When I first saw the news that actor James Gandolfini had died this past Wednesday, I was saddened - and I knew how I would spend the next week: a full-scale binge re-watching of all 86 episodes of The Sopranos. I've done it before, but never on the scale I will now undertake. Honestly, I've owned the DVDs for the first 5 seasons for years, and somehow I remember not being all that enthralled with season 6, but parts I and II of that final season are on their way to my house (this time in Blu-ray) and I will do the entire thing.
So here it is Saturday morning, and I've just completed season 1, the season that hooked us onto Tony Soprano and HBO forever, and I am overwhelmed by the stunning performance of this amazing actor, who was given the brilliant character by David Chase. But whatever the words and plotting, there is something overwhelmingly amazing in Gandolfini's performance. More words have been inked over this series than any in television (except maybe The Wire). Nothing I can say hasn't been said already. All I can say is that I am glad I decided to honor this actor in this way - and I recommend that you do the same.