Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Sopranos: For the Love of a Mob Wife

Carmela & Tony Soprano
Now I am not big on demands, but I was given an assignment.  I found it an intriguing one. I was asked to look into if Tony Soprano loved Carmela. For those that do not know "The Sopranos" was once upon a time a hit HBO series.  There were six seasons from 1999-2007.  Even individuals who didn't tune in for every episode or every season watched the infamous final episode.  The final scene is in a restaurant, nothing happens that we see.  Plenty of viewers were up in arms over the last scene & ending of The Sopranos.  I admit I was a bit disappointed.  I don't think it was a bad way to end the series.  A viewer can make what they will out of it's meaning.  Some search engines have been sending folks to The Mob Wives Blogspot to answer a question on their Soprano's minds:  Did Tony love Carmela? Of course they are disappointed when the reach our site to find no blog entry even addressing the issue of Tony Soprano's love or lack there of in regards to Carmela.  Today their disappointment comes to an end.

To tackle whether or not Tony loved Carmela, one should first tackle the question: Is Tony capable of love? Tony is one of the most fascinating characters in recent scripted television history because he was so flawed.  Tony adored his father but never was respected by his father.  He was the son of a mother who truly dispised the lifestyle that her husband led.   Tony was hated by his mother, Livia Soprano.  She could not stand Tony.  Livia's sole goal in life seemed to be to make all of her children's lives miserable.  She even plotted to have Tony whacked.  As the boss of the family, Tony suffered a mental breakdown.   Maybe his sometimes odd behavior caused people to be wary.  Maybe his long term parental issues eventually led him to a breakdown.  He never seemed to get the respect he coveted from either of his families.  Tony showed respect to most but his conflicted nature would never allow him to love unconditionally.  In hindsight I believe respect & love was intertwined for Tony Soprano.

The Sopranos
Tony seemed to love Carmela for one reason.  She was the mother of his children. Some people may argue that having children with another person does not make them love each other.  I agree.  However many do respect & love the mothers & fathers of their children.  I believe the responsibility of parenthood was a burden to Tony.  He didn't have the patience nor dedication beyond providing for his children.  Carmela was responsible for the home, A.J., and Meadow.  Carmela was The Boss of the home and Tony an earner.

Tony did not love Carmella unconditionally. Hell Tony did not even love himself. He led a self-destructive life and was depressed.  There is no way Tony was capable of loving his wife.  I am of the opinion that many spouses go through the motions of love.  However, there is no true love beyond wanting to spare the kids a divorce or the pain of splitting up assets.

One way to really address the answer is by Tony's actions during season after season. Tony fucked everything and anything on the show.  He even seemed to love some of the women.  He never seemed as passionate with Carmela.  I am trying to remember if Tony and Carmella ever did have sex on the show. I think maybe once, but I am not sure.  Some readers may say that sex is not really love.  For many men we equate sex with love, especially sweaty sex that lasts all night when you first met your mate.

I never gleamed the passion between Tony & Carmela unless they were arguing.  They both seemed comfortable for the most part within the context of their marriage.  He brought home the bacon.  Carmela fried it.  I think as people grow old together, they eventually just become happy coexisting.  Not all people who are married simply coexist.  They do love each other.  Tony didn't feel loved growing up.  He never learned how to love.  Somewhere in the evolution of this character love was synonymous with respect.  Tony Sr. didn't respect Tony.  Livia his entertaining twisted miserable mother surely hated him.  No one seemed to truly respect him.  At the end of the day, Tony didn't have the ability to love.  He didn't love himself let alone Carmela.  He went true the motions of love.  In the end, love was a stranger to Tony he'd never meet. Tony did not love Carmela.

Well some of you will be heartbroken to know there will be no new episode of Mob Wives airing tomorrow night.  Take it easy don't shoot the messenger!  I wish you all a great holiday weekend.


Chiara Soprano said...

Great blog on one of the best television series ever. I think they did an excellent job of portraying the mob and many aspects of Italian culture. I think you're right in that Tony placed a higher value on respect, even though it was respect out of fear...not true respect, than he did on love. Tony never felt loved by his mother, who was a critical, demanding, controlling shrew, and he learned love was conditional. Did he love Carmela and his kids? He did to the best of his damaged ability & capacity to love, in my opinion. Love was second to respect.

Anonymous said...

Didn't he start to have feelings for his psychologist?

Chiara Soprano said...

Anon, was there a woman he didn't have feelings for? LOL

Jess said...

I was always more interested in whether Carmela loved Tony. I never really questioned whether he loved her, I think he loved her as much as he *could*. I'm always brought back to the 2nd or 3rd episode when she tells him in the MRI machine that he's going to hell. The only thing I don't agree with was that Livia despised the lifestyle. She seemed to love it, always plotting with Junior and even trying to kill Tony. This show was so great. I actually watched all the seasons throughout February and March.

Anonymous said...

That was not the restaurant in the last scene. Watch it again.

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog! I look forward each day to what you all have to say.

The Underboss said...

My apologies for making a mistake. I actually wrote that without the intention of focusing on the specific facts but rather deal with an issue of love. Oh well, I can't please everyone. The idea that Carmella did not love Tony is interesting but I think she did at one point in their marriage but she didn't because of the indiscretions. To all thanks for commenting.

Monique said...

You hit the nail right on the head with this one!

Tony Soprano = No Love for No One!