These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Sopranos
Alternative Character Interpretation: A huge theme of the show. Nearly all of the characters are unprecedentedly rich with psychological nuance, complex (and often conflicting) emotions, and words and actions which can be interpreted in a number of ways. The show treasures ambiguity, and thus refuses any easy categorizations for its characters or anything else.
Season four, which either sucked out loud or was a good season that got crapped on because the show took an introspective turn.
Too much yakking and not enough wacking, or plenty of character development and drama?
The finale split people into camps of "lifers" and "deadheads" for months after with people on one side occasionally claiming that if you didn't agree with their take you weren't a real fan and simply didn't get the show.
Go to IMDB's message board for the series and you'll see that half the threads are either "Lifers vs Deadheads" threads or turn into focusing on that question at some point or another.
Complete Monster: Richie Aprile and Livia Soprano are heinous by the dark standards of the story, lacking genuine Pet the Dog moments to compensate for their reprehensible actions. Richie Aprile really is the scariest, most loathsome individual imaginable, and every scene he is in is filled with the utmost dread.
Vito in season 6. Partly because his big arc was largely filler designed to pad out the first half of season six, due to Chase and HBO wanting to drag out the series for one final batch of episodes which had not yet been written.
Drea de Matteo as Adriana. She went from a being an extra in the pilot and a minor character in the first season to one of the most popular characters and a big hit with critics especially in season 5 when her storyline came to a head and fans were devastated by the death of the character. Drea de Matteo won the Emmy for her performance in that episode.
Carmela You wanna train him to be a professional killer?
Tony: Oh will you stop! They're soldiers. And the United States Army hardly ever goes to war anymore.
Genius Bonus: Not so much "genius" as "location", for obvious reasons, Jersey people get a big kick out of this show.
New Jersey-based sportswriter Peter King bragged in his column that he interviewed Michael Strahan in the same booth where the show ended.
Genre Turning Point: Not only did The Sopranos make HBO universally known, it also established that high quality television drama can compete with film and literature in terms of telling artfully constructed, sophisticated stories for adults. The Sopranos is also credited with demonstrating that shows with complicated, continuity-heavy plots that didn't spoonfeed information to the audience could be successful - a revelation without which shows like The Wire and Game of Thrones would undoubtedly never have been greenlit. This eventually started spreading to basic cable as well, most notably with Breaking Bad. It also made the deaths of major characters a regular device in its storytelling, to the point thatnobodywas completely safe. This is now a staple of acclaimed television dramas. All of this has brought about what many consider to be a golden age of dramatic television.
Harsher in Hindsight: During Christopher's drug intervention, he counters Tony's criticism of his addiction by decrying Tony's weight and says that he's gonna die of a heart attack by the time he's 50. James Gandolfini died of just that on 19 June 2013, at the age of 51.
From that same scene, we have Tony threatening to suffocate Christopher. He'd wind up doing just that.
Any scene between Tony and Meadow. Gandolfini never got to spend that kind of time with his own daughter, who was born just a few months before his death.
One of the subplots of the final season was Tony losing a grip on his gambling addiction, culminating in a scene where he loses thousands of dollars on a NY Jets game. New York had the game in hand, until Buffalo Quarterback J.P. Losman fumbled the ball, picked it back up again, and ran it in for a touchdown to win the game. Flash forward to when that game was actually played in New Jersey: Buffalo has the game in hand, until J.P. Losman fumbles the ball to the Jets, who then run it in to win the game.
Once upon a time, MADtv had a parody of the show that depicted just how disjointed the show would be if The Sopranos was shown on a non-premium cable channel and edited for all manner of violence, sex, and foul, abusive language. The actual syndicated version on A&E isn't as bad as the parody MADtv came up with (which depicted The Sopranos on PAX, of all channels, and featured an entire episode lasting less than five minutes), but it's still pretty funny that the show predicted that The Sopranos would be Edited for Syndication.
Vito. He's a slimy, maneuvering worm, but some part of you just wants him to stay in New Hampshire and marry Nice Guy Johnnycakes.
Adriana. Almost a Butt Monkey but you'd have to be a cold bastard not to feel some sympathy for her...or a member of the mob.
Christopher can sometimes fall here when he isn't a complete psycho. For example, when he was being bullied by the two Tonies.
Carmela. Most of the time (due to Tony’s philandering, among other reasons), but particularly in Season 5 where she’s separated from Tony and constantly blamed, berated and generally pushed to breaking point by an adolescent and abusive A.J.
Bobby Baccala. Nobody else compares. Father killed off one season, his wife the next. And then he married Janice. Poor bastard. And then Tony goads him in to punching Tony in the mouth. Then Tony forces Bobby (who is not Ax-Crazy like his comrades) to commit a murder as a punishment.
Moral Event Horizon: Oh, so many. It is a show about the mob, afterall. In case the whole "lying, cheating, stealing and murdering" thing isn't enough, here are some specific ones:
The aforementioned incident involving Ralph and a stripper.
Paulie murdering an old woman... with his bare hands.
Christopher ratting out Adriana, leading to her murder.
A very debatable one occurs when Ralph gains some sympathy after his son is injured, but it turns out that he killed Tony's beloved race horse for the insurance money. Debatable because Ralph never actually admits to it and there's no proof that he was responsible. An argument can be made that Tony's love for animals was responsible for how he couldn't see the horse's death as anything but murder, and his dreams in the following episode seem to hint he knew deep down that Ralph may have been innocent in the matter. Arguably this is Tony's Moral Event Horizon.
Dr. Krakower, an aged jewish psycho-therapist that Carmella sees in "Second Opinion", he's in exactly one scene. He accurately tears apart her delusions of Tony being "a good man", and offers some of the most memorable lines in the series.
The Problem with Licensed Games: A video game entitled The Sopranos: Road to Respect was released for the PlayStation 2 featuring an original plotline based on notes by David Chase and voiceovers by the TV cast. Unfortunately, it was universally agreed to be horrible and a disgrace to the series.
Seasonal Rot: Varies depending on who you talk to. Seasons 1, 2 and 5 are generally agreed upon as being great. Season 6 (Part 1) and Season 4 generally receive the highest complaint value, though season 4 has its fans.
One episode has Tony and co. cheering at what is obviously stock footage of a horse race.
Tony's last conversation with Livia. Nancy Marchand's death necessitated that the character be written out, so the crew employed CGI to superimpose Marchand's image on another actress' body. It was not convincing
Wangst: Everyone. Granted that in case you were thinking about sympathizing with the characters a little too much, they suddenly went back into their Jerkass mode, screaming out their frequent profanities all the while flipping out.
Chris Moltisanti has to take the cake. Most of his screentime throughout Seasons 3 and 4 is spent getting drunk/high and going on long tangents of self-pity to his fiancee. After he gets sober, most of his screentime is spent complaining to her and his AA compatriots about how nobody takes his sobriety seriously.