Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

The Bad Boy is Back.(Personalities)

Byline: Culture Shock LEANNE POTTS Of the Journal

Tony Soprano's explosive mix of brains and brawn have made the hbo mobster a surprising heartthrobTony Soprano, there are a lot of us who would just looooove to share a plate of ziti with you. Madonn, I do. I want to take you to Artie Bucco's place and talk about the History Channel over a nice bottle of Chianti while you smoke a cigar, just like in the TV show, and wonder what you're going to tell Carmela when you get home late even though she'll know you were out with me again, because long-suffering mob wives know their husbands are two-timing jerks but stay with them anyway, it's so pathetic, don't they have any self-respect?

Here is what Tony will say to me: "You're not the typical broad, you know that? You wanna know why? You're smart."

And I'll smile my best oh-you-naughty-boy smile, flip my hair and say: "Oh Anthony, you want some more wine?"

It's horrible, isn't it.

But the truth is this: Tony Soprano overweight, balding, middle-aged mob boss who cheats on his wife and once killed a man with his bare hands leaves a lot of us women-who-should-know-better limp with lust.

Tony Soprano is really James Gandolfini, a 39-year-old actor who has us firmly in his big Italian grip. Just two years ago he was an unknown character actor but now he's a cult figure whose popularity proves one thing: The Bad Boy is back, years after feminists sent him and his tatoos and his muscle car packing.

He returned as Tony Soprano, the brainy but cruel mob boss on Prozac in the hugely popular HBO TV series "The Sopranos," which starts its new season Sunday at 10 p. …

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