The Sopranos

Twelve episodes into the sixth season, with the final eight episodes scheduled to air in 2007. (Seasons one through five on DVD.)

I met the Sopranos nearly six years ago on Thanksgiving Day. Neither my brother nor I could make it home to Florida, so he came to visit me for the holiday. We had gotten hold of the first season of The Sopranos on DVD, and we watched all 13 episodes back to back while I made pasta for dinner and chocolate-chip cookies for dessert.

The marathon took more than 13 hours (we paused in between episodes — and sometimes during them — to discuss), but our attention never wavered, and we never considered breaking off and watching the remaining episodes the next day. As the season progressed, the subplots wove together, and the tension ratcheted higher and higher. We couldn't possibly stop when we wanted so desperately to see what unfolded next.

If we had spent that Thanksgiving watching the sixth season instead of the first, however, we might have set a few episodes aside for Friday or maybe even the weekend. It's not that season six has been bad, but creator David Chase and his team of writers seem to have decided that plot momentum and climax are too plebian for The Sopranos.