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"The Sopranos" Christopher (2002)

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Those Italians, huh?

Author: Max_cinefilo89 from Italy
6 May 2008

During its first season, in the beautiful The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti, The Sopranos dealt head-on with criticisms raised at it for conveying negative stereotypes, the fun of the show being that it was the mobsters themselves who chastised Hollywood's depiction of Italians. The theme resurfaces 38 episodes later, in the aptly titled Christopher.

Wait, forget that last part: the title has nothing to do with Chris Moltisanti, despite the fact Michael Imperioli co-wrote the episode with Laura Marino; it is actually related to Christopher Columbus, who becomes the subject of a heated debate. The controversy rises from Native Americans' decision to boycott Columbus Day celebrations, on account of the famous explorer contributing to genocide when he first came to America. Silvio, however, perceives this as anti-Italian discrimination and enlists Ralph's help to settle things. Speaking of Ralph, he also gets dumped by Janice when she lays her eyes on Bobby "Baccala" (Steven Schirripa), whose wife has died in a car accident, and indirectly upsets Johnny Sack after the latter is told by Paulie what Ralphie said regarding Ginny Sack's ass.

The death subplot notwithstanding, Christopher is one of the funniest stories in the show's run, although the humor stays pitch-black as usual: just like in the aforementioned Season One episode, the writers' way of satirizing Italian-American culture is priceless, especially when Ralph tells the protesters the most famous Native American actor of all time was actually a "ghinzo". The best bit, though, occurs when they manage to throw in a stab at the tensions between Italians themselves: as Furio points out, those from the North of Italy, like Columbus, have always looked down on those from the South, treating them like peasants ("terroni" is the word they use in the mother tongue). Bottom line: don't insult these guys; they're already too busy bad-mouthing each other.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Margetis Review - The Sopranos, Episode 42 "Christopher"

Author: Michael Margetis ( from United States
11 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A very underrated episode, featuring the debate on Christopher Columbus day between the Native Americans and Italian-Americans. Everyone I know pans this episode, but I thought it was well-written and well-directed. It didn't focus on main plot points, but I found it interesting. It kind of showed what different Italians from different backgrounds felt on the whole Colombus controversy. It is exciting and fun to watch, and takes you out of the world of illegal activity, and features a major shocker by having Bobby's wife get killed in a car . This episode will sadly go down as one of the worst, but it is quite the contrary in my book. Too bad it isn't as good as last week's "No Show". Teleplay by Michael Imperioli, Story by Maria Laurino and Michael Imperioli, Directed by Tim Van Patten. My Rating: 8/10.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Charm of the 4th season is it's humor! This was a particularly funny episode even though parts of the Columbus story line ventures into the stupid category.

Author: nlytnd_1 from United States
6 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 4th season of the Sopranos is definitely underrated. The underlining theme and the charm of the 4th season is it's humor...this episode was no exception. While the Columbus story line has it's funny moments (I understand and like it's purpose), it ventures into the stupid category. I obviously like when the writers have a message, but I don't like when the characters have to carry out far fetched acts to codify the message. Overall the Sopranos Series is good at not falling into that too often. One of my least favorite episodes is Boca from the 1st season for this reason (Soccer coach episode, I won't go into the details).

Anyways, this episode cracked me up right out of the gate. Eugene Pontecorvo's blowing his nose like crazy, while Bobby's reading something in ref to the Columbus thing and you see the look of dismay over Silvio Dante's face and he says "Stop blowing your nose I want to hear this". It's subtle and just a little moment, but funny stuff!

Then it cuts to the wife's working out in the gym, which has a random line which made me laugh my arse off. They're talking about Furio and how hot he is and Carm says "I'm surprised nobody snapped him up yet". Adriana - I think he should lose the ponytail. Carm - You do? - I think it looks great on him. Rosalie - That's his trademark. Adriana - Sandi Fortunato says it looks like a dick coming out of his head." It's probably just one of those things that only I find funny, but the 4th season is loaded with these subtleties.

Janice took on most the humor this episode. The whole interaction with her psychiatrist is hilarious, as well as her find any reason to break up with Ralph incident.

And of course there's the Johnny Sack's overreaction to the joke about his wife coming back to Ralph and that whole story line is funny, which plays out for several episodes.

Lastly the writers message being brought home through Tony in the car ride home is great, capping off the whole Columbus story line.

Overall a decent episode. I kind of have a strict rating scale for the show. Most episodes are an 8 for me. The episodes that aren't as good I rate a 7, while the ones I like a lot are usually 9's... with only approx 5 10's throughout the 6 seasons. I'm going back over the episodes, I have a feeling when I get into the 5th season there will be a bunch of 6 ratings, since it's a rough season except for the last 2 episodes.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Christopher (#4.3)

Author: ComedyFan2010 from Canada
13 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is Columbus Day and the Italians are ready to celebrate their hero. But this leads to the clashes with the Natives to whom he is a mass murderer. Bobby is going through horrible times as his wife dies in a car accident. And Ralph leaves his wife for Janice but now Janice doesn't want him anymore. She has her eyes on Bobby.

Kind of a pointless episode. The whole Columbus issue was kind of dumb. It just reminds me how great the show is because I love the characters even though I disagree with them. Furio was pretty funny here. I actually said when he first appeared that he is the only character I don't like at all. Well, by now he grew on me as well.

Janice's story was pretty funny. She really is hilarious with men and how her interests come and disappear.

Well, a pointless episode doesn't mean bad. I enjoyed watching it. Just not on the same level for me as the other episodes from the series.

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2 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A quarter Cherokee

Author: ctomvelu-1 from United States
9 September 2008

While Silvio and the boys get into a major squabble with some Indians over Christopher Columbus, Janice is being singled out for being married to mob boss Tony during a church-sponsored forum on the image of Italian-Americans. If things aren't bad enough, Furio reminds the boys that northern Italians look down their noses at southern Italians -- and all of the mob boys are descended from southern Italy peasant stock, of course. The episode is pure comedy. The ending, involving a trip to an Indian casino, will have you crying with laughter as Tony -- who has tried to stay out of all this and ends up very angry with Silvio -- somehow gets to play the patsy. It's Indians 1, Italian-American mobsters 0.

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2 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Who is Maria Laurino?

Author: jaydar711 from United States
27 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

She is listed as a co-writer with Michael Imperioli for the episode, Christopher. But who is she? Is she related to MI? I ask because she is has no other writing credits for any other episodes that I can see. Often, a first-time writer gets their initial shot because they are married or related somehow to an established talent. I certainly don't mean to be sexist or to belittle her in any way.

I see that my existing comment does not contain enough lines. It only contained six lines and it appears that it must contain at least ten lines. So, I'm writing filler here to bring the comment up to the minimum required. Does it seem like filler to you? Let us see.

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