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Actors: James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, Steve van Zandt Director: Dominic Chianese Rating: Features: AC-3, Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC Number of Discs: 4 Running Time: 800 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Release Date: October 28, 2003 Theatrical Release Date: January 10, 2002 Studio: HBO Home Video
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It's tough times in Jersey for Tony Soprano. The sluggish economy hasn't been good for the family business. His wife Carmela is angling for more financial security. Some longtime lieutenants aren't happy with Tony's recent decisions. A rival boss wants a bigger piece of the suburban pie. A Sopranos is actually heading to trial for the first time in decades. At least one child seems to have lost interest in higher education. And the ducks aren't coming back anytime soon. PROGRAM INFORMATION Number of Episodes: 13 1. For All Debts Public & Private 2. No -Show 3. Christopher 4. The Weight 5. Pie O My 6. Everybody Hurts 7. Watching Too Much Television 8. Mergers & Acquisitions 9. Whoever Did This 10. The Strong Silent Type 11. Calling All Cars 12. Eloise 13. Whitecaps
Carmela to Tony: "Everything comes to an end." True enough, Mrs. Sope, but on The Sopranos, the end comes sooner for some than others. Though for some the widely debated fourth season contained too much yakking instead of whacking, and an emphasis on domestic family over business Family, what critic James Agee once said of the Marx Brothers applies to The Sopranos: "The worst thing they might ever make would be better worth seeing than most other things I can think of." And in most respects, The Sopranos remains television's gold standard. The fourth season garnered 13 Emmy nominations, and subsequent best actor and actress wins for James Gandolfini and Edie Falco as Tony and Carmela, whose estrangement provides the season with its most powerful drama, as well as a win for Joe Pantoliano's psychopath Ralph. The season finale, "Whitecaps," was a long-time-coming episode, in which Carmela at last stands up to "toxic" Tony, and "Whoever Did This" was the season's--and one of the series'--most shocking episodes.
Other narrative threads include Christopher's Emmy nominee Michael Imperioli descent into heroin addiction, Uncle Junior's Dominic Chianese trial, an unrequited and potentially fatal attraction between Carmela and Tony's driver Furio, and a rude joke about Johnny Sack's wife that has potentially fatal implications. Other indelible moments include Christopher's girlfriend Adriana's projectile reaction to discovering that her new best friend is an undercover FBI agent in the episode "No Show," Janice giving Ralph a shove out of their relationship in "Christopher," and the classic "Quasimodo/Nostradamus" exchange in the season-opener, which garnered HBO's highest ratings to date. Freed from the understandably high expectations for the fourth season, heightened by the 16-month hiatus, these episodes can be better appreciated on their own considerable merits. They are pivotal chapters in television's most novel saga. --Donald Liebenson