In the article written by James Harold called“ A Moral Never- Never Land: Identifying with Tony Soprano” author questions to the moral effects of TV on human life. Harold’s main claim in this article is that TV shows like The Sopranos combines both sympathetic and repulsive elements of life and ultimately its good for to invite the viewers to think deeply about the nature of good and evil. Also the author questions that there is nothing wrong with loving characters such as Tony Soprano because this show, shows audience the complexity of the character in a realistic way. I agree with the central argument of James Harold in three crucial aspects, the overall simplicity of Plato and Tolstoy’s argument, the positive outcome of providing multiple perspectives and that because the show strives for virtual reality.In his article Harold gives a considerable space to explain the point of view of Plato and Tolstoy in this case. For Plato and Tolstoy art is morally corrupting. They both defend the idea that art corrupts its audience by playing on emotion.
As Harold mentions deeply that for them emotional effect of art is undeniable and it’s enough to influence how people act and what kind of people they become. For example for him if someone watches something violent it automatically affects him. Harold respond their argument with saying that this kind of a thought is more valid for their time and nowadays people have the enough knowledge to make the difference between the good and bad. That’s why for my opinion art is the best path that goes from self- development. Overall I totally disagree with the perspective of this two and think these shows are just portrays that is served for audience to interpret.Harold explains that another reason The Sopranos is different is that it provides multiple perspectives is another reason that somehow related with others. Probably the most different quality of “The Sopranos” is this show provides us with both the good and bad sides of evil characters. For example from the episode “ College” we can see that Tony tries to divide his dark illegal life and private life.
He pays attention to his family and Meadow’s education etc. and also does illegal work. We see Tony as an antihero because he has both villainous and heroic qualities.
But on the other hand like as I said he is noble, honest, thoughtful and even devoted especially to his family. In one of the episode Tony and his daughter had a talk about Tony’s job. At that point audience can easily saw that his image towards his daughter is very important. Also he tries everything to hide his dark side from her daughter and look like a normal dad like she deserves and wants. There is nothing wrong to like Tony Soprano because seeing both sides of his life creates this position. Briefly we can say that audience sees a very strong picture of Tony with his weakness, power, as a complete human being.
According to Harold another claim that its need to be highlighted is the “The Sopranos” strives for virtual reality. There is nothing symbolic or ironic because it presents the reality. In the show the audience can’t see a stereotyped portrayed Italian- American gangster. At variance they see a more realistic portray which this makes The Sopranos different from any other gangster series/movies like The Godfather. Generally the show is set in our time and all the issues are dealing with is very parallel. This concept of reality pulls the audience in to story because everybody can find similar things from their life. This is an important factor that helps the author give the combination of good and evil throughout the show.
As a conclusion, art is too complex to just characterize as “dangerous”. I agree to the idea that the argument of Plato and Tolstoy is very simple. People can discern fiction from reality. I agree that the shows like The Sopranos are beneficial.
I support author’s argument because of three reasons, which they are; barrenness of Plato and Tolstoy’s argument, providing multiple perspectives and that because the show is comes from complexity. It’s clear that these shows give the audience a space for moral reflection, which I believe, is good for modern human.