The Sopranos: The Complete First Season
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Product Description

Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss finds his life, what with hits, extortion and Mafia business, as well as his mother, teenage kids and wife, so stressful that he seeks out psychotherapy.
Genre: Television: HBO
Rating: NR
Release Date: 7-FEB-2006
Media Type: DVD

The Sopranos, writer-producer-director David Chase's extraordinary television series, is nominally an urban gangster drama, but its true impact strikes closer to home: Like 1999's other screen touchstone, American Beauty, the HBO series chronicles a dysfunctional, suburban American family in bold relief. And for protagonist Tony Soprano, there's the added complexity posed by heading twin families, his collegial mob clan and his own, nouveau riche brood.

The series' brilliant first season is built around what Tony learns when, whipsawed between those two worlds, he finds himself plunged into depression and seeks psychotherapy--a gesture at odds with his midlevel capo's machismo, yet instantly recognizable as a modern emotional test. With analysis built into the very spine of the show's elaborate episodic structure, creator Chase and his formidable corps of directors, writers, and actors weave an unpredictable series of parallel and intersecting plot arcs that twist from tragedy to farce to social realism. While creating for a smaller screen, they enjoy a far larger canvas than a single movie would afford, and the results, like the very best episodic television, attain a richness and scope far closer to a novel than movies normally get.

Unlike Francis Coppola's operatic dramatization of Mario Puzo's Godfather epic, The Sopranos sustains a poignant, even mundane intimacy in its focus on Tony, brought to vivid life by James Gandolfini's mercurial performance. Alternately seductive, exasperated, fearful, and murderous, Gandolfini is utterly convincing even when executing brutal shifts between domestic comedy and dramatic violence. Both he and the superb team of Italian-American actors recruited as his loyal (and, sometimes, not-so-loyal) henchmen and their various "associates" make this mob as credible as the evocative Bronx and New Jersey locations where the episodes were filmed.

The first season's other life force is Livia Soprano, Tony's monstrous, meddlesome mother. As Livia, the late Nancy Marchand eclipses her long career of patrician performances to create an indelibly earthy, calculating matriarch who shakes up both families; Livia also serves as foil and rival to Tony's loyal, usually level-headed wife, Carmela (Edie Falco). Lorraine Bracco makes Tony's therapist, Dr. Melfi, a convincing confidante, by turns "professional," perceptive, and sexy; the duo's therapeutic relationship is also depicted with uncommon accuracy. Such grace notes only enrich what's not merely an aesthetic high point for commercial television, but an absorbing film masterwork that deepens with subsequent screenings. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews:

  • Very Entertaining
    I purchased this as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend. He came down with the flu and watched all 13 hours over the 3 days he was sick- Now he's completely hooked. Sat me down since the beginning of January and re-watched the whole season again with me. Now I'm addicted, too!

    Very well acted, well written- strong plot- pulls you and really holds your attention. I'll be picking up season 2 right away....more info
  • Couldn't have cared less
    Many viewers clearly loved the characterizations and found the mixture of mundane family life with mafia family life to be brilliant, but I disliked this show because I found the characters pathetic and dull. Most of what I remember is a bunch of glowering punctuated by a few arguments and gunshots.

    The bulk of characters seem to represent a very mediocre brand of evil. They are human failures not because they gleefully engage in villainy, but simply because they are incompetent at living their lives. The acting, sound, and camera work were all quite competent, but since I was bored by the story, it was all wasted effort as far as I'm concerned.

    Certainly I'm aware of how popular the show is; the only other negative reviews seem to consist of people who can't deal with language or feel unfairly stereotyped. I figured I should take the time to say some people simply didn't think this was a very good drama....more info
  • The Sopranos - Third Season
    This series is very good and entertaining. I have seasons 1 and 2 and will shortly buy season 4. It is not for children to watch, but it is great entertainment for adults....more info
  • Quality!
    Ten years after the first season premiered, the Sopranos is just as relevant and entertaining as ever. You don't even have to be into gangster films to enjoy this series. It definitely puts the human touch on characters otherwise would be considered inhuman since they are criminals. The first season is incredible and the steam never runs out. The characters are very believable because the acting is absolutely amazing and the stories are just as rich. There is definitely at least one character in this series that anyone can relate to directly or indirectly. I am very happy to say that this series does live up to it's hype and is a thrill that you just don't want to stop watching...more info
  • A Present for my Husband
    When I know what video my husband wants, I always go to Amazon to order it. This video was the first in the Sopranos series I hope to order for him. The price was unbeatable by far and it arrived in just a few days and in excellent condition. I would certainly recommend this seller. Thanks guys....more info
  • great if your a fan
    This is a great addition to the dvd collection if your a soprano star then you will love this!!!...more info
  • Great Deal; Great Product
    I was curious as to where i could find season 1 of the Sopranos and for a decent price. I certainly wanted to pay less than the cost to rent each episode, and didn't feel it worth it to pay $40 or $50 for something i just wanted to catch up on. I found a clean copy at a really good price, that worked perfect!...more info
  • Excellent !
    I Don't know these fictional people, Yet seems at some time like I have made acquaintance with some people Who Resembles The Actors Character(s), (only with a Southern Accent, as I am from the Southeast region of the United States). A sure sign of great script writing !

