‘The Sopranos’ Was So Realistic It Left the Mafia Shaking

It is hard to believe that The Sopranos premiered all the way back in 1999. The HBO television series told the story of Tony Soprano, his family, and the mob life he dearly belonged to. The show candidly portrayed Tony as he authentically continued to go about his personal and professional endeavors while struggling with his mental health.

For six seasons viewers and fans followed the intricate and compelling storylines surrounding the celebrated characters. James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, and Lorraine Bracco were just a few of the popular and talented actors and actresses who made up the cast that so many people ended up falling in love with.

Even though The Sopranos came to an end in 2007, many fans and viewers still find themselves discussing the premise of the show as well as the characters. Apparently, even the mafia couldn’t help but discuss the manners of the popular show. Take a look at some of the most legendary moments that took place on The Sopranos and find out what the mafia had to say about it. 

A look back at some of the most memorable moments on ‘The Sopranos’

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The Sopranos became an award-winning series for many reasons. From the extremely talented cast to the mind-blowingly good writing, the HBO television show continuously showed their viewers just why it was so good. Over the course of the six seasons, The Sopranos had witnessed some of the most legendary and iconic moments on television. 

Right off the bat, the complex characters seemed to be what kept the viewers coming back for more and more. The scene of Tony with the ducks in season one continues to be one of the most iconic moments in the history of The Sopranos. Many viewers found themselves taken aback by this other more sensitive side of Tony and found themselves rooting for him despite his many glaring flaws. This was the case for many of the characters. 

Over the course of the six seasons, the popular television show was on the air there were one or two scenes that ended up being memorable for the wrong reasons.

James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini | Anthony Neste/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

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For instance, viewers and fans of The Sopranos will probably never forget the way the show handled the death of Livia, Tony’s mother. Nancy Marchand, the actress who played Livia, unexpectedly passed away after season two.

Unfortunately, season 2 setup major groundwork for Livia’s storyline in the upcoming season. When it became evident that this would not be a possibility instead of translating the real-life events on to screen the producers and writers took a much different direction.

As explained in a Screenrant article: “Instead, they CGI’d her head onto the body of another actress, for an unusual scene where she reacts to Tony’s statements in a nonsensical way.” It definitely was a first on the series that caught so many people’s attention. 

What did the mafia end up thinking of the hit series ‘The Sopranos’?

Surprisingly enough, mobsters in the New Jersey area began to worry the longer The Sopranos continued to air. The series of events that they would see unfold on-screen sometimes felt all too real to members of the New Jersey’s mafia.

FBI agents have revealed that the mafia believed the events of the series to be so realistic that they believed a snitch was the only option. A Screenrant article captured the mystery behind the suspicion and explained: “The actual mobsters who operated out of New Jersey started to suspect that one of their own was leaking information to David Chase and the producers of the show. FBI agents would tell the writers of The Sopranos that they would hear the discussions between gangsters on a wiretap.”

Though there was never any discovery of the sorts, the members of New Jersey’s mafia were shaken nonetheless. 

What other sources did ‘The Sopranos’ use to keep it as real as possible? 

Incorporating cast members who had real-life crime connections and experience was an excellent decision. Tony Sirico played the part of Paulie Gualtieri, and his connection to the infamous “Colombo crime family” made his performance that much more authentic when on screen.

Robert Iler and Tony Darrow were two other cast members who were able to pull crime-based experiences from their own personal lives. This unexpected added element definitely seemed to give the popular television series the extra edge it needed. It is no wonder the mafia found themselves wondering and speculating.