The Sopranos creator David Chase says the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking HBO mob series might be less a celebration than “a funeral,” as, he suggests, TV is dumbing down.
“It is getting worse,” Chase said in an exclusive interview with The Times U.K. “We’re going back to where we were.”
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“They’re going to have commercials [on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video],” Chase said, adding that he recently was told by a TV exec to “dumb it down” regarding a project he’s developing.
When the Times interviewer mentions the complexity of HBO’s recent Succession, Chase says that now-ended series received the greenlight years ago. He says the two-decade-plus period that began with The Sopranos is “a 25-year blip.”
“And to be clear,” he continued, “I’m not talking only about The Sopranos, but a lot of other hugely talented people out there who I feel increasingly bad for.”
“We are more into multitasking,” Chase said. “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.”
Chase said the 25th anniversary of The Sopranos “is a funeral. Something is dying.”
The producer had harsh words for the pre-Sopranos era of broadcast TV as well. “Back then the networks were in an artistic pit. A sh*thole,” he said. “The process was repulsive. In meetings, these people would always ask to take out the one thing that made an episode worth doing. I should have quit.”
“I should have known that a real mafia wiseguy show would not happen on US TV,” he said. “If you think your grandmother is risk adverse, you should meet network people.”
The success of The Sopranos, he continued, was a chance for some I-told-you-sos. “I made them regret all their decades of stupidity and greed.”
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