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TV TALK: Sing it loud, Sopranos are finally here.

IT won rave reviews when shown in the US and Britain - now The Sopranos is coming to RTE.

The award-winning drama series, which is launched tomorrow (RTE One, 10.05pm) with a special two-hour episode, tells the story of a New Jersey Mafia family.

What makes it different from other crime dramas is that it combines comedy and violence successfully.

Stylish, shocking and darkly humourous, the series was described by The New York Times as the most important work of US pop culture in the last quarter of a century.

It attracted a record 10 million viewers when shown on US cable channel HBO.

The central character, Tony Sopano, played by James Gandolfini, is a devoted husband and father - and a brutal killer.

In the opening episode he suffers an an anxiety attack and reluctantly consults psychiatrist Dr Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco).

He confides in the shrink about his floundering relationships with his wife, mother and violent children.

But his `mob ethics' prevent him from revealing the violence he and his nephew Christopher inflict on rivals to maintain Tony's position as king of the waste management business.

Tony's volatile Uncle Junior wants to kill a rival in a restaurant owned by one of Tony's childhood pals which is sure to put him out of business.

Failing to persuade his uncle to carry out the murder elsewhere, Tony blows up the restaurant so his pal can collect insurance.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 23, 2000
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