Sopranos Creator Admits To One Major Inaccuracy With The Mob Drama

 Michael Imperioli and James Gandolfini on The Sopranos.
Credit: HBO

The Sopranos is one of the defining TV shows of the past two decades, which is saying a lot. And David Chase's acclaimed mob drama, which turned 25 this year. still captivates audiences via its examination of mafia life in the 20th and 21st century. Family man and mobster Tony Soprano became an endearing character to audiences through his relationships with those around him and even through his highly questionable actions. As much as the show has been praised, it would seem that it's not entirely airtight in its depiction of the mafia, as Chase revealed one major inaccuracy with the series

Since the show completed its six-season run in 2007, David Chase has occasionally spoken about it, sharing behind-the-scenes details that provide insight into his team's creative choices. It was during a roundtable discussion for the show’s 25th anniversary with Empire (via Screen Rant) that Chase revealed one important way in which the show differs from actual mob life, and it involves the violence on the show:

Well, here's the thing about all the killings on the show. If you look at the real Mob, I think there were a grand total of nine Mob homicides from '99 to 2007 in the New York metropolitan area. We were doing nine a season. [Laughs] So yes, not everyone made it out alive…

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Honestly, nine deaths out of thirteen hour-long episodes season isn’t that bad, considering how many deaths occur in mob movies that run two hours or more. An element that helped make the show so great and allowed it to stand the test of time is the sheer amount of character deaths. (And a number of fans still aren't over some of them.) The Many Saints of Newark producer does bring up an interesting point. But whether or not the carnage was true to life probably matters little, given audiences have been entertained and probably don't think about just how realistic the amount of killing is.

Of course, David Chase was definitely right in saying that not everyone made it out alive, as many major characters met gruesome demises. One of the most iconic Sopranos episodes involved the murder of beloved character Adriana La Cerva. I won't discuss additional major deaths, in case there are readers who still haven't checked out the show. But what I will say is that if you watch, don't be surprised if some of the killing remain in your mind for a while.

Near killings that weren’t part of Tony’s crew -- but were still important to episodes -- remain important as well. One such example is the case of the Russian commando that Paulie and Christopher may or may not have killed in the famous episode "Pine Barrens." Of course, there's also the ominous fate of James Gandolfini's Tony, which has been widely debated since the series finale aired all those years ago. But, overall, the unpredictability of the show is partially what makes it so compelling and, if that means that the body count had to be exaggerated by David Chase and co., then this fan is fine with that inaccuracy.

Whether you've seen the show in its entirety or want to take a drive with Tony down the New Jersey turnpike for the first time, you can check out the Sopranos cast's work by streaming the show with a Max subscription. You can also check out the 2024 TV schedule for news on newer drama series.