    Especially the Episode " A Hit Is A Hit " .

    ...more info
  • What can be said?
    I've seen some great reviews on the Sopranos, so I'm just gonna say - like many, I missed the first seasons of the Sopranos, and never got the hype. Having now seen them from the start, they are just plain brilliant. ...more info
  • Fabulous insight into a Mafia Family
    Can't vouch for the accuracy of the surroudings (what do I know about NJ)nor what a Mafia family is supposed to be like ( is anyone gonna admit they can?) but from an english perspective -just wish BBC could still make drama even half as good as this .

    After 2 episodes you will be hooked - just raced thru 1st series - Episodes 1-13 . Brilliant script , great gags - had me & my mates in stiches , fabulous looking girls - lots of T&A , rocking intro soundtrack - plus a truly complelling performance by james Gandolfini .

    nuff said - get it or you'll get wacked as Tony might have said ....more info
    What do you say about the greatest drama series ever made. All seasons a must see....more info
  • The Sopranos 1st season
    I received this item as a Christmas gift and when opened sealed package the 4th disc was missing...more info
  • Joisy family
    The most remarkable thing about this made for TV series is that it is about a mob family, complete with whacks, beatings, shall-we-say colorful language, and sex. Television, from its beginnings, has been rather circumspect, more with respect to the sex and language than to the violence. Thus, this is a departure from the past.

    Otherwise, there's not all that much difference between this series and, say, "Dallas" or "Dynasty" or the "Cosby Show." Greed, too much money, lust, lies--they are all there in these series about families, as opposed to family series. But in Dallas and Dynasty the nefarious characters never bared much flesh or did a whole lot of swearing.

    That said, The Sopranos is a fascinating series. The viewer actually comes to have a certain empathy for Tony Soprano. Under his bravado and language is a man who is not sure of himself, a man who wants to be accepted as somewhat more than a "waste management consultant." In one episode he gets himself invited to play golf at an exclusive country club, and all that the other three men in his foursome can talk about are their stock portfolios and Tony's mob connection, the latter in an oblique way: "Was The Godfather movie accurate?" and "Did you know John Gotti?" Tony's feelings are then revealed to his psychiatrist. In the end, Tony is not invited to join the country club.

    The acting is excellent, even with the more repulsive characters, i.e., Uncle Junior and Christopher, for example. The New Jersey setting and the accents always feel right. The stories are interesting and believable. In short, this is about the ups and downs of a family, but it ain't quite the Huxtables or the Ewings in the "awl bidness."...more info
  • Awesome 1st season of one of the best TV shows of all time
    This is a fantastic box set that collects my favorite episodes, the very ones that introduced Tony, his family, and his whole sick crew to millions of viewers worldwide. A friend first introduced me to the Sopranos after picking up the DVD's in the UK (they didn't show Sopranos as a regular series in South Africa). After the first 2 episodes I was hooked, and started buying the subsequent seasons. Now I can't get rid of my Soprano addiction, and find myself in a state of depression whenever I finish a season and have to wait for the next one to be released on DVD. What makes this show so compulsively viewable is the humanization of Tony and his cohorts, allowing us to see them as real people with real problems, and not as these merciless hitmen without a care in the world for anybody. Christopher Moltisanti is by far my favorite character, with Tony a close second. In this season we see Tony's first confrontation with his "Uncle June" and the discovery by his children that their father is "mobbed up." The central storyline revolves around Tony's panic attacks that forces him into the offices of Dr Melfi, a psychiatrist, who more than once regrets taking on Tony as a patient. There is plenty of drama and character development as well as action and an awesome theme song which I just can't get tired of. The Sopranos is well worth it. The only problem is that once you start with the first season, you will find yourself compelled to buy all of them. Enjoy!...more info
  • Outstanding
    I have finally had an opportunity to enjoy this great series. Of course, I had to start at the beginning. Now I see what all the fuss has been about over these past years. It is easy to see why this show has garnered such incredible accolades, awards, and critical support. The characters in the Sopranos are excellent as is the acting. I highly recommend this first season on DVD to the unititated - like myself - as the starting point to an excellent viewing experience. ...more info
  • La familia... modern age Godfather...
    HBO provides a rare view into the lives of an Italian American family, as dysfunctional as they are captivating. The main character of Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini is the key ingredient that keeps us watching episode after episode. Tony Soprano lives the struggle of having to head his mob clan, while raising a rather troublesome family.

