It’s hard to believe, but The Sopranos debuted in 1999. That’s right: 23 years ago. Still, the idea for this WATN made me wonder: Too soon?

Before I delve into this, I’d like to give a shout-out to Jeff Somers’ Writing Without Rules: Deep Dive newsletter. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and this is one I usually read. I say usually because let’s face it, who has time to read all the newsletters, even the good ones? But this one is funny, self-deprecating, and insightful and I generally find it’s worth my time.

This week, the Writing Without Rules newsletter discusses The Sopranos, S. 1 Ep. 5, “College.” Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait.

I was a latecomer to The Sopranos and haven’t revisited it since we binged it on DVD a couple of seasons in. For the few weeks it took us to catch up to where the show was at, it consumed my life; I could think of almost nothing else.

Okay, so I’m probably exaggerating, but I did develop a full-fledged crush on James Gandolfini/Tony Soprano. I had dreams about him. He became as real to me as few other fictional characters have. I was similarly taken with Carmela, particularly when she had her romance with Furio in season four. All this to say, I’m reluctant to re-watch it because I’ve never been so fully immersed in a television show and I don’t want to ruin the magic by taking a deeper dive now.

With that said, I’ve officially put “re-watch the ‘College’ episode” on my to-do list. We’ll see how it goes.

Back to “Where are They Now.” Unlike the films I’ve previously written about, The Sopranos is recent enough history that many of the main players are still living. Sadly, my favorite of favorites, James Gandolfini, is not.

I started writing up the story of Gandolfini’s death and had to stop. Not because it upset me, though I did cry when I learned he’d died. But I think maybe it is too soon. I mean, I could do a whole post on where the living cast is now but that’s not really the point of my “Where Are They Now” posts, is it? I have what some might consider an unhealthy fixation on celebrity deaths but I tend to be more interested in the ones that occurred decades ago. Ones that aren’t so close to me, as it were.

This is as good a time as any to admit that I sometimes wonder about the ethics of writing about public figures and true crime. I wonder what my own place in that is. Yes, I’m interested in exploring these topics but where does my legitimate interest turn into exploitation? I struggle with that.

So that’s the end of this one. But I still recommend you subscribe to Jeff’s newsletter.

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