'Sopranos' is apparently too good for a season 7

April 10, 2007

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In case you didn't hear, the season premiere of "The Sopranos" aired Sunday on HBO. I'm not sure how you couldn't have heard, since the media isn't going to let you forget about the final season of the endlessly hyped series.

"The Sopranos" is a great show. That's beside the point. My point here is to ask why this season of "The Sopranos" is being called "Season Six, Part II."

You see, "Season Six, Part I" ran last year, with the understanding that the series would come back for its final nine shows for "Part II." "Season Six, Part I" was released on DVD last November. Now, "Part II" is finally airing on HBO.

This is just dumb. Why not just call it season seven? How are these last nine episodes considered part of the same television season under any definition of a TV season? From my understanding, everything about them existed apart from "Part I," from the shooting schedule to the acting contracts.

For a similar comparison, look at last season of "The Shield." Originally conceived as 22 episodes for season five, the season was split into two parts. When FX decided to hold the last half of the season for nine months after it was shot, it was simply dubbed "season six." The DVD set from the first half of the season was dubbed "season five." This makes sense, since they are being aired and packed and sold as separate entities.

"The Sopranos" should've done the same thing. Now I have to pay for two separate season six DVD sets. If I have to do that, why pretend they are two parts of the same season? Just call it what it is: two separate seasons.

What are ya gonna do? The Sopranos: It do what it do.

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4 comments on this post

    Don't stop there. Another of our favorite shows is equally guilty of this type of dollarsnatching: Battlestar Galactica, with its "season 2" and "season 2.5" sets. At least the Stargate franchise has the decency to give you the whole season in one complete set. It reminds me of the cynical rationale behind some trilogies that really didn't need to be trilogies: Why sell one (book, movie, what-have-you) when you can sell THREE!

    With BSG, the Season 2.0 vs. 2.5 made some sort of sense. The season was ordered and filmed as a single unit with a brief hiatus in the middle. It also aired with a hiatus and the 2.0 DVDs were released during that time. But it all aired within a 12-month period. Sopranos, on the other hand, was always intended to air a full year apart and the filming halted for close to that long as well. Given that, there's no justification in calling it all Season 6. It's two separate seasons.

    I don't know. HBO is weird. Maybe they're just trying to stick to the same formula from the "Sex and the City" DVDs. The final season got split into two seasons and was sold accordingly on DVD as "part one" and "part two". I'm not sure if production/contractual situations were the same as on "Sopranos", but maybe HBO just wants to be consistent --- no matter how strange that consistency is. They're weird in general, anyway. I can't stand how expensive their TV show DVDs are.

    I read this in an interview of the creator. Basically there are "themes" in each season and this last season required a large span. So this is more of a creative aspect. I'm sure HBO didn't mind, selling DVDs for the first half already.

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