    The TV series is simply superb. From the start, Tony Soprano grabs out attention as the man who suffers from depression because of the pressures provided by his followers and family members. He seeks psychotherapy and the scenes between his doctor and Tony Soprano are classic material, especially given that I watch the show with a Mental Health Counselor, Alex Ariano. We find ourselves discussing Tony at length for days to come after watching each episode.

    The Godfather offered us an elegant view into the underworld of the Mafia, but the Sopranos provide a mundane, seductive, terrifying, and criminal view to people who choose to by-pass law and order. We find ourselves going from family life, filled with violence, drugs, extra-marital affairs, and sorrow... to a group of New Jersey gangsters capable of murdering at the drop of a hat.

    As the episodes start, we get to travel with Tony Soprano in his car, driving through the NJ Turnpike, with views of NYC in the distance. The background music captures the audience as it plays: "Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun, Mama always said you'd be the Chosen One. She said: You're one in a million, You've got to burn to shine, But you were born under a bad sign, With a blue moon in your eyes. You woke up this morning, all the love has gone, your Papa never told you, about right and wrong... But you're looking good, baby, I believe you're feeling fine, (shame about it), Born under a bad sign, with a blue moon in your eyes!"

    You have got to see Nancy Marchand as she plays Livia Soprano, mother of Tony... a terrifying... nagging... depressed woman. Carmela, Tony Soprano's wife is played by Edie Falco, who provides an amazing performance as the woman who has to put up with so much, and yet, she finds the time and the strength to be loving to her family.

    Our favorite is Lorraine Bracco, who plays the therapist, Dr. Melfi. She is highly professional and handles Tony Soprano with great finesse. This is definitely... La famiglia... modern age Godfather... at its best!
    ...more info
  • Start at the beginning and remember just how good it was
    The Sopranos will be regarded as ground-breaking TV for years to come. Relive the early episodes - remember how evil Livia was. Remember how manipulative Uncle Junior was. Remember how young AJ was and how BIG Vito was! LOL Enjoy the quality writing, acting and directing all over again. The episodes don't lose any signifigance because you know how it all ends; rather, they give a perspective that enhances the memories. Start all over again and remind yourself just how good TV can be....more info
  • Awesome
    The merchandise was in perfect condition and it arrived faster then I thought it would....more info
  • Magnificent writing allows Season One to live up to the hype
    I finally came out from under my rock and checked out "The Sopranos," quite possibly the most beloved and ballyhooed show ever on television. Needless to say, I was dubious - how could a mere TV show merit the countless accolades that have been foisted upon it?

    Then I pushed 'play,' and all was made clear. "The Sopranos" is easily one of the best-written TV series of all time - right up there with HBO's other magnum opus, "The Wire." In a genre rife with caricature, "The Sopranos" stands out because of its fully-drawn, well-rounded characters. The actors must drool over their new scripts!

    The series may refer to the Soprano family, but the fulcrum for all the action is Tony (James Gandolfini). Tony is a lumbering hulk of a man with a twinkle in his eye and a penchant for bear hugs. A beloved "captain" in the crime world, Tony is recognized as a leader even though he does not have the official title of "Boss."

    The series first humanizes Tony by giving him a charming affection for the ducks in his pool and a wonderful relationship with his therapist, Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco from "Goodfellas"). Tony has been blacking out a little bit of late, and needs some counseling. This choice is a fantastic mechanism for storytelling, as Tony is forced to break out of the mafia's notorious 'omerta' and open up. It also sets the wheels in motion for serious violence, because while the mafia places a lot of stock on silence, they don't place much in doctor-patient privilege.

    So Dr. Melfi is Tony's sounding board for his manifold professional and personal problems. There are far too many to list here, but suffice it to say that whether it be a struggle for power within "our thing," or coping with his evil mother-in-law Livia (Nancy Marchand), or just taking his daughter to visit colleges, nothing in Tony's life is easy. As the season progresses, you begin to see Tony like a fat Italian Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on his monstrous shoulders.

