Has the World Gone 'Sopranos' Crazy?

She says she doesn't watch much TV, but when she saw images of her hometown on the HBO show, she got hooked. Soon she was hunting down both locations and actors.

"I track them like animals," she says, and has pictures of herself with every obliging cast member to prove it.

Sue's also got some powerful allies. Capo Frank, a consigliere (that's mobspeak for "trusted adviser"), writes dispatches for her Web site and moderates an Internet forum on the show's latest happenings.

Gambling on some inside information two years ago, Sue and her sidekick, "Gramps," took off on a 100 mile drive into the wilds of New Jersey. The payoff? They witnessed the shooting of a classic moment, wherein Christopher and Paulie botch the execution of a Russian mobster and nearly freeze to death. Gramps' car actually appears in the episode, Sue says.

[For a quick tour through Soprano Sue's New Jersey, click here.]

Where does she get her inside information?

"I value my kneecaps too much to tell you," she says. But the truth might be the biggest scandal since Big Pussy ratted out Tony.

Soprano Sue says she maintains good relations with all involved. That why there's no stop at Tony's home. Neighbors of the folks whose house is used for the exterior shots complained about fans hanging around. But the $30 "on location" tour (cannoli included), takes you all over the rest of Tony's turf.

As for the new season, I tried pumping her for details — but got nothing. "I know a lot," Sue says, "and all I can say is this — someone is going to die."

But Sue isn't the only one who's jumped on the show's bandwagon. Here's a look at some Sopranos products:

Bada Being and Nothingness

Sopranos Psychology — Would a shrink be crazy to treat Tony Soprano? Poor Dr. Melfi was forced into hiding after Tony's "associates" found he was discussing "the business" with a psychiatrist.

"I would only refer Tony Soprano to my worst enemy," says Dr. Glen Gabbard, a professor at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine and author of The Psychology of the Sopranos (Basic Books).

Still, Tony's complexity intrigues the mental health community. The American Psychoanalytic Association even honored Lorraine Bracco, along with two of the show's writers, for Melfi's portrayal.

In an earlier book, Psychiatry in the Cinema, Gabbard reviewed more than 400 movies and TV shows. He says The Sopranos is the most "credible" portrayal yet of psychiatric treatment.

Just for starters, Gabbard says Melfi may be the first female Hollywood shrink to keep her paws off her patients. "The female therapist almost always falls in love with her patient," he says, citing Ingrid Bergman in Spellbound and Barbra Streisand in The Prince of Tides as prime examples.

Gabbard teaches Psych 101, Sopranos-style, in his new book. In Chapter 1, "Bada Being and Nothingness," we learn that Tony is not a psychopath, even though he's a ruthless thug.

"Tony suffers from anxiety and depression after he lies and cheats and steals," Gabbard says. "A psychopath typically wouldn't."

Who are the Soprano family psychopaths? Tony's rivals Richie Aprile and Ralph Ciforetto, Gabbard says. They're self-absorbed and kill without compunction.

In the long run, will psychiatry help Tony?

"Tony's making slow progress," Gabbard says. "But I predict he will die before he finishes with therapy," Of course, that might be true for most of us.

Premium Video: Loraine Bracco on Good Morning America

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...