I was totally satisfied with the final scene of “The Sopranos.” The show was at its root a family drama, and so it was appropriate to have the dysfunctional family gather one last time for a meal. And when Tony glances at the door, with a strange, hard-to-read expression, and the screen cuts to black. the ambiguity, too, felt right. Maybe Tony saw his killer walk into the resturant, or maybe it was just Meadow who was late because of her repeated attempts at parking. It was a convenient ending, too: because the Sopranos were not killed off, HBO can always resurrect the show if James Gandolfini needs an infusion of cash.
I have been suffering Sopranos withdraw, though, and to get a fix, I tuned in this morning to Hillary and Bill’s parody of the final scene. At first, before I actually saw it, I thought the idea was brilliant. Finally Hillary could wipe that forced smile off her face, show us her true relaxed, playful self, and ride the coattails of television’s most popular dramatic series. But a few seconds into the YouTube video, I saw that even with all the high-powered coaching she must have received, the woman was stiff. She can’t act. She can’t relax, at least not in front of a camera. She makes Al Gore look like Laurence Olivier.
And, then, whatever pop culture points she got by mixing it up with the Sopranos were lost when she unveiled her campaign song, “You and I,” by Celine Dion, who is not exactly Canada’s hippest export. I suppose Hillary is making herself look presidential by associating herself with a singer who is a favorite of other heads of state.
When I talked my way into the World Chess Championship in Tripoli in 2004 (we did not have diplomatic relations with Libya then), I was amused to hear Celine Dion playing in the airport where I was detained and interrogated on suspician of being, not a chess journalist, but CIA. “Leader,” as Muammad Gadhafi was creepily called by his subjects, apparently enjoyed listening to Dion and thought everyone else should, too.
You can read all about my strange adventures in Tripoli in my forthcoming book, King’s Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game.
You Can Buy King’s Gambit at: