6.5/10 After giving the debut season a 5/10 and its sophomore season an 8/10, season three falls in the middle overall. As is the case with many shows who hold onto the same creative talent for the entire duration of the series, many elements that work early on, continue to throughout each and every season. The humor remains from season two, the strong dialogue and the phenomenal acting across the board. The show is well made with an inspired soundtrack (although I might be one of the few people who isn’t a big fan of the show’s theme). In a show about the Italian mafia, you’d think Tony Soprano’s children would be boring and just be a drag on the plot as we wait to switch back to the mob or law enforcement characters. So I give this season (and the entire show thus far) a lot of credit for making the subplots with the Soprano children so interesting and diverse. There are definitely some stand out episodes that work from start to finish (“Employee of the Month”, “Pine Barrens”, etc.) and even though the action/violence is slightly scarce this season, it packs quite the punch when it does unexpectedly pop off. One complaint I had throughout the first two seasons was Tony’s mother and what a grating, annoying character she was. The actress playing her died, which while I’m sure was tragic in real life, her character having to get written out did benefit the show. Which brings me to some of the negatives this season, starting with Tony’s mother. They had to use CGI for her face to bring her back for one final episode following her death and since this season came out back in 2001, the CGI is questionable and has not aged very well. I ran into other minor problems with this season as well. If a supporting character is supposed to get a character arc, especially one that ends tragically, the writers need to set up that character throughout multiple episodes so we can get to know that character and care for them. We should be devastated if something tragic happens to them. Even if they just plant some seeds with a few scenes here or there throughout the season, when their demise comes it will mean something to the audience. Yet this season we get an episode revolving around a stripper that we are meant to really care for due to her young age and severe mistreatment, yet she is only given one episode so she seems out of the blue and is then disposed of so quickly that we don’t care all that much and easily forget about her going forward. The overarching plot this season also was not as strong as season two. The feds barely come up this season (once near the season’s start and briefly in the season finale) so Tony and the gang rarely seem to be in any real danger. We don’t get another rival gang that they are at war with so there just wasn’t as much tension this season. While the show is still decent, the stakes felt lower but I was glad to see some character progression between multiple characters. The plot does advance; I just hope that plot is a little stronger for next season. I enjoyed the emotional elements this season offered as characters constantly struggle with guilt, the future, balancing work and family life, regret, romance and all of the other obstacles our characters fight against. While a step down from last season, this is still a well-made, enjoyable show to watch and I look forward to watching season four soon as “The Many Saints of Newark” draws near…

#MadeInNewark / #GloriaHole / #LadyAndTheLamp / #MeadowSexual / #NurseJackieJr. / #ABugsLife2

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