River Donaghey of VICE is one of the many that seems to think that rebooting The Sopranos would be a horrible idea and a lot of people seem to echo that sentiment. The show was one of the most watched and the most perfect programs around, which means that trying to reboot it wouldn’t just be a bad idea, it could be an utter disaster. In the history of shows that have been cancelled or run their course and then brought back there have been a lot of misses and only a few possible hits here and there, but The Sopranos isn’t one that seems like it would be a hit since despite so many rich and vibrant characters the one thing missing, James Gandolfini, would be a huge issue.
Paul Moore of Her has stated that HBO hasn’t ruled it out yet, but it does seem as though there could be a lot of blowback and a possible loss in viewership if this were to happen. It’s always possible that a story line could be created that would make it a feasible return, but without key characters that essentially made the story it doesn’t seem all that possible to keep it going. Look what happened to House of Cards once Kevin Spacey’s career was tanked, the show lost a lot of its luster and had to kill off the main character that got everything going in the first place. While Robin Wright was able to close it out and end on what some would call a moderate note, the show won’t likely get a reboot unless there’s enough demand for one. In the case of The Sopranos the main actor passed away six years ago, and there’s no way to replace him. Even if there was you can only imagine the storm of criticism that would bring. And showing how life has gotten on without him in a reboot seems like a poor way to honor the memory of the show.
Still, there is a prequel in the works it would seem, a story to explain the original series perhaps and something that fans can still get behind since it might answer questions they’ve had since the beginning. That’s all well and good it seems since prequels are easy to ignore if they’re not successful and actually kind of appreciated if they coincide nicely with the original show. But a reboot, oy. One would think at this point that reboots would have a definitive formula that is bound to work with a few tweaks here and here, or would be shelved finally in order to allow new and possibly more entertaining material to be brought forward. That could be a big problem with Hollywood today, the need to cling to the past and continue to develop stories that have reached a great conclusion has become an obsession for some, as Matt Webb Mitovich of TV Line might agree, since there are movies and TV shows alike that have been redone, remodeled, and renovated to such a degree that for a while it was hard to recognize them as a representation of the original material. Now however, some reboots are actually doing well and others are succeeding, producers and directors are gaining enough confidence to look at just about anything and everything they could possibly make ‘better’ or bring back in some way.
While I’m not one to say no to a story, canning one story and then adding a few things or changing a couple things around isn’t the most creative way to go. It’s almost like taking a beautiful meal and trying to replicate it while altering it in ways that those in charge might think is great but only confuses the person to whom it’s presented. Analogies aside, The Sopranos is best left being as it is, a legendary show in its own time that people happen have loved watching and would likely look askance at if it was ever changed in any way with a reboot. It’s great to have ideas on how to do things in a new way, but sometimes there are ways that need to be blocked off until someone else can come along and cut their own path, preferably long after people forgot the near mistake that was made when people weren’t ready to see it yet.
Just think of it, one day The Sopranos will be considered and oldies TV show, something that we watched when we were younger and that our grandkids will look at and say ‘wow that’s old’. Perhaps then someone will have come along that can look at the show and think of how to go about rebooting it so that people will want to watch it again. But for now it would seem that it’s best leaving The Sopranos alone save for the prequel that might be kind of interesting.