    But you don't want to give him a hug, either. Every time Tony gets just a little too sympathetic (like with his immortal line, "what constitutes a fidget?" to a child shrink who has diagnosed Tony's son with ADD), Tony goes out and does something mind-bogglingly evil and ruthless. While you may love to invite Tony into your house for an hour of TV, you sure wouldn't want to live next door to him (a plot twist that the writers nail perfectly).

    Be warned - this is violent, rated 'R' kinda stuff - lots of blood and skin. Maybe not as much blood as HBO's great series "Rome," or as much skin as HBO's ill-fated "Carnivale," but enough that you don't want your eight-year old watching it with you.

    Steeped in the lore of mafia movies and books (the characters quote Al Pacino's "Scarface" and the "Godfather" trilogy with aplomb), but somehow standing to one side of them, "The Sopranos" is a wonderful romp through life with an amazing family . . . that just happens to be in the mafia.

    Check it out - you won't regret it.

    ...more info
  • Sopranos review
    This is another example of a grade a, professional cast and crew in their prime. James G. was picked to do Tony Soprano for a reason.It never ceases to amaze me how the drama unfolds and boils right out the pot. Masterpiece!!!...more info
  • engaging entertainment, and a worth while purchase
    Initially, I had started watching the Sopranos when it first started and wasn't impressed with the show. Last year, I went back to watching it from the beginning and discovered that I was missing the detailed character development that was taking place. I have since seen all of the episodes up until this season, and I have to say that I'll be in withdrawal once the series is completed. This is one of two series (six feet under is the second one) that I think is worth having a copy of in my video library....more info
    I missed the Sopranos the first season. I may have caught an episode here and there,but not enough to get into it. I started watching on TV in the fifth season and got hooked! Now I have started at the beginning and I can't stop! Great show and the DVD set has a nice transfer with some interesting extras. At the new lower price of $20.00 a season(if you look around)they're making you an offer you can't refuse!...more info
  • Opening Sequence and the Twin Towers
    I didn't remember seeing the first season (and perhaps 2nd), but I did recall that the shot of the Twin Towers was removed from the opening credits. I was curious to see if the original opening would be on the DVD. Well, ya, there is a shot of the towers, but it appears to me as though it is a shot of the side view mirror of Tony's SUV with the image of the towers in the reflection. Does anyone know if it was always that way? If so, that simple shot was very prophetic; foreshadowing that, soon after, the towers would only be in our past. If it is not original, it was a well thought out adjustment....more info
  • slow start to a great series
    This is probably my least favorite season--it was slow to develop characters I was interested in. That changed as the season progressed, but I still felt too much focus on Tony's frailty was given. ...more info
  • An offer you can't refuse
    What can be written about this series that hasn't already been written? The awards speak for it....more info
  • honest description
    The product I ordered arrived in the exact condition that was described. It was delivered in the alloted time and no problems at all. Thanks....more info
  • woke up this morning...
    I am a diehard Sopranos fan. I still have that Journey song bouncing through my head from the very last episode. So what is a 'made fan' supposed to do now that the only series I watched is now over? Start watching from the very beginning. I've been a fan since season 1 but how refreshing it is to watch it all again. It is amazing to see how young everyone is back from season 1. The intro to the characters and all the little nuances that you pick up is amazing. The storyline of Tony in his first session with Melfi, how conniving his mother was, Uncle Jun and his old school ways. Most amazing to me how virile and full of hope Tony seems to be and how much he changed over the years beaten down by the life he leads. Incredible writing and incredible acting. A dvd for the ages. Bada Bing! ...more info
  • Lives up to the hype
    I'm probably the last person on the planet to watch the Sopranos. At first I thought that the genre would turn me off. Then I thought that it would be too muddled in Mafioso minutiae to hold my interest. Little did I expect a family story in keeping with the OC only on the East Coast and instead of a left leaning attorney father figure, I'd find a two fisted family man. Instead of bagels with a schemer we get pasta in take out containers.

    The family is a caricature of the typical East Coast Italian clan. We get momma who lays guilt on her kids, Uncle Pussy with the heart of gold (and lead), Uncle Junior who's at the end of his reign of leadership and the wife who has the hots for the parish padre.

    Tony hooks up with a head shrink which strikes fear into the "family" as they are sure he's telling tales "out of school". All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this series and have every intention to purchase Season

    ...more info
  • Great Gift!
    I bought this for a gift and they loved it! And I loved the fact that I got it for half the price compared to the stores in my area!...more info