More articles by Sarah Novotny
Sopranos Finale Crashes HBO Web Site in Outrage
The much anticipated 86th episode of the Sopranos finale aired Sunday night on HBO with a large thud.Fanswere very disappointed by the ending and went online to express their outrage. According to numerous reports the volume of hate traffic to the HBO web site brought the site down for a significant period of time.
Many critics and fans had been hopeful that this ending would satisfy the need for a proper farewell to a pop icon and one of the most successful television series on record. David Chase wrote and directed the final episode where the final scene featured Tony (James Gandolfini), his wife, Carmela (Edie Falco), and son, A.J. (Robert Iler), in a restaurant where they were about to be joined by the last member of their family, daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), when the screen went black and the credits started to roll.
The sequence was marked by Soprano’s style tension. Tony told his wife of his possible indictment while glaring at four different customers as possible hit men sent to end his life. No resolution was offered to the scene or to many of the story lines that have brought the series to this final conclusion. Viewers looking for closure did not find it on HBO last night. Maybe this is the introduction to a movie.
While thefinale is the story here, the interesting point is that the ongoing convergence oftelevisionandonline mediahave reachednew levels. Fans absorb the content of a show like the Sopranos on one medium and then immediately utilize the web as their voice to express points of view. Audiences see the web and television as symbiotic and the response to the Sopranos show simply reinforces how the two are becoming very interdependant.
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Yes, I too like so many others last night had my heart racing like crazy thinking that Tony and his wife and kids were all gonna get whacked sitting in a diner listening to Journey. Then the screen went black with no sound and I jumped up looking for my remote thinking the high definition cable channel went out and yelling some obscenities!
I then went online to a blog that I had been reading during the season to find out if I had missed a shooting massacre only to find out that everyone else was just as upset as I was. I apparently was one of the thousands that went from TV to Online.
You just gotta give David Chase credit for really driving both our emotions and our actions. He sure knows how to do what all of us marketers are trying to do in some sense.
Marketers can learn a lot from your comment that “fans absorb the content of a show like the Sopranos on one medium and then immediately utilize the web as their voice to express points of view.” The ending of the show felt almost strategically designed to exploit this trend. The Sporanos “brand” will live online until the producers decide what the next “branding event” will be, if any. Or they will create a new brand to x-sell to these fans. Either way, the audience will still be alive on the web, long after the first show had died on TV. One of the TV shows we work on ended over 2 years ago, yet our over 400,000 MySpace friends continue to post DAILY comments. We will soon be marketing a related project to those fans. I’m just thankful that they have remained true to our “brand” for this long!!!
It’s just another day in the life of the Sopranos and mob life. We’ve followed their lives all these years and if it were to go on for more seasons, they are still faced with the same challenges that go with his position. I actually applaud the choice of ending. We, the viewers, just no longer get an inside view of their lives.
Thanks for the ride. Jewel
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