Television: They Pull You Back In

David Chase's Sopranos returns for another hit job

It was life imitating art imitating life imitating art. On surveillance tapes released last month, reputed members of New Jersey's DeCavalcante crime family gave The Sopranos creator David Chase the most authoritative, if unsettling, rave of his career. Amid friendly, allegedly racketeering banter, the suspects rhapsodized about the HBO Mafia drama's depth and realism, speculating (hoping?) that it was based on them. "Every show you watch, more and more you pick up somebody," enthused one alleged capo. "What characters!"

The two-Glocks-up review amuses Chase, a Mob-movie buff from childhood, but it doesn't shock him. "I knew that contemporary wiseguys were very...

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