Watching Too Much Television

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"Watching Too Much Television"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep407.jpg
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 7
Directed byJohn Patterson
Story by
Teleplay by
Cinematography byAlik Sakharov
Production code407
Original air dateOctober 27, 2002
Running time54 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Everybody Hurts"
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"Mergers and Acquisitions"
The Sopranos (season 4)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Watching Too Much Television" is the 46th episode of the HBO original series, The Sopranos and the seventh episode of the show's fourth season. Its teleplay was written by Nick Santora and Terence Winter from a story by Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, Terence Winter, and David Chase. It was directed by John Patterson and originally aired on October 27, 2002.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Adriana learns from a TV crime drama that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other, so she surprises Christopher by proposing that, after two years' engagement, they should get married. But when she confesses that she might not be able to have children, he storms out. Tony and Silvio urge him to marry her regardless. Fortified by heroin, he tells her he will. But she learns from a lawyer that the TV drama was wrong: in a major trial she can be made to testify. At her bridal shower, she cheerlessly unwraps her presents.

Furio invents a pretext to phone Carmela and tells her he has a pretty picture of her from the house-warming. But next morning he declines to enter the house, saying there is a problem in the car.

Brian casually mentions a bogus housing deal he knows about, but Tony and Ralphie take it seriously and carry out their own scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They make use of Dr. Ira Fried, Assemblyman Ronald Zellman, and Maurice Tiffen, a black activist. Some derelict houses are purchased. Tony takes A.J. for a drive, showing him the houses to illustrate his family's proud history of dedication to work.

One of the houses is occupied by black squatters who have turned it into a crack den. Tony puts pressure on Zellman to evict them: Zellman puts pressure on Tiffen; Tiffen demurs at the use of violence, but four armed teens are sent and the squatters are violently evicted. Based on false appraisals, a large loan is obtained from HUD. Fried, Zellman, and Tiffen get their cuts; Tony presents Brian with a Patek Philippe watch. Zellman and Tiffen recall that they were idealists together in the '60s. Tiffen says, "The Revolution got sold." Zellman says, "Sometimes I feel like I should be punished."

Paulie is released from prison. There is a big welcome-back party, and an envelope of cash from Tony. But Paulie is still resentful that Tony never contacted him when he was in prison, and speaks of this to Johnny Sack. He tells him that Tony has a new property scam. Johnny confirms that their conversations are secret, and tells Paulie that Carmine "thinks the world of you."

Zellman diffidently informs Tony that he is having a serious relationship with his ex-comaré Irina. Tony does not seem to mind. One day he finds a pretext to go to Zellman's house and sees Irina again. One night, drunk and overcome by emotion, he drives to the house, and barges up to the bedroom where he finds Zellman half-undressed. Tony takes off his belt and lashes him with it. "Of all the girls in New Jersey, you had to fuck this one?"

Title reference[edit]

  • Adriana watches the TV series Murder One and learns that she doesn't have to turn state's evidence against Christopher if they get married. But, her friend tells her that according to an episode of Murder, She Wrote, that is not always the case.

Other cultural references[edit]

  • Silvio makes a reference to the movie Papillon to Paulie when they first meet each other after he gets out of jail.
  • Paulie tells Johnny Sack he missed Good & Plenties while in prison.
  • In separate scenes Adriana watches Murder One and The A-Team on television.
  • Tony listens to WCBS-FM.
  • The restaurant at which Paulie and Johnny eat is the River Café

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

Music[edit]

External links[edit]