Last year Betty and I went on a Sopranos marathon. We knew going in that The Sopranos was an incredible TV series, since the people who loved it would never quit yapping about it, but what we didn't know was how wrapped up in it we would get.
86 episodes later, I think my unborn child knows Tony Soprano's voice better than my own. The baby would always kick when the Sopranos were on, but for me all it does is lay on Betty's bladder. Ah well, fuggetaboudit.
The Sopranos was not all fun and games; it was also educational. For instance, in Season 5, Episode 62 ("Cold Cuts"), Tony's sister Janice starts an Anger Management class, and in the episode she tells Tony that she can't control what other people do but she can control her reaction to it.
Well, Janice ends up attacking Tony with a fork at the end of the episode, but it was good advice anyway. I thought long and hard about this line, and I think it really helped me to control my own anger.
For example, historically, when another driver cuts me off while my wife is in the car, I usually end up threatening to drag the woman on her cellphone - because yes, it always is a woman on her cellphone - through the driver-side window, ram her cellphone up her ass and then bitch-slap her puss of a boyfriend who is sitting prostrate in the passenger seat. Betty gets mad at me for this reaction, but hey, I don't apologize for hating bad drivers.
But the very night that I saw that Sopranos episode, a woman tried to change lanes on the I-10 and would have sideswiped us had I not laid on my horn and gone onto the shoulder. Did I explode? Did I blow a vein out of my forehead in anger? No. I quietly took note of the license plate and simply planned to liquidate all of the offending party's gene pool if I ever saw her again.
So thank you, Sopranos and HBO, for showing me that violent sociopaths are not just scary and mean, but they can also be fun, entertaining and educational.