Tag Archives: Sopranos

Pod Yourself 15: Do Not Resuscitate, With Alison Stevenson (S2E2)



Pod Yourself A Gun’s Sopranos rewatch continues with episode 15 (season 2, episode 2), “Do Not Resuscitate.” First aired January 23rd, 2000, this episode sees Tony deal with a race strike at one of his construction sites, Livia dealing with Janice, and Livia being caught in the web of one of her own manipulations (or is she??). Oh, and we also get the first appearance of Tony’s long-suffering punching bag, Bobby Baccalá, and find out that Big Pussy Bonpensiero actually is working with the Feds after all.

I watch all the episodes at least twice for this show, and this one probably gained the most so far from the second viewing. “Do Not Resuscitate” is easily the most subtle Sopranos episode up until this point and arguably one of the most subtle of any episode. As such, there’s lots to debate and discuss!

Do we believe, for instance, as Matt Zoller-Seitz speculates, that it was Livia who told Junior that the director of the Green Grove Retirement Community was spreading Sopranos secrets? And that when Junior told Tony and got the guy whacked, which became an excuse for Livia not to go back there, did she become the victim of her own plans, and thus the choking sequence when she found out about it? This is by far the most complex “fan theory” I will ever engage with but in this case I think it actually might be true.

Our guest this week is Alison Stevenson, wonderful comedian and long-time friend of the pod who also has her own podcast about relationships and a Wednesday night gig on Adult Swim. As always, please enjoy this episode, and if you don’t, va fongool.


Pod Yourself A Gun 14: Guy Walks Into A Psychiatrist’s Office



In episode 14, season one of The Sopranos is over and season 2 begins!

“Season Two opens with the aftermath of the federal crackdown: Junior’s in jail, Melfi refuses to see Tony, Christopher’s expanding into new business ventures, Pussy is still missing…and Tony’s adjusting to life as the new boss. To complicate matters even more, Tony’s free-spirited sister Janice arrives to take care of Livia.”

In “Guy Walks Into A Psychiatrist’s Office,” which originally premiered January 16th, 2000, sees Tony making nice with Big Pussy, Christopher running a pump and dump scheme while getting deeper into heroin, and the first appearance of Aida Turturro as Tony’s sister Janice, one of the all-time great TV characters and very triggering according to Matt. I think we all know at least one Janice.

It’s also the first time we meet Matt Bevilaqua, played by Lillo Brancato Jr., previously of A Bronx Tale, who would go on to do eight years in prison for his part in a botched burglary during which an off-duty police officer was killed. That’s pretty dark, but the important thing to remember is that this episode is full of important trivia, some of which we remember. Give it a listen or va fongool.


Pod Yourself A Gun 12: Isabella



This week on Pod Yourself A Gun, we discuss episode 12 from season 1 of the Sopranos, “Isabella” – where Tony is deep in depression about the disappearance of his friend (and possible snitch) Big Pussy. As we near the end of the first season of the Sopranos, and the first season of Pod Yourself A Gun, Matt and Vince have decided that all of you listeners out there deserve an episode of this show with NO GUEST and just the pure, unadulterated analysis of your loyal PYAG hosts. Just the raw shit, no filler. And what better episode to do this than Isabella, which has zero nudity. That’s right, ZERO.

Bada B-stories:

-Tony is depressed

-JR puts a hit out on Tony

-Livia is losing her mind

-Tony meets Isabella, who may or may not be Tyler Durden

Enjoy, please review and comment, email us at frotcast@gmail.com, voicemail 415 275 0030, and donate at Patreon.com/frotcast. We love you, and don’t stop believin.

 


Pod Yourself A Gun 11: Nobody Knows Anything, With Joey Devine



It’s time for another hilarious, informative, and not-nearly-frequent-enough episode of the world’s premier Sopranos podcast, Pod Yourself A Gun. This week Matt Lieb and Vince Mancini are talking season one, episode 11, “Nobody Knows Anything.” Our guest is Joey Devine from the world famous NBA podcast, Roundball Rock.

In episode 11, which premiered March 21st, 1999, Pussy has a bad back and might be a snitch, dirty detective Vin Makazian is sick of the way Tony has been treating him, Junior learns new secrets from Livia, and we meet a smattering of new characters — including Debbie, the madame with a heart of gold, Mikey Palmice’s wife, the mysterious and wonderful bordello doctor known only as “Dr. Mop and Glow,” and a reference to “the Jonas Salk of backs.” This episode also marks the first time we hear Pauly Walnuts’ Godfather theme car horn. So many things to discuss!

