By Anthony Savonarota
Many Anti-hero characters are infamous for crossing over to the dark side or engaging in some scandal however, none of them compare to the capo di tutti capi turned psychiatric patient Tony Soprano.
***Spoiler Alert Ahead For the Sopranos and Breaking Bad***
Tony Soprano originated the idea of a televised anti hero. Television shows are viewed much differently than they were when The Sopranos first aired in 1999 (even on a network like HBO). There were violent characters, sure, but violent characters who vicariously attempted to raise a family, had health problems, and tried to utilize psychiatric care were far from being common.
How could someone like a mob boss be so humanized?
Other antiheroes gradually cross over to “the dark side”; Tony Soprano’s journey was one from the dark side looking in. Early on in the series (the fifth episode to be exact) Tony is taking his daughter, Meadow to college open houses. At one point, Tony suddenly sees someone he believes is possibly a former Mafiosi turned informant. Tony ultimately finds him again, confirms his identity, and brutally strangles him to death. As fans of Breaking Bad may recall, the fifth episode of that series was also when Walter White has his first kill, yet that is where the similarities end. White breaks down and cries upon committing the act. However, Tony specifically feels obligated to hunt the rat, and only feels uneasy when Meadow questions the bruise marks on his arms.
Viewers started out rooting for Tony despite his darker side, but when it becomes apparent that he was not going to change, being supporting of the character became more difficult. No other anti hero had garnered that same reaction ever since.