I TRIED. I STILL claim a partial victory, though, in that the writers and producers of The Sopranos are banking on the audience following the plot through an unconvential detour. Some folks have expressed anything from mild discontent to outright loathing for the dream sequences in the show, but these donks also tend to whine when any show has a body count of less than three, so fuck 'em.
I noticed that in the dream, Gandolfini used his "real" voice. If you have access to the Season 1 episodes, play the pilot, then any of the later ones. His accent is distinctly different. He doesn't do a lot of interviews and almost no talk shows, so you don't hear Gandolfini speaking as himself as often as you hear the gruffer, filthier, Jersey-ized Tony Soprano voice.
The reference to selling patio furniture was interesting. He made some sort of dig at himself in the first or second season, how he might've turned out differently if he hadn't been born to a Mafioso and perhaps would have had a job selling patio furniture. It also resembled the life-not-taken glimpse we had in the second season when Livia Soprano browbeats Johnny Boy into not moving the family to Reno to start a business with his friend, who — as Tony observes to Livia in the retirement home — has become a huge and legit success.
For the Babylon 5 veterans out there: Anyone else reminded of the episode "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari?"
Dramas set in hospitals bug me, as I've mentioned in the past. I really am never up for extended visits, even televisually, to the ICU. To change the subject on this point, it seems as though I will visit a hospital soon. The vascular surgeon has convinced my mother to go ahead with the carotid artery surgery we thought was deferred or unnecessary. He said he had consulted with department heads at his hospital, and implored her to reconsider, because he feels that blockage or not, the tortuous structure of the vessel is more of a hazard than we thought and might contribute to another plaque. More than anything, this indecision gave her a major anxiety attack, and I could hear her discord when she called me about this late last week.
This means more tests, more doctor visits, and more mornings where my mother is feeling too afraid to go to either and has to cancel and double up on the Xanax. Here I was, relaxing in the thought that we might have dodged a bullet on this one and posting about it here, and now she has resigned herself to going in for the work some time in April. In an ideal world, the doctor is only calling her back because he is interested in saving a life. I would hope he isn't putting her through this sort of back-and-forth turmoil for a fast buck.
So hopefully, we will see fewer and fewer scenes in The Sopranos featuring family members standing at Tony's bedside while devices carry on their grim work of breathing and filtering and draining for the dreaming patriarch. Otherwise they can stay on my parents' TiVo until late summer.