“The Sopranos” Critiqued Toxic Masculinity Before it Was Cool
How a show from the 90s bravely discussed toxic masculinity, mental health, and addiction before it became normalized
My husband and I have reached perhaps the most important milestone in our marriage yet.
I got him hooked on “The Sopranos”.
Now, I’ve seen this show countless times. I think the first ever time I watched any episode was back in 2008. My love for gangster films and tv shows has never ceased, and I’m generally a crime junkie, so it’s no wonder why I love The Sopranos as much as I do.
But as I have aged, I have noticed other themes in the series, as well as just how revolutionary and ahead of its time that The Sopranos was.
Firstly, the main mobster that the series revolves around, Tony Soprano, is a real anti hero. You can’t figure out whether to classify him as a piece of shit or just a dude who is forced to make ethically grey choices as a result of the stressors around him.
Like, look at his mother, for one.
Tony’s mother is a classic narcissist case. The whole world revolves around her needs, and nobody is good enough for her. Kinda the way I felt growing up, but I’ll spare you the woe is me details. Children of narcissistic parents usually grow up with less than healthy habits and are definitely more vulnerable to needing intense therapy to reverse the abuse they’ve endured.
Watching Livia Soprano rant and rave and go on pity sprees confirms how much of a textbook case of narcissism that some ‘female caregivers of mine’ had. Kinda de ja vu-ish, to say in the least.
Like all the scenes of Livia here rambling about how much of a saint her late husband was and how nobody ever cared about her the way he did. Funny how we deify the dead and use their memory as a weapon to flagellate the people around them.