There are many lessons hidden in The Sopranos PDF driver script.
I think it’s time to talk about one of the best, if not the best tv shows of all time. Yes, I’m talking about The Sopranos. The series was created by David Chase and follows Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based gangster who struggles to balance his life of crime and his family. To cope with the panic attacks, he begins to see a therapist as the world around him becomes more complicated.
It was a historic series that changed all of television. The show premiered on HBO on January 10, 1999, and grew week by week, eventually becoming a juggernaut for the network and cementing it as a major player in a world that revolved around network television. He put cable front and center and hasn’t looked back since.
The series ran for six seasons, totaling 86 episodes, and concluded on June 10, 2007, with a blackout being heard around the world. The Sopranos is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. The series has won so many awards that it’s impossible to mention them all here, but some include the Peabody Awards for its first two seasons, 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards.
In 2013, the Writers Guild of America named The Sopranos the best-written television series of all time, and in 2016 the series ranked first in the rolling stone list of the 100 greatest TV shows of all time.
And after reading all of this, it’s essential to know that it all started with a fantastic pilot script, which you can download and read here.
3 lessons of The Sopranos Pilot scenario
Throughout the show, Chase always managed to keep the audience guessing. He developed characters, had them bowand combined archetypes to give us a new look and feel for the modern gangster. After re-reading the pilot, I wanted to go over the three biggest lessons that I found most helpful as a writer. Let’s dig.
1. Reinvent archetypes
The big, stoic mob boss persona has been around since at least the 1930s. But what The Sopranos did it elegantly is to take that persona and make someone who was the opposite.
The show took that archetype and brought us someone who had panic attacks trying to fit in. He had vulnerabilities, anger issues and was falling apart. Tony Soprano was a character with so much to do, that we felt for him, even though he was a villain. It was a whole new way to see characters like this, and it made people think. This deconstruction was beautiful and heartbreaking.
2. Step right into the story
One of the things I appreciate about the pilot of The Sopranos that’s how he wastes no time making history. We are immediately in a psychiatrist’s office. We spend most of the pilot retracing how we got here, but we get the premise right off the bat. He’s a gangster who came for help.
By going straight into the story, executives could know right away what this show was about. And later, when the public looked at it, they knew it too. It was a compelling opening scene that led to an even more compelling episode.
3. Always leave them wanting more
There are resolutions at the end of the pilot, but the long thread of the series is put together. We are interested in both the mafia world and the Soprano family. We also want to know what else might come out of the therapy that has this gangster buzzing. There are a lot of questions at the end of the pilot, and it’s so easy to see how it would be for a TV show. The narrative threads here are incredibly strong. They push us forward. Deeper in this world.
What did you learn from the pilot? Tell us in the comments.