Many television shows tout themselves as “the greatest of all time”. Of course, this would be a subjective measure not to mention the differentiation in genres across the board. Is The Wire better than Seinfeld? Is Saturday Night Live more poignant than Mad Men? Who knows. But without hesitation you could say that HBO’s The Sopranos is one of the greatest shows of all time. Without Tony Soprano there would be no Walter White, Dexter or even The Hound from Game of Thrones. Truly bad men by most human measures but “our heros” nevertheless.
But rather than debate the nature of “greatest of all time” with you I assume most of you reading this are already convinced about The Sopranos. Why else would you be considering a purchase of a $200 Blu-Ray set if you weren’t madly in love with the people, places and feelings packed into this pungent television show.
Luckily enough HBO has granted us an early copy of this set for review. We’ll take you through the highlights of the blu-ray, complete set and we’ll let you decide whether someone in your life is special enough to receive this amazing boxed set this holiday season.
Let’s start by unboxing this bad boy.
The Complete Set
As you can see it’s actually a very simple setup. Seven Blu-Ray cases with 3-4 discs in each comprising a season of episodes per blue plastic container. That means about three episodes per disc. There is one more disc in a smaller case called “The Sopranos: Special Features”.. we’ll get to those later on in this review! Here’s a closer look at the characters featured on the boxes:
HD Digital & Download
You may not be aware of this fact but when you purchase The Sopranos: The Complete Series on Blu-Ray you’re also getting a second copy of the set: digitally. Inserted in the “Sepecial Features” disc that I just mentioned above is a card with a code on it. Head to the URL on the card and choose your provider: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play etc and you’re entitled to this entire set digitally as well!
Okay, come closer.. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Are you a cop? You have to tell if you’re a cop, that’s the law. Okay so theoretically you could buy this set, keep the discs for yourself and then gift this digital download card to one of your fancy, new age millennial friends who probably wanted the series digitally anyway. Then you coming out looking like a hero and your cheap-ass, gabagool family member can enjoy the series also!
But again, keep this in the family, alright? This is just between us gangsters.
Audio, Video & Sound
I haven’t had the chance to see the original season six blu-rays tbat have been out for a while so I can’t tell you if these are better or worse. For what it’s worth the video, audio and sound are all top notch on my mid-level 52 inch plasma, 5.1 Klipsch surround sound system. The discs are more compatible with my receiver than the HBO Go app was (where I first watched all of the series). This is the way it was meant to be watched!
Bullets whizzing by, doors slamming and that iconic intro music. It all looks and sounds better than ever.
Some stats for you:
Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 28
This set is packed with all the special features you’d expect from a collection of this caliber: inside the episodes with cast and crew, deleted scenes from every season, mini-documentaries with all of your favorite people and show creators etc. Here are some of the main special features:
Defining a Television Landmark
Exclusive feature exploring how The Sopranos came to be and how it transformed the television landscape. Includes all-new interviews with the case,crew,celebrities, filmakers, critics and academics, as well as never before seen archival footage from the groundbreaking series.
Supper with The Sopranos: Parts 1 and 2
Sit down with executive producer David Chase and the case and crew of The Sopranos as they discuss their collective experiences on the series, and the scenes that had everyone talking.
Take a look at key scenes that never made it into the show!
Two-Part Interview with David Chase
Alec Baldwin sites down with David Chase to discuss his many experiences that informed and inspired the creation of The Sopranos.
You’d think the Alec Baldwin interview would be weird but it isn’t. He doesnt hog the show or anything. There are enough new and seen-before special features to warrant a purchase for any true Sopranos fan. These are really worth your time if you’re into the show and want to dive deeper.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll get:
If you’re a fan of The Sopranos: Buy it Now. This is the complete series in its true form. If you know someone who loves The Sopranos: Buy it as a Gift! They’ll love you for it. Who says money can’t buy you love?
The set does clock in at a somewhat expensive $200 right now in most places but if you assumed $30-$40 per season you’re looking at a fairly reasonable price for one of the best shows of all time in your collection. The set will look very handsome in your entertainment center as it does in mine (see picture above).