We’re still watching “The Sopranos,” and are now into Season 3. This is the season that features the iconic “Pine Barrens” episode. It’s also the last pre-9/11 season, still containing a brief shot of the Twin Towers (in a sideview mirror of Tony’s SUV) during the opening credits. This shot was removed from the credits in the later seasons.
As we watch the episodes, it makes me feel nostalgic for old times. I can’t help but identify with these wise guys and their partying lifestyle. Their camaraderie and their gusto for life reminds me of my circles of friends back in the day, back when I was young and carefree. And a fool, no doubt, though not as dumb as some of the young men on this show who come to terrible ends. I knew the limits.
We didn’t live anything like the characters on The Sopranos, except maybe in our imaginations. I mean, we skirted the law in some ways, and we were rough around the edges. We surely used the same crass language. But some really awful stuff happens on this show; I get that this gangster lifestyle of extortion and murder is not to be celebrated. Yet somehow watching these guys evokes nostalgia for the smoke-filled dens of my wayward youth.
Maybe it’s just how well this show represents its social era, with its looser mores, and inevitably takes me back to life then, when I was younger and had different priorities. When I was a bachelor man and spent a lot of time hanging with the gang. Before mid-life hit and everyone moved on. The old groups have scattered; some of us got married and had kids and became responsible. Some of us moved to far away places to pursue new dreams. Some of us died. I sure miss them.
These episodes that we’re now watching were originally broadcast twenty years ago. Twenty freakin’ years ago! Where does the time go? All too quickly it passes by.