Download it now and tell all of your friends.


Tony ringing the bell

Pod Yourself A Gun 10: A Hit Is A Hit, With Miles Gray



Miles Gray from The Daily Zeitgeist podcast joins Matt and Vince this week to discuss Sopranos episode 10, “A Hit Is A Hit,” released March 14th (Pi Day!), 1999. In this episode, Pauly, Pussy, and Christopher kill a drug dealer for a big score, and everyone has their own ideas what to do with the money. Tony wants to fund an IPO, Carmella wants to play the stock market, and Christopher bankrolls Adriana’s music producing ambitions.

Meanwhile, “gangsta rapper” Massive Genius (played by Bokeem Woodbine) finagles a sitdown with Hesh, who Massive G believes owes royalties to a distant relative. Adriana signs up an old friend for some studio time, and Tony decides to play golf with his neighbor, Dr. Bruce Cusamano, an Amerigan, or a Wonderbread Wop, hoping for some hot stock tips but instead becoming a dance bear for the country club squares.

A lot people have said this is one of the Sopranos worst episodes, but notwithstanding some poor writing of the black characters, I (Vince) think this is actually one of the better episodes of this season. I read it as foreshadowing all the dumb bullshit people blew their money on in the early aughts, when everyone suddenly decided they were a stock picker and real estate speculator. It also, yet again, is unsparing towards all the characters, gangster or straight, Wonderbread Wop or goombah. Everyone is their on distinctive flavor of A-hole, and isn’t that just like life?

We finish things off discussing which of the Sopranos characters, if any, wouldn’t have voted for Trump.

If you like the show, give us a review! Donate at Patreon.com/Frotcast. Email us at frotcast@gmail.com, leave us a voicemail at 415 275 0030.


Sopranos lady with Pie in her face

Pod Yourself A Gun 9: Boca, With Anna Hossnieh From Daily Zeitgeist



For episode nine, Anna Hossnieh from The Daily Zeitgeist and Ethnically Ambiguous podcasts joins Pod Yourself A Gun to talk “Boca,” episode nine of The Sopranos. Released March 7, 1999, “Boca” is allegedly a double meaning title, referring both to Uncle Junior’s trip to Boca Raton with his girlfriend Bobbi Sanfilipo, and as in Italian/Spanish for mouth, since this episode is all about loose lips. Junior’s loose lips because he likes to perform cunnilingus, and Bobbi’s because she loves cunnilingus and loves to gab to all her friends about Junior’s cunnilingus skills. Which is a problem for Junior because apparently in the mafia, doing oral sex on a lady makes you gay. Doing the last thing any gay man would want to do is one of the gayest things you can do, as we know. Eventually he pulls a modified Cagney on her which seems extremely rude.

Other plotlines include Meadow’s soccer coach abandoning the team to coach at Rhode Island, and Meadow’s soccer coach having sex with one of the players, which leads her to slit her wrists on the swingset, which is where everyone loves to slit their wrists, obviously. Meanwhile Artie and Charmaine bicker over what to do about Tony, and Artie and Tony bicker over what to do with the soccer coach, and Junior and Mikey Palmice bicker over what to do about the feds. Silvio just nods a lot. Supposedly he wore his own golf hat for this episode. Incredible.

If you love us, leave us a review, or even better pay us for our time over on Patreon. Email us at frotcast@gmail.com, voicemails at 415 275 0030. We love you, don’t stop believin.


Michael Imperioli in The Sopranos, via HBO

Pod Yourself A Gun 8: El-P From Run The Jewels On ‘The Legend Of Tennessee Moltisanti’



Michael Imperioli in The Sopranos, via HBO

Episode eight of The Sopranos, “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti,” premiered on February 28th, 1999. More than 20 years later, we’re discussing it with El-P, rap veteran and one half of Run The Jewels. And, as it turns out, a huge Sopranos fan. This episode is that perfect combination of great guest and great episode to discuss.

Perhaps remembered as “the one where Christopher tries to write a screenplay,” episode eight is one of the best episodes of season one and certainly one that hits on all cylinders — comedy, drama, character psychology, and moving the story forward. It has the best dream sequence of any Sopranos thus far, the funniest AJ moments, amazing malapropism, delightful racism against the Irish from Livia, and takedowns of intellectuals and stand-up comics as brutal as any comment on the mafia.

