'The Sopranos': Amid fanfare, an HBO series fades to black
There was no good ending, so "The Sopranos" left off without one. The abrupt finale was almost like a prank, a mischievous dig at viewers who had agonized over how television's most addictive series would come to a close.
The suspense of the final scene in the diner was almost cruel. And certainly that last bit of song - "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey - had to be a joke.
After eight years and so much frenzied anticipation, any ending would have been a letdown. Viewers are conditioned to seek a resolution, happy or sad, so it was almost fitting that this HBO series that was neither comedy nor tragedy should defy expectations in its very last moments. In that way, at least, "The Sopranos" delivered a perfectly imperfect finish. (The finale was broadcast Sunday night in the United States.)