Great dramas, comedies, concert specials and more illustrate the pay cable channel's sweep
Next gallery »10 celebs we'd like to see guest star on 'Downton Abbey'
« Previous gallery10 TV shows we want to see back on the small screen
"The Sopranos" (1999-2007)
Mob boss. Henpecked son. Therapy patient. Monster. Father. Husband. Adulterer. Charmer. Pig. Protagonist. Villain. Tony Soprano was all of those things and so many more, as one of the most complicated, fascinating characters ever put on screen. Tom Fontana and "Oz" opened the door for more adventurous shows like this; David Chase and "The Sopranos" took an AK-47 to the door and kept firing until it could never be closed again. A blistering, moving, darkly hilarious look at America at the turn of the millennium through a wiseguy's lens. Like a lot of TV critics, in recent years I'd come to think of "The Wire" as easily better than "The Sopranos." Going back to rewatch the show to research my book, I was repeatedly struck by its genius. It had its flaws, but when Chase unleashed James Gandolfini or Edie Falco, good lord.