In his elegy to "The Sopranos" in THE NEW YORKER (June 4), David Remnick sadly recounts what we are letting go of. One of those things is that already-dying In Therapy We Trust [way back in 2001, Eva S. Moskowitz published a book by that title]. Clearly, Tony Soprano might have benefited more from consulting with a priest than psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi. And Melfi doesn't seem to make any great strides with her own demons in her own therapy.
The brilliance of David Chase in overseeing the playing out of these American myths is that he allows us to also experience how compelling they are. Both Tony and we the audience have hope that he can be fixed. We also harbor that American dream that the next generation has a better shot at whatever than the first. In each episode we root for Meadow and AJ to break away but they just get in deeper. And, there's the myth of women's moral superiority and emotional strength. Carmela, who also consults with a psychiatrist, can walk away from the McMansion and is told to by the shrink. But, shock, again and again, she takes the money and stays.
Not since "All In The Family," have we looked at America, ourselves and human nature like this. Tony and Archie and most of us can't and won't change. Therapy promised that. And now we are free, after 86 episodes, to move on to another myth. The producer who figures out what the current compelling myth is will be able to replace "The Sopranos" in our heads and hearts. My hunch it's going to blow up the illusion that education teaches.