As “The Sopranos” turns 25 years old, its esteemed creator David Chase isn’t exactly celebrating. In a recent interview with The Times UK, Chase proclaimed television’s golden age over and lamented over the changing state of the business. He suggested that today’s TV gatekeepers are no longer interested in the serious-minded fare that Chase broke new ground with “The Sopranos” and that continued over the next 25 years with the likes of “The Wire,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and more. Chase called this “a 25-year blip.”
“Yes, this is the 25th anniversary, so of course it’s a celebration,” he said. “But perhaps we shouldn’t look at it like that. Maybe we should look at it like a funeral….We’re going back to where I was. They’re going to have commercials.”
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Chase is already correct, as top streamers such as Netflix and Prime Video have introduced ad-supported plans in recent months. He also said: “And I’ve already been told to dumb it down.”
As Variety reported last March, Chase has been working with “A Teacher” creator Hannah Fidell on a new show about a sex worker forced into witness protection. It was originally in development at FX, but The Times now reports the show is on its “third draft” and that after several meetings Chase was told by executives “the unfortunate truth” that it’s too complex for today’s TV viewers.
“Who is this all really for?” Chase said. “I guess the stockholders?”
“As the human race goes on we are more into multitasking,” he continued. “Your phone is just one symptom, but who can really focus? Your mother could be dying and you are by her hospital bed taking calls. We seem to be confused and audiences can’t keep their minds on things, so we can’t make anything that makes too much sense, takes our attention and requires an audience to focus. And as for streaming executives? It is getting worse. We’re going back to where we were.”
“So, it is a funeral. Something is dying,” Chase concluded about the 25th anniversary of “The Sopranos”
Head over to The Times UK’s website to read Chase’s latest profile in its entirety.
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