If you were among the legions of Sopranos fans let down by the show's relatively quiet and uneventful season finale (save for Jackie Jr.'s whacking), the show's creator, David Chase, has good news: "Next year we'll kill 200 guys," he deadpans. "Maybe they'll like it better."

Well, it certainly couldn't hurt. Despite 22 Emmy nominations and blockbuster ratings (at least by cable standards), HBO's mob hit continues to find itself haunted by last May's anti-climax — an episode that critics complained spent more time showcasing Dominic Chianese's second career as a singer than tying up loose ends (the Russian mobster, Dr. Melfi's rape, Tony's mistress, etc.).

The disappointing send-off was one of the hot topics at the about-to-be-concluded Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. (The TCA nonetheless heralded The Sopranos as "Program of the Year.") The WB's communications exec Keith Marder even used the controversy as a punchline in his speech to reporters. Recalling Sopranos star Robert Iler's recent arrest in New York on drug and robbery charges, Marder quipped: "Apparently more happened to him in one night than on the entire Sopranos season finale."

Not one to take a hit standing up, Chase sat down with TV Guide Online to address the brouhaha surrounding the oft-debated installment, as well as other hot Sopranos topics.