8/10 After what turned out to be a surprisingly mediocre first season, “The Sopranos” season 2 sees the writers finding their groove and really raising the bar, resulting in a much more enjoyable season. Many great shows have weak first seasons before the showrunners and writers better figure out the characters and work out their kinks (“The Office” being a prime example) so “The Sopranos” is not alone is having a slow start. “Deadwood” is another example of an HBO show with the slow start problem. Yet season 2 really gets things cooking across the board. The overarching plot was engaging and the subplots were stronger overall this season (Meadow going to college, Carmela’s crush and Tony’s sister were far more interesting than last season’s subplot involving Carmela and the priest, for example). Like the first season, the cast was top notch without a single weak link in the acting chain. Just as the writers got into the swing of things, the acting team has comfortably slipped into their respective characters, becoming second nature for them. The scope slightly increased this season which included a great episode with Tony and the gang heading to their homeland of Italy, which was enjoyable and interesting to see. David Chase proves to be a great showrunner as he isn’t afraid to kill off main characters to propel the plot forward. There are some shocking moments and big risks that pay off this season. My favorite improvement to this season from the last season was the humor. The first season was a straightforward gangster drama but so much humor is injected this season. And not in a forced, “Thor: Ragnarok” kind of way. The humor came naturally with the male characters busting each other’s balls and giving each other a hard time, as men often do. These moments were not only funny but demonstrated the bond between these characters. The soundtrack was upped this season with some great Sinatra gems and the season’s opener with “It Was a Very Good Year” playing over was a highlight of the entire season. The season ends with things wrapped up but you know there is more story to tell and after a lackluster opening season, now I can’t wait to begin season 3. As for the minor issues I took with this season, with 13 episodes in total, I felt like there was some filler that could have been taken out and you could have done this season’s arc in 10 or 11 episodes. Not every subplot works (the great Robert Patrick pops up for a few episodes but his subplot didn’t do much for me). Tony’s mother continues to be the one uninteresting drag on the show in both the first and second season so hopefully they find something to do with her in season 3 or kill her off, which would make sense due to her old age. Minor complaints aside, season 2 is a vast improvement over the debut season and now I am fully immersed in this world that Chase and crew have created. I eagerly await season 3, finishing the series and leading up to “The Many Saints of Newark”.

#TheRatWack / #PussySlayer / #AlongCamePaulie / #BigTroubleInLittleItaly / #TonyCapitalism / #HighWireAct

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