Some of the firsts in this episode include our first glimpses of Dr. Melfi’s family, including her self-hating Italian ex-husband and her insufferable son, who “just moved into a smoke-free dorm room at Bard.” In a show full of vicious thieves and murderers, Melfi’s son manages to stand out as the least likable. It’s also the first time we see Joseph R. Gannascoli as Gino, later to be recast as Vito Spatafore, who starred in one of the all-time great Sopranos episodes, “Johnnycakes,” which was incidentally directed by the same director as this episode, Tim Van Patten, brother of Dick.

Enjoy, and if you like the show, rate us on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts. You can help keep the show ad free by subscribing to our other show on Patreon, at Patreon.com/Frotcast.

Vince Mancini, El P, Matt Lieb

 


Pod Yourself A Gun 7: Down Neck, With Justin Halpern



TV and book writer Justin Halpern (Shit My Dad Says, I Suck At Girls, Powerless, iZombie, Surviving Jack, the upcoming Harley Quinn series) joins Vince and Matt this week to discuss episode seven of the Sopranos, “Down Neck,” released February 21, 1999. Among other things, this episode was the only episode of the Sopranos directed by a woman and was the first ever screen credit for future Creed star Michael B. Jordan. It also consists partly of flashbacks to Newark in 1967, the reported setting of the Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints Of Newark.

Tony will be played by his son, Michael Gandolfini in the film, which is interesting considering Gandolfini is 19, and in this episode, with the flashbacks set in the same year, the actor who plays Tony is about 10. Marone, talk about a discrepanzool, am I right??

Incidentally, the actor who plays Tony in this episode, Bobby Boriello, also played young Howard Stern in Private Parts and young Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. We dive into all the episode’s themes, including your favorite recurring segments, Bada B Stories, Gabba Vafongool, Malapropism Corner, It’s the 90s, and the Wayback Machine, where we travel back to 1999 and see how mean people were to Monica Lewinsky. Enjoy, and don’t stop believin!


Pod Yourself A Gun 6: Pax Soprana, With Sopranos Sessions Co-Author Matt Zoller Seitz



In this episode of Pod Yourself A Gun, we’re talking episode six of The Sopranos, “Pax Soprana,” released February 14th, 1999 (happy belated Valentine’s Day to all the lovers out there).

At Tony’s suggestion, Junior is made acting boss after Jackie dies. In therapy, Tony surprises Dr. Melfi with an admission. Carmela and Irina (Tony’s mistress) both suffer as Tony’s libido takes a nosedive.

Lots of topics to dive into in this episode, including Tony’s most overt come on to Dr. Melfi to date (ever?), and some of his creepiest interactions with his poor goomar, Irina. Meanwhile, Junior is torn between being a Godfather and being a grumpy ass Fox News grandpa, Livia is manipulating Junior, Junior is taxing Hesh, Carmella is sweating Tony, Mikey Palmice is throwing people off of the bridge at Patterson Falls to make it look like a suicide, and Father Phil even gets a brief bit of screentime, reprising his role as the king of all f*ckboys.

Our guest this week is New York Magazine television critic and RogerEbert.com editor at large Matt Zoller Seitz, who co-authored The Sopranos Sessions with Alan Sepinwall and originally covered the series for the Newark Star-Ledger.

Enjoy and please give us a review and rating on iTunes! (Unless you hate it, in which case don’t do that).


Pod Yourself A Gun 3: Denial, Anger, Acceptance, with Adam Tod Brown from Unpopular Opinion



Hey all you Sopranos fans out there who are also fans of the Frotcast. It’s time for your third exciting episode of Pod Yourself A Gun, a Sopranos podcast where Vince Mancini and Matt Lieb discuss every single episode of the Sopranos. This week we talk Sopranos episode 3, “Denial, Anger, Acceptance,” with Adam Tod Brown of the Unpopular Opinion podcast. We discuss anything and everything about this episode from Jackie’s cancer, to Meadow’s meth problem, to a very Anti-Semitic storyline involving Hasidic Jews jewing each other out of money and then jewing Tony down in a depiction that would make Jerry Lewis cringe. It’s very possible that Italians hate Jews more than I suspected. Anyway, listen to this episode immediately and please give us 5 stars and a review on iTunes. We will love you forever if you do.