Call it Mob mentality, but apparently The Sopranos is one crime family people wouldn’t mind joining (#520, Jan. 7). “It’s the first modern depiction of [the Mafia] that actually makes viewers empathize with a criminal!” said Keith Williams of Clarks Green, Penn. “Here’s to several more seasons of Tony’s angst,” added Kathy Jimenez of Abilene, Tex. We did catch some grief for our cover, though: “I find it incomprehensible that a magazine I look forward to would have the word ‘Pussy’ on its cover. I don’t get HBO, and therefore don’t get your joke,” wrote Mark J. Walker of Bryan, Tex. To clarify: There’s a Sopranos character named Pussy, and he was missing when last season ended. Our apologies; it was a joke we just couldn’t refuse.
I actually squealed when I saw The Sopranos on the cover (“Bright Lights, Baked Ziti”) — I haven’t done that since I got Tiger Beat. Maybe it was because I had stayed up past my bedtime the night before watching three episodes back-to-back on HBO. I love the show even though I have to cover my eyes when they kill someone. And is there a better theme song on TV? LISA BATES Pearland, Tex.
Thanks for the great Sopranos article — this Jersey girl is thrilled to see art imitating life, for a change. Between The Sopranos, The West Wing, and Now and Again, I’m actually watching TV after a long absence. How’d that happen? Maybe great writing, plots, and characters, and superb acting. SUSAN M. GARRETT email@example.com Toms River, N.J.
You write that the “crucial question” is whether Jennifer Lopez’s continued involvement with Sean “Puffy” Combs will be good for her career (“Daddy Oh!”). I don’t notice Whitney Houston’s career being hurt by Bobby Brown. PATRICK THOMAS Sacramento
HOW ‘SWEET’ HE IS
I finished Dan Okrent’s essay (“Getting the Lowdown“) with tears of laughter streaming down my face. He has me wanting to see Sweet and Lowdown, a movie I might not have otherwise given a chance, just so I can see his acting debut! Somebody might want to tell Dave Barry to watch his back. KATHI GANZ KathiGanz@compuserve.com Dexter, Mich.
OSCAR TUNE UP
Bruce Davis’ rather blase response to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ restrictive requirements for music categories [and the resulting ineligibility of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut for best-score consideration] in your Reel World column basically says one thing: Disney and all of its movie-musical competitors had better close their doors. Why make a kick-ass musical if your peers can’t recognize it? It’s too bad; looked like the genre was on the upswing thanks to South Park. I guess we’re back in the Dark Ages, Oscar fans. JEFF COMMINGS Aurora, Colo.
Message to Bill Gates: Before you go sending videos to my computer (“The Emperor Strikes Back”), fix Windows! I’d hate the computer to crash in the middle of the good part. CHRISTINE CLARK Fayetteville, N.Y.
LEAVE IT TO WEAVER
Kudos for giving Galaxy Quest an A- (I would’ve left the minus off). I found myself wondering what William Shatner and [the Star Trek] gang thought of it. My only gripes were that there were no bad-toupee jokes (C’mon, Bill, we knew), and there should’ve been more close-ups of the real star: Sigourney Weaver’s cleavage. Note to Ms. Weaver: Keep that look! SAM WASHINGTON firstname.lastname@example.org Arlington, Tex.
I was going to write a long letter explaining exactly why Aimee Mann is one of the most unheralded geniuses the music world has ever seen, but I think I’ll let Rob Brunner’s review speak for itself (“Track Marks”). God bless you, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Aimee: Please keep the faith and hurry out with your next release. TOMMY MARX Greensboro, N.C.
I loved Jess Cagle’s stage review (“Viva Las Divas”) but was taken off guard when he said Lauren Bacall was no great actress. When was the last time he saw Key Largo? Bacall’s style may be dated, but she’s one of the last remaining greats. BILL SHEPARD St. Petersburg, Fla.
CORRECTION: Based on incorrect information provided by Nielsen//Netratings, we ranked online video store Bigstar.com as the most popular movie website for the week ending 12/26/99. In fact, Bigstar.com should have been ranked No. 7 that week, with 157,119 visitors each spending a total of six minutes (#521, Internet).