It is my opinion that when Tony Soprano finally succumbed to pressure and shot his cousin, “the other Tony,” played by Stephen Buscemi, with a shotgun on the porch of their childhood weekend home, it was a significant turning point in his life. One from which I don’t feel that Tony Soprano ever recovered. Even after all the horrors that he had caused or witnessed, that one was a significant moment in time.
I’ve never been one for violent movies or television. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen “The Godfather” all of the way through. (I know, ashamed to admit it. I’ll remedy that this weekend.) However, I’ve become an expert on some of the most violent series on television.
I’ve binge watched a lot of mob shows over the last year, and I’ll tell you why. I cannot watch anything even remotely romantic or sad. Cannot! Can’t handle it.
In addition to every season of “The Sopranos,” I have exhausted, and could rhapsodize on, all episodes of “Peaky Blinders,” “Deadwood,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “House of Cards.” Anything that causes me to cringe and turn my head away. Sidenote: I often turn my head away during “Silicon Valley” too, but that’s because those guys wouldn’t know a good decision if it was spelled out, and sometimes I just can’t bear to watch the impending disaster.
And “Game of Thrones?” It’s a category unto itself. I generally despise the fantasy genre, but not only have I watched, and re-watched, the series, I’m like all other fans—ready for the new season and disappointed at the number of episodes.
Gone are the days of light romantic comedies. No more Meg & Tom, Woody & Diane, Robert Redford & anybody. My heart can’t take it. It triggers too many memories that I can’t shake for hours. Too many what might have beens. Too much loss. It’s actually less painful for my senses to take the beating of watching something violent.
I did give it a shot one night a few weeks ago. I was feeling strong, so I rented “Lion.” I love Dev Patel. Bad idea! It wasn’t romantic but it was terribly sad. I was so sad and tearful that I said “to hell with it” and pulled out “The Horse Whisperer.” I was messed up for days. Thank God I didn’t have any strength left or I would have dusted off my copy of “The Bridges of Madison County.” I’m sure I would have had to drag myself across the floor to the phone and call 9-1-1 to have my heart re-started.
Now, whenever I consider going out to a new movie, I run it past my daughter Sean to get an accurate reading on what is safe for me and what is not. Apparently I’ll never be watching “Manchester By The Sea.”
So, goodbye “Sleepless In Seattle.” Au Revoir “French Kiss.” Arrivederci “You’ve Got Mail,” and auf weidersehen “When Harry Met Sally.” I’ll miss you Meg Ryan. Next stop…WESTERNS!
PS – I actually ran in to Meg Ryan in the hardware store on Martha’s Vineyard last week. She smiled and said “hi” and yes, she actually rode off on a bicycle with a basket on the front.
PPS – RIP to James Gandolfini, one of the finest actors ever, and one who shared my exact birthday, September 18, 1961.