Do “Sopranos” principals have electric collars that prohibit them from leaving scripted cable shows since the series ended a few years back? We’ve got David Chase telling the story of a Jersey boy that wants to rock, Edie Falco as a painkiller-addled nurse, Matthew Weiner running”Mad Men,” and Terence Winter and myriad others on “Boardwalk Empire.” Hell, even Meadow Soprano was forced by HBO to date Turtle in real life (a theory I’m still fleshing out, but still).
Even the mighty Gandolf(ini) can’t escape his alma mater. He has been tapped to play the owner of a Jersey rib joint that (true story) became a diplomatic conduit to our adversary by knocking on the door of the consulate and purportedly saying simply, “I want to be your friend.” Sounds a little desperate to me, but what do I know?
The character ended up making four trips to North Korea in the name of diplomatic relations before retiring back to his calling as rib joint manager. If Paulie Walnuts does not play a grill man at the rib joint….missed opportunity on HBO’s part. (Deadline)