Louis Barbash

Enough Said: Played for Laughs

TV stardom can make an acting career. The best actors on the most successful series—think James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Elaine Benes–become not only popular characters but cultural icons, almost real to their audiences. But even the most successful series come to an end, and their stars face the rest of their lives…. Read more »

The Stories that The Stories We Tell Tells

What is the obligation of a documentary—what, for that matter, is the obligation of any work of non-fiction—to its audience and to the underlying facts of the story it tells and to the source material on which it is based? If source materials have been re-created or fictionalized, at least in part, can either the… Read more »

The Enduring Appeal of Tony Soprano

Credit: Shutterstock What accounts for the outpouring of grief at the passing of James Gandolfini, an actor who was known for playing—really for disappearing into—just one character? Tony Soprano was a violent, loathsome gangster whose presentation—fat, blunt, crude, treacherous—mirrored his degeneracy. And yet there were everyman aspects to him, like his concerns for his children’s… Read more »