Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween With The Sopranos

Reece Hirsch

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 ….


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Great casting! I wish I looked like Rosalie Aprile! Considering my WIP has a working title of Jailhouse Jammies, you hit my nickname on the head.

Reece said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jailhouse! I like the new working title!

Michael Wiley said...

This is a show I want to see, Reece. But if anyone calls me Corn Nuts to my face . . . .

Reece said...

I like the attitude, Michael. Very Pesci.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Fangs! I like the nickname. Not only did you get us all dressed up, you gave us our Mafia names.

Thanks, Reece!

Reece said...

Thanks, Becky! But please note that your Mafia name is "The Fang" -- singular.

Michael Wiley said...

When I think of "Fang" in the singular, I visualize "Tusk." Somehow that isn't right.

Kelli Stanley said...

"The Hat", huh? I love it! But how did you know there's a .44 underneath? ;)


Reece said...

You are a dangerous woman, Kelli. Thanks for stopping by!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I agree, Michael! I'm biting off the 's' and going as Fangs!

Rebecca "Fangs" Cantrell

Reece said...

Becky and Michael -- Okay, I can't fight it. "Fangs" it is.

lil Gluckstern said...

You guys are a h-OOOT. (Sorry, couldn't resist. Happy Halloween!

Reece said...

Happy Halloween to you, too, Lil!

Gary Phillips said...

Oh, baby!

Meredith Cole said...

Love it! What fun. Thanks for casting us all--

"Brooklyn" Cole

Reece said...

Thanks for dropping in, Baby Shacks and Brooklyn (which sounds like a very bad 70s TV cop drama).

FYI, "Baby Shacks" is the real nickname of Luigi "Baby Shacks" Mannocchio, who was part of a major series of mob arrests earlier this year.