The Sopranos — The Complete Series
Bada bing! At long last, the seedy adventures of Tony Soprano & Co. finally arrive on shelves in one complete package. While we could argue about the merits of the show all day (and don't even get us started on that ending), the No. 1 question in every consumer's mind as it relates to this set is the price tag. Is this beautifully and carefully designed package really worth $400? Like most things in David Chase's world, the answer is a bit complicated.
As we mentioned, this 10-pound, 33-disc set is a pleasure to look at. The black album-like case comes inside a protective cloth and a linen storage box, and the album itself is a nice mix of information about the show and protective disc packaging. The set contains re-mastered versions of all 86 episodes, three soundtracks CDs and two discs of awesome bonus features. Those bonus features are really what sets this collection apart from the previous seven releases (yes, they split Season 6 into separate DVDs), and if you already own those other sets, they're mostly what you'll be paying for.
What you'll get from those features is more than three hours of never-before-seen material, including two "Supper with the Sopranos" featurettes that feature creator David Chase with cast and crew talking about the show. There is also a 45-minute, one-on-one interview of Chase by actor/Sopranos superfan Alec Baldwin, a Paley Center for Media Panel featuring many of the actors who were "whacked" throughout the series, nearly 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and several spoofs and parodies from The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live and MadTV. What you won't get is James Gandolfini (who is not featured in any of the bonus material) or any closure to that much-debated ending.
So, is it worth it? It's really simple math. If you don't already own any of the individual seasons, this purchase doesn't cost much more than buying them separately (with sales at some retailers you will actually save a little money). Plus, this set has some sweet bonuses unseen in the earlier releases, which mostly had only commentaries, all of which are included here as well. If you already have any of the other seasons, the new features, while fun and engaging, probably don't justify that kind of investment unless you're an obsessive fan (or a really thoughtful gift-giver).
If you do fork over the cash, you won't be disappointed (seriously, did we tell you how much fun we had just looking at the thing?) and if you're gifting the set, you will definitely be the most popular family member until Santa rolls around again next year. It truly is the go-to set for a die-hard Sopranos fan. Well, at least until the Blu-ray version is released!
Buy The Sopranos: The Complete Series at Amazon.com