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Tony Soprano leads two lives, one where he is a good family man to his wife, two children, and his widowed mother and the other as part of the New Jersey mafia. He soon begins suffering from panic attacks and he begins seeing a female psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, which he knows if members of the "family" find out, he will be killed. Meanwhile, Tony's Uncle Junior wants to use Tony's childhood friend, Artie's, restaurant to whack a guy by the name of Pussy Malenga.
This is only one of two episodes throughout the series directed by series creator, David Chase. The second episode is the series finale, "Made in America
During the premiere airing of the episode, it was referred to as the "Pilot" instead of "The Sopranos." The title was changed on the DVD release.
Series star James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) had to gain 60 pounds for his role.
This episode was filmed in 1997, two years prior to it airing on HBO.
This episode won the 1999 Emmy Award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Series.
Tony: (to Dr. Melfi) Let me tell you something. Nowadays, everybody's got to go to shrinks and counselors and go on Sally Jesse Raphael and talk about their problems. Whatever happened to Gary Cooper, the strong silent type? That was an American. He wasn't in touch with his feelings. He just did what he had to do. See what they didn't know was once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings was that they wouldn't be able to shut him up and then it's dysfunction this and dysfunction that and dysfunction va fa culo!
Dr. Melfi: Have you ever had a prostate exam?
Tony: Are you kidding? I don't let anyone wag their finger in my face.
(after learning his grandmother won't be at the party)
A.J.: So what, no fucking ziti now?
Big Pussy: (to Mahaffey) That's a shame. A medication comes along after your gambling gets your fucking hip busted to shit.
Hesh: I hear Junior wants to whack Pussy Bonpensiero.
Tony: Pussy Malanga.
Hesh: Oh, Little Pussy.
Tony: Yeah, Little Pussy. You think he's going to fuck with Big Pussy? My Pussy?
Tony: Ma, I'll never understand that. The phone is an auditory thing, dark is an eye thing. I can understand not going out after dark. You get jumped in the shadows, whatever, but not answering the phone after dark?
Tony: The morning of the day I got sick I've been thinking it's good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that, I know. But lately I've been gettin' the feelin' that I come in at the end. The best is over.
Dr. Melfi: Many Americans I think feel that way.
Tony: I think about my father, he never reached the heights like me. But a lot of way he had it better. He had his people, they had their standards, and pride. Today, what have we got?
Dr. Melfi: What line of work are you in?
Tony: Waste management consultant.
Livia: Well, all I know is daughters are better at taking care of their mothers than sons.
Tony: Yeah, and I bought CDs for a broken record.
Uncle Junior: (to Tony) You may run North Jersey but you don't run your Uncle Junior. How many fucking hours did I spend playing catch with you?