From Robin Hood and his Merry Men to the bloody aftermath of Macbeth, fictional lawbreakers have been both celebrated and vilified in every era. And as long as there have been criminals, both real and imag¬ined, there have been people to tell stories about them. It is only appropriate that The Sopranos appeared when it did, in the dying days of the twentieth century, a century that became a fruitful time for crime dramas due to advancements in art and technology, as well as a reality all too eager to supply the material—advancements in “organized crime.” If You Like The Sopranos… provides an illuminating portrait of those elements that came together to create the stellar artistic achievement that is The Sopra¬nos, and it follows the new trails the television show left when it exploded into the cultural consciousness, heralding the arrival of a new era of storytelling.
Leonard Pierce (Dallas, TX) has obsessed over movies, music, TV, and books since childhood, and has turned that obsession into work that has appeared on TV.com, Nerve.com, the AV Club, the Chicago Tribune, McSweeney’s, and many other places. He is a cofounder of the High Hat, an online magazine of arts and culture, and the proprietor of LudicLive.com.