

Now, don't get me wrong: I don't think "The Sopranos" was a perfect show. I think that it got a little plot heavy in later seasons, and I think that it did a poor job of introducing characters, and sometimes awkwardly ramped up the significance of peripheral characters.

But I do think that Tony Soprano was nearly a perfect character.

And played perfectly.

It's all one television universe. Cosby's I Spy character and Jody Dallas, besides their TV milestone status, were, wider-society-wise, chisels chipping away at the thick wall of obstacles blacks and gays faced in society. And the That Girl character, and hell, even more so, Mary Richards, showed young women they could have careers and could be smart. I don't think Tony Soprano had the society-wide impact those characters did. And your Holly argument can also be seen as Tony Soprano:Holly::Don Draper:Beatles. Now, I don't think either of those characters are in that pantheon, but just sayin'
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Offline Alma

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2013, 10:35:02 AM »
Some of the "great" shows of today, as labeled by critics, are just nihilistic, upscale soap operas.

Any in particular you're thinking of? :)

Just about all of them are nihlistic. Some shows are excellent despite that.

Mad Men, I'm sorry, gets outdrawn on Sunday night by Ice Road Truckers and The Real Housewives of New Jersey on cable. It's frankly a boring, morose show, fetishsized by a select few, most of whom write 1000s of words about each episode on the Internet.
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Offline LongTimeListener

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2013, 10:38:13 AM »
For cultural impact, Sipowicz > Soprano

Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2013, 10:41:22 AM »
Damn. Ice Road Truckers is still on? I was into that show the first two or three seasons.
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Offline Versatile

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2013, 10:44:27 AM »
This is weird. dooley_womack1 and I almost never agree on pop-culture debates.

Dick Whitman, I think you have lost perspective about the wide-spread viewing of The Sopranos, particularly in comparison to shows from the era before cable (or before cable's popularity). By being on HBO, The Sopranos could only be watched by people with many TV choices. Because of the cursing, it cut into its audience. Because of the intellectual nature of the show, it cut further. Simply put, not that many people have seen The Sopranos. And James Gandolfini didn't do a whole lot else.

Some of the "great" shows of today, as labeled by critics, are just nihilistic, upscale soap operas.

Any in particular you're thinking of? :)

Just about all of them are nihlistic. Some shows are excellent despite that.

Mad Men, I'm sorry, gets outdrawn on Sunday night by Ice Road Truckers and The Real Housewives of New Jersey on cable. It's frankly a boring, morose show, fetishsized by a select few, most of whom write 1000s of words about each episode on the Internet.

Do you believe you used the word "most" correctly in this case, or was it intentional hyperbole? I agree with a lot of what you said. One problem is that many of the best shows from the 1970s and 1980s haven't made themselves easy to find on the Internet. I really would like to watch Soap, for instance. The Mary Tyler Moore Show's first three seasons are on Hulu, but from that point on, I'd have to buy the DVDs (running a total of about $50). That's frustrating to me.
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Offline KJIM

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2013, 10:48:35 AM »
If John Hamm dropped dead tomorrow, it would not rate A1. And "Mad Men" is a current, groundbreaking show.  It is also a niche show.

I recognize I'm out of it, but when I saw the RIP thread yesterday, honest to God, I thought it was one of the Lord of the Rings actors. I do not have HBO, so Sopranos was never an option.

And it's been off the air for how long now?

I'd rank Alan Alda an A1 before this guy, not to say he deserves it, but he'd be more deserving than the Sopranos guy.

Offline poindexter

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2013, 10:50:12 AM »
Versatile mentioned the first name that popped into my head.

Lucille Ball vs. James Gandolfini   - that is Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks.


People really have to watch themselves with the 'greatest of all time' stuff.

Offline BTExpress

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2013, 10:51:38 AM »
Quote
I think that for a long time, television was considered a good vehicle for comedy, but not so much for drama.

Yeah, the laughter never stopped at our house watching those episodes of Roots and Lonesome Dove and The Twilight Zone and Law & Order.

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Offline Versatile

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Re: In the NYT, Amy Winehouse > James Gandolfini
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2013, 10:54:44 AM »
I'd rank Alan Alda an A1 before this guy, not to say he deserves it, but he'd be more deserving than the Sopranos guy.

That shouldn't need to be said. And he does deserve it.
"Things have only gone downhill. But I'm still playing my violin on the Titanic." I Should Coco