"The Sopranos" as a Soap Opera

Essay by beavb419University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

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"The Sopranos" has been a controversial show throughout its six seasons. Many people label the show with their own critiques based on their own culture. The show is based on the life of Italian-American, Tony Soprano, head of the most powerful crime family in New Jersey. Tony is often considered a bad guy and a good guy at the same time. The pilot episode of "The Sopranos" begins a story that explains this reasoning, and is considered a soap opera often adored by men for many reasons. "The Sopranos" is defined as a male soap opera because it holds all the elements of the woman's soap opera, yet contains the masculine identities that pertain to men.

The first episode of "The Sopranos" connects to the soap opera from the start. It begins with Tony talking with his therapist, who is a middle-aged woman: she is helping Tony figure out why he is having anxiety attacks.

Middle-aged professional women are often brought about in soap operas and portrayed in to show a woman's sexual and psychological power. There are many close-ups on their faces while they speak with one another. This is a major element of soap operas. Close-up shots are used to capture the reactions, feelings, and emotions of certain characters. These shots let the viewers engage with the thoughts of the characters as well. In the pilot episode of The Sopranos, when Tony and the therapist discuss his anxiety, they are both in close-up shots when they each talk and viewers are able to capture their emotions and expressions. This lets the viewer know that what they are talking about is important and will be a major factor in the rest of the episode. The dialogue that occurs is also a big element of the show. The first...