First off I have to admit that I wasn't - do not ask me why - too interested in The Sopranos. It could have been the same thing that put me off of Guns N Roses back when I was at school - the same went for Metallica. A lot of the people who were into it/them seemed to be a bit macho or boneheaded. I know, that sounds awful, I apologise. However, it is what I sort of thought and that is what kept me away for a while.
The good thing with all of this is that when I finally did come around, and discover that I in fact do like what is being offered up, there were plenty of episodes to watch and albums to listen too!
I found the Sopranos after it had come and gone. All five seasons had been filmed and no more were on the horizon. I also was very lucky that I hadn't seen anything of it and nobody had told me anything so I went in total blind. I have to mention though, I did catch about five minutes once and what I saw sort of put me off for a bit longer. I happened to tune in at the point where Dr. Melfi was walking to her car via a stairwell.. Well, that put me off for a few years.
In the end i was assured that that isn't a weekly or episodely occurrence. So, I gave it a shot one day when I came across a very cheap - and very original - boxset in a secondhand store.
I didn't watch it straight away, as, if I am honest, the reason for me buying it was to sell it on and make a profit - perhaps a present?
Anyway, I started watching it and it grew on me quite quickly. It was not what I expected at all. I thought it was going to be a bunch of macho guys - okay, so it is - without any sort of self awareness - okay, so it is - but the writer - David Chase - and then later, writers created something of a masterpiece. A masterpiece`s width that really has passed a lot of the viewers by.
The Sopranos is not simply about a bunch of wise guys bangin' brawds and shooting guns n' mouths off, and bustin' bawls. It really delves deep into the human condition.
Tony Soprano is a very stressed man. He is not a nice man; he cannot be.
Ultimately throughout the series we see that when he lets his nice side deal with people close to him - his blood, prior to his birth - they hurt him. This hurt comes in the form of mental torment and even extreme violent action.
This is not so bad or hard to accept. The hard thing to accept is actually coming to accept these things are and people are/were wrong, and see that these things as they goes against all values. All values set by the code of his work and by the code set worldwide.
Perhaps even harder than expecting the truth is upholding the new found knowledge in the face of pressure and other people`s weakness. Yet again proving that, Tony Soprano may well be with the Mafia and may well have done terrible things to not always terrible people but, for better or worse, he has a conscience and he has a heart. That after all the things he has done and all the hell he has been through - less than his counterparts and "colleagues" sometimes who have little remorse - he still has some good in him. And that, is a victory.
Do these things help him? that would depend on the setting and the company he keeps/trusts..