"Waddaya Lookin' At?" challenges both current thinking about the genre of the gangster film and simplistic moralizing about "The Sopranos." Establishing the gangster genre as one of five discrete categories of crime entertainment, Nochimson proposes that "The Sopranos" brings to the surface the moral dilemmas and emotional melodrama of the screen mobster that have hitherto been masked because of Production Code restrictions and macho evasions. Far from glamorizing gangsters and/or insulting Italian Americans, the series is founded on a sophisticated exploration of the gangster's charm. It provokes audiences to exchange their unquestioning delight in intense and spontaneous energy and immediate solutions for a mature form of ethics.
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Martha P. Nochimson; Waddaya Lookin' At?: Re-reading the Gangster Genre Through "The Sopranos". Film Quarterly 15 December 2002; 56 (2): 2–13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2002.56.2.2
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