You’re watching the credits roll on the final episode of Boardwalk Empire. A treasured chapter of your life is fading away as you reflect on the Autumn months spent with Nucky and the Gang. You haven’t felt this kind of loss since.. well.. it must have been The Sopranos in 2007. But wait.. there’s a familiar oldie playing over an all black screen. Slowly the words fade to white:
Slowly your consciousness comes to grips with this new reality. HBO is bringing it back! You immediately drop your spoon into your oversized bowl of ice cream to call your local cable subscriber begging them allow you to pre-pay for HBO eight years in advance despite the operators insistence that this is not possible.
But Tony’s dead, right? And if not his character, then the beloved and irreplaceable actor, for sure. Get over it, already! This can’t be happening…
While a sequel to The Sopranos makes little sense for a variety of reasons a well-timed prequel might be just what HBO needs right now. With Boardwalk Empire, True Blood and The Newsroom all fading to black this year the nation’s foremost premium network , despite a number of projects in the pipeline, could use a little help from a well known family to keep it in people’s hearts and minds until new shows like True Detective, The Leftovers, Silicon Valley and Westworld establish themselves as premium staples.
This isn’t just crazy, wishful thinking from the owner of an HBO fan blog. Just this spring Sopranos creator David Chase commented on the possibility:
“If I had a really great way to do it, I would do maybe a prequel,” Chase said. “Somebody gave me a book about Newark in the 1920s about gangsters in Newark. That kind of interests me but not enough that I would have done it.”
“A lot of people have talked to me about it… And frankly I still flirt with the idea sometimes.”
Alright HBO, it’s time to lock a team of your best writers and a few hired guns into a room until we get that “interesting idea” Mr. Chase eluded to.
The prequel makes so much sense for the mythology of the show as well as the future of HBO. The network is in need of another period piece and gangster series. The prequel certainly wouldn’t take away from the world of Tony Soprano at all. The flashback scenes in The Sopranos were some of the best in the series.
I am not a writer by trade and don’t pretend to be qualified to provide constructive criticism for one of David Chase’s level of genius. But as a fan this seems like an opportunity missed thus far. The story could center around the same family in a different era. A Costra Nostra in the 30’s, 40’s or even the 50’s. Think of the continuity between Boardwalk Empire in the 20’s and 30’s, The Sopranos in the 90’s and a Sopranos prequel somewhere in between. HBO’s audience has already shown their interest and the Soprano name would bring a built-in fandom to the new series that would be tough to duplicate. The entire series will be made available on Blu-Ray this year so this might be just the right moment to strike, HBO.
I’ll leave it there but now it’s your turn, Sopranos fans. What do you think about the idea of a prequel to your beloved series. If David Chase were the creator would you be interested? Is this just wishful thinking? Leave your comments, hopes and dreams below.