“Sopranos” Super Bowl Announcement: Chevy’s Meadow and AJ Commercial Analyzed

The Sopranos Lives! Or, at least, Meadow and AJ Soprano still do, in a Super Bowl business led by nothing else than Soprano creator David Chase, in which Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler reprise their roles as Tony Soprano’s children, Meadow and AJ.

Chase’s involvement (and, for that matter, original Soprano cinematographer Phil Abraham) may not be placing the Chevy Silverado ad exactly in the official ad Soprano canon, but it’s as close to a sequel to HBO’s iconic gangster drama as it gets. (Well, is it that or the graveyard scene at the start of The Many Saints of Newark.) And since I’ve spent most of my working life obsessively analyzing all things Sopranohow could I resist giving this ad the full Zapruder movie treatment?

Here are the crucial 60 second bonus takeaways Soprano contents:

Meadow and AJ survived that fateful dinner at Holsten’s
Chase is never going to say whether Tony lived or died in the famous final scene of The Sopranos (even though he came awfully close in The Soprano Sessions). But if you buy into the theory that the guy in the members-only jacket burst into the men’s room at Holsten Glacier to fire a few bullets at Tony, then there’s quite a chance that AJ (sitting in the stand with Tony and Carmela) and/or Meadow (opening the restaurant door just as the scene fades to black) were collateral damage from this shot. But this Chevrolet-funded coda posits that the two are alive and well and happy to see each other.

Meadow doesn’t care about counter surveillance
Most of the ad recreates the Soprano opening credits sequence, with Meadow driving his electric Silverado out of the Lincoln Tunnel and around various locations in Hudson, Essex, and Union counties of New Jersey. Tony, however, was paranoid about government electronic surveillance – he often had important business conducted over the payphone, and in one episode told an associate to log off his computer because ‘that crap’ cookies’ makes me nervous”. Meadow’s truck, however, comes with Wi-Fi and a full suite of apps that would make the vehicle and the conversations inside much easier to follow, and she uses an E-ZPass electronic tag to access the New Jersey Turnpike. If Agent Harris or anyone else at the local FBI office wants to track her movements, she’s made it easy for them.

Views have changed a bit
For the first three seasons of the series, the credits included a shot of the Twin Towers in one of Tony’s rear view mirrors. The 9/11 terrorist attacks happened before season four was filmed, and Chase pulled that shot from subsequent seasons. Here you can see the Freedom Tower (which opened seven years after Soprano finished) in the passenger side window of Meadow. Meanwhile, as she walks past her father’s former stomping ground at Satriale, the pork shop’s signage reads ‘No Antibiotics’ – a marketing choice Tony, Paulie Walnuts and their friends would no doubt have mocked or would have tried to suppress in their time.

Sometimes a cigar is not a cigar
Where Tony blew on one of his stogies during that ride home, Meadow opts for a lollipop as an oral fixation.

Meadow still can’t parallel park
Among the most tense parts of Holsten’s scene from the series finale is Meadow’s seemingly endless parallel parking lot outside. Here, when she arrives at her destination, she conveniently finds a place in front of the charging station. Could she have backed into a big truck like that? Almost certainly not.

The Sopranos siblings remember the Whitecaps
Meadow meets AJ by Bahrs Landing, a famous seafood restaurant in Highlands, New Jersey. (It’s also where Dickie Moltisanti and Giuseppina had a meal—among other things—late in many saints.) Highlands is just a few miles from Sea Bright, the town where Tony briefly bought a shore home for himself, Carmela and the kids in the classic season four finale “Whitecaps.” The episode ends with Tony (who has been kicked out of his own home and marriage by a weary Carmela) backing out of the purchase, but Meadow and his brother are clearly in the area.

Finally, AJ approves of Meadow’s choice of an eco-friendly car
AJ greets Meadow with a smile and a hug, no doubt happy that she’s finally back after once complaining about her proselytizing on behalf of hybrid vehicles.

Chris B. Hall