The Sopranos: Season 4, Episode 7

Watching Too Much Television (27 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama
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Adriana learns that life is not like TV shows, while Tony discovers that a former girlfriend has moved on.



(created by), (teleplay by), 5 more credits »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Junior Soprano (credit only)
Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)


Paulie's out of jail and his friend's throw him a party at the Bada Bing. He's still not very happy about he's been treated both before and after he went to jail and the fact that Tony did little while he was there. He turns to Johnny Sack who lends a sympathetic ear. Adriana, still under pressure from the FBI to provide more information, learns from a TV show that a wife can't be forced to testify against her husband. Christopher's not having anything to do with it, especially after she tells him she may not be able to have kids. He relents but not before Adriana learns that she could be called to testify after all. Carmela's cousin, financial analyst Brian, tells Tony of a way to scam the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carmela's feelings for Furio may be mutual but he starts to avoid her. Assemblyman Zellman tells Tony he's seeing his old girlfriend Irina. Tony seems to take it okay but he's obviously irritated. It's all too much for him in the end. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


TV-MA | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The teleplay was co-authored by writer Nick Santora his very first TV credit and his only contribution to the series. He would go on to write or produce for eight other shows, including Law & Order (1990) and more recently Vegas (2012). See more »


Anthony 'A.J.' Soprano Jr.: So that's a crack 'ho.
See more »


References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »


Nancy (with the Laughing Face)
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Phil Silvers
Performed by Frank Sinatra
See more »

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User Reviews

Old friends return
8 May 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Before the fourth season of The Sopranos went into production, actor Tony Sirico underwent back surgery. In order for him to recover, David Chase decided to place his character, Paulie Walnuts, in jail, where he spent all of the first six episodes of Series Four. Now he finally returns, and is happily welcomed back by everyone. The happiness won't last long, though, for two reasons.

Firstly, Paulie still tells stuff to Johnny Sack, but that's a minor preoccupation; the real problem is another person from the past who has returned. That person is Irina, Tony's former mistress, who is now dating his business partner Zellman (Peter Riegert, aka Boon from Animal House). Unexpectedly, Tony responds in a quite brutal manner to the news, shamelessly kicking the sh*t out of Zellman.

But hey, that's a small matter compared to Adriana's complicated status: urged by the feds to gather evidence, she sees on a TV show that a wife can't testify against her husband, and vice versa, and starts pressuring Chris to marry her as soon as possible. However, she is soon informed of the fact that real life isn't a TV program, considering there are at least three loopholes in her plan the FBI can exploit.

TV serials making fun of TV serials is nothing new: the fourth season of Seinfeld was almost entirely about Jerry and George coming up with a fictitious version of the show itself, with hilarious results, while the likes of The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park have made it their trademark to lampoon major networks and programs (mostly Fox-related). And yet having an episode of the best show ever being titled Watching Too Much Television is an intuition so clever it immediately gets past the point of self-parody: there is real emotional power in Drea de Matteo's performance as her character comes closer to a stage from which there will be no return.

Once again, the intelligence sets it apart from anything else. Well, that and Tony Soprano beating a cast member from Animal House.

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