Why the ‘Sopranos’ Creator Said It Was ‘Terrifying’ to Work on Season 2 of the Show

by Jeremy Spirogis
James Gandolfini on the set of

When David Chase assembled his group of writers and commenced work on season 1 of The Sopranos, the crew labored in relative obscurity. Sure, HBO was spending huge on the manufacturing of Chase’s mob collection, however the phrases of status TV had been totally different again then.

For starters, there actually was no such factor as status TV. Long earlier than the times when collection like Chance (2016-17) or Get Shorty (2017-19) get misplaced within the sea of high-quality TV, HBO was the community for films, pay-per-view fights, and that cool Garry Shandling present.

Shows like The Sopranos (particularly The Sopranos) modified that within the ’90s. When the season 1 critiques and Emmy nominations got here in, Chase was happy for a number of causes. “TV critics and journalists had been giving me meals for thought,” Chase mentioned in a circa 2000 interview with Peter Bogdanovich.

Chase appreciated the suggestions and interpretations of the work he hadn’t thought of whereas making season 1. When Bogdanovich requested if that helped throughout the manufacturing of season 2, Chase mentioned he and his crew had been “so terrified” they didn’t have the psychological area to have it assist.

‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase mentioned his group was ‘petrified’ due to the hoopla surrounding the present

James Gandolfini on the set of 'The Sopranos'
James Gandolfini works on the set of “The Sopranos” in 2000. | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection by way of Getty Images

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While the New York Times and different publications had been hailing The Sopranos season 1 as a masterpiece, the present notched 16 Emmy nominations. And when the occasion got here in 1999 The Sopranos gained in 4 classes (together with Outstanding Casting). The collection additionally gained 4 Golden Globes on 5 nominations that yr.

At that time, the crew began feeling the strain to match season 1. “In the second season we were so terrified,” Chase advised Bogdanovich. “There was such a big hoopla that we were petrified.” “[In other words] How do you top it?” Bogdanovich famous. “Yeah,” Chase mentioned.

Chase delivered once more in season 2, after all. Between “The Knight in White Satin Armor” (the dying of Richie Aprile) and the finale, “Funhouse,” season 2 may need outdone the opening yr. After all, season 2 concluded with the dying of Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore). As TV goes, these episodes stay arduous to prime.

‘The Sopranos’ Season 2 acquired 18 Emmy nominations

'Sopranos' cast'Sopranos' cast
Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli & Vincent Pastore in ‘The Sopranos’ | Anthony Neste/The LIFE Images Collection by way of Getty Images/Getty Images

If Chase and his group had been terrified, they didn’t let it have an effect on their work. And awards voters rewarded them for his or her effort. The present racked up an unbelievable 18 Emmy nominations for season 2. (Only James Gandolfini gained, for Outstanding Lead Actor.) And 4 extra Golden Globe nods got here with that haul.

Looking again, Chase may need had extra of a problem in season 3. With the killing of Richie and Pussy, the present misplaced David Proval along with Pastore. But the crew saved at it, and the arrival of Joe Pantoliano (Ralph Cifaretto) saved the solid in stable form.

These days, critics and TV writers proceed rating The Sopranos among the many biggest exhibits to ever land on the small display screen. Did it want six lengthy seasons (together with that double season 6)? Probably not, however the writers delivered each day trip throughout its 86-episode run.

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