At the Criminal Minds blog, we’re one big happy, bloodthirsty family, which puts me in mind of another murderous extended family – The Sopranos. David Chase’s brilliant series provides a vast cast of characters to draw from at Halloween and the costumes aren’t really too tough. For the men, all you need are some gold chains, a silk shirt and a sport coat or leather jacket. For the women, big hair and leopard prints will do nicely.
Like anything so deeply embedded in our popular culture, organized crime is remarkably versatile as a metaphor. In THE INSIDER, I drew parallels between Yuri, the Russian thug trying to rise in the ranks of the mafiya, and Will, a young corporate associate striving to make partner. In both worlds, being a “good earner” is paramount. But Tony Soprano and his crew can also serve as a metaphor for the crime writing business.
Tony is grappling with an era of diminished expectations. The glory days of the Five Families are gone and organized crime is not so organized anymore. Similarly, the publishing industry is arguably in a period of decline, or at least retrenchment and transition. The reading audience for fiction is declining and the traditional publishers are still struggling to define their relationship to e-publishing. And any student of The Sopranos can tell you what happens when turf is up for grabs. People get whacked.
I’m not going to even attempt to justify my casting here in assigning roles to my fellow Criminal Minds. We’re really not at all like this devious, murderous, duplicitous bunch – right?
Joshua “Bacala” Corin – Silvio Dante
Sue Ann “Jailhouse” Jaffarian – Rosalie Aprile
Kelli “The Hat” Stanley – Livia Soprano
Michael “Mikey Corn Nuts” Wiley – Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri
Meredith “Brooklyn” Cole – Adriana La Cerva
Lois “Glue Gun” Winston – Carmela Soprano
Rebecca “The Fang” Cantrell – Angie Bonpensiero
Tracy “The Bride” Kiely – Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Graham “Cracker Crust” Brown – Christopher Moltisanti
Gabriella “Little Mongoose” Herkert – Meadow Soprano
Gary “Baby Shacks” Phillips – Tony Soprano
Hilary “Beretta” Davidson – Janice Soprano Baccalieri
Vicki “Canadian Club” Delany – Charmaine Bucco
My only regret is that we didn’t have enough guys on this blog for me to cast favorite Sopranos characters Feech La Manna, Herman “Hesh” Rabkin and John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni. Just roll those names around on your tongue and you can almost taste (and smell) Jersey ….