As fellow critics have pointed out in a myriad of published studies on the series, The Sopranos challenges the traditional gangster genre formula and brings the mob closer to all of us: Tony and his gang inhabit a recognizable world of Starbucks, suburbia, and SUVs. They discuss issues of the day, the same ones we discuss when we turn off the TV after the episode. In short, they inhabit a quotidian reality that is continuous with our own, and we are prevented from drawing the neat lines that allow us a comfortable remove from the horror of the “criminal world,” as David Simon’s book Tony Soprano’s America convincingly demonstrates. Indeed, the series is an allegory that shows how the workings of the Italian American Mafia are not so different from the latest incarnation of the American way crystallized in the contemporary, corporate, middle-class consumer culture of the baby boomers, or what David Brooks has deemed “bobo culture.”
"From Here to InFinnerty: Tony Soprano and the American Way" was originally published in:
Lavery, David, Douglas Howard, and Paul Levinson, eds. The Essential Sopranos Reader. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 2011.
and appears in Digital Commons @ Butler University with the permission of the University of Kentucky Press: http://www.kentuckypress.com/live/title_detail.php?titleid=2605#.VCLoq1Y2LHN.