The Similitude
The Similitude Podcast
Off the Back of a Truck
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Off the Back of a Truck

The Sopranos & the Gangster Film
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This Was Almost The Intro For 'The Sopranos' - ClickHole

Believe it our not, it’s been nearly a quarter century since the premiere of The Sopranos, David Chase’s seminal HBO drama. With its layered character development and crack ensemble—led by James Gandolfini in one of the great sustained Method acting performances—The Sopranos is a bitterly funny, deeply unsettling portrayal of American society at the dawn of the millennium.

To look at the show from the perspective of 2023, I talked with film critic and commentator Nick Braccia. Nick’s the editor of a new companion book to the series entitled Off the Back of a Truck: Unofficial Contraband for The Sopranos Fan, which features top-shelf writing from a host of critics. As Nick puts it, the book’s less like a lecture and more like party—it’s got episode guides, character breakdowns, and sharp takes on topics like psychology, music, and Italian cuisine. But it also features trenchant analysis of the show’s place in American culture and, especially, the gangster tradition.

I’ve broken my conversation with Nick into two episodes. In part one, today, we talk about his experience growing up in as a millennial in an Italian American family in the New York metropolitan area; the history and conventions of gangster movies; and what David Chase was trying to say about American life with The Sopranos.


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The Similitude
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Nick Coccoma