What Others Are Saying

June 13, 2007

When the screen suddenly went blank at the climactic moment of Sunday night's finale of The Sopranos, we imagine that many Americans reacted the way we did. We started panicking, angrily jabbing buttons on the remote control, checking the connections, wondering if somehow the broadcast had been interrupted. But no. That was it. Tony and Carmela and A. J. in a diner, Meadow rushing toward the door, Tony glancing up and then - nothing. Blank screen. No music. After a few seconds, the credits roll. After eight years - some glorious, some not so - viewers got whacked by an ending that few saw coming.

Have to admit: It was terrific. No, it didn't tie things up neatly with a mass killing in blood-spattered slow motion in the diner. It bestowed on critics and fans a gift: a never-ending argument about what will happen next.

Some viewers were offended by the cliffhanger that will never be resolved. They figure that Sopranos creator David Chase whiffed. Maybe he figured he couldn't satisfy everyone; maybe even he couldn't decide or couldn't stand to part with these characters.

Endings are hard. Beginnings are easier. They're full of energy and possibility. The middle you can coast through.

But the end demands something more. It demands a payoff, an epiphany. If the ending doesn't deliver, a book, a movie, a TV show (even an editorial?) is judged harshly, no matter how brilliant the rest. There's a lot of pressure. So if we've learned anything at all from The Sopranos, it's

- Chicago Tribune

I wish I lived nearer Kentucky, where the Answers in Genesis ministry has just opened the $27 million Creation Museum, offering a "walk through history" consistent with Bible teachings. Quite a short walk, from the perspective of a scientific understanding of life on Earth, lasting as it does only 6,000 years. But not without incident, it has to be said. Visitors pass through a Time Tunnel to the Six Days of Creation Theatre, past Adam and Eve and then through the Cave of Sorrows and Corruption Valley. These sound a bit depressing, to be honest, but scriptural literalists should be cheered up by Noah's Ark Construction Site. Adult tickets are $19.95 a pop, but for such dazzling and incontrovertible proof of the depths of human credulity, that's a bargain.

- The Independent (London)

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