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Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2007 at 10:57 am

Annoyed by the Sopranos Ending? You Might Be Type-”J”

By Robert Gorell
June 19th, 2007

Paulie Walnuts reflects Now that the Sopranos finale hysteria has calmed, it’s time to get your honest reaction. (If you already suspect I’m off-topic, just wait; this post is for you.)

Do you prefer Law & Order or The Wire? CSI (not Miami) or Columbo? “Who shot JR” or “Who shot Mr. Burns”? (Mind the generation gap where applicable.)

As I watched the Sopranos finale last week with friends, chilled by its genius–not suspense–I noticed the blank, cheated look on my buddy Kevin’s face when this happened.

Kevin: “What!? No way they just ended it… That’s ridiculous.”

Me: “Are you kidding me? That was some of the best television you’ll ever see in your life. You must be a J.”

Allow me to explain…

Here at Future Now, we’re obsessed with Myers-Briggs (define) typology, occasionally to the chagrin of our loved ones. Be careful. Once you’re good at it, qualifying people by personality type can be exclusionary. (One colleague’s girlfriend mocks us as “letter-talkers” for, say, describing an “ESTP” she’s never met.) But it’s important stuff. In addition to helping us better understand ourselves, it helps us relate to our clients and, more importantly, their customers. It helps us build personas that seem real.

Sure, Myers-Briggs has limitations. It’s not as though there are only 16 types of people out there–and be thankful for that. That’s why, when you find your Myers-Briggs type, you shouldn’t feel typecast. These are preferences and modalities, not the end-all-be-all of personality.

One of the more important divisions is in how we process information. Some folks are Type-J (Judging) while others are Type-P (Perceiving). Here’s a good explanation of key differences:

Judging . . . typically leads to a style oriented toward closure, organization, planning or, in some fashion, managing the things and/or people found in the external environment. The drive is to order the outside world.

Perceiving . . . typically results in an open, adaptable, flexible style of relating to the things and people found in the outside world. The drive is to experience the outside world rather than order it; in general lack of closure is easily tolerated.

See, I’d been telling people for months that it would just end, and nobody–nobody–believed me. That being said, it would’ve been perfectly fine by me had Tony gotten whacked, so long as it was really–and I mean really–well executed (so to say). As a Type-P, closure is overrated, and can sometimes seem insulting.

So, let’s hear reactions to the Sopranos ending from people who know their Myers-Briggs type. You don’t have to give us each letter, but I do look forward to the J’s debunking my theory (they love doing that).

Those who don’t wanna play are welcome to keep waiting for Chris Moltisanti’s cat to bark. ;)

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Comments (7)

  1. Fraid I haven’t seen the ending yet, in sunny England, but I’m an avid fan of Keirsey and the MBTI. Please Understand Me II and I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You are the best books I’ve read so far on the subject. I’m a P myself, which, according to Keirsey, means my friends or partners are more likely to be J’s. Does explain why we never agree on good films.

  2. Hah! As a fellow P, I was not bothered in the least. I was able to end it in my mind in any way I wanted. However, my J-type wife was a little perturbed.

  3. [...] Gorell wrote about personalities in Annoyed by the Sopranos Ending? You Might Be “Type-J. He says, Here at Future Now, we’re obsessed with Meyers-Briggs (define) typology, [...]

  4. [...] a side note, I did really enjoy the ending, and also found Robert Gorell’s analysis of it as it relates to Myers-Briggs typology pretty [...]

  5. I was told years ago that I was a type J, I had no idea that type even existed nor was I given any further info about it, what it meant, other than it was unusual to find that type to even be in yet alone succeed in the business I was in at the time.
    I took the ending of the Sopranos to be that we the audience had once upon a time taken to looking in on the Family, we watched through the lens of the camera the lives of that little part of the world. When the screen turned to black it was because they shut off the camera and our voyeur into that world was over, nothing more nothing less. The family goes on doing what they do living their lives only without us looking at them. You might call us the audience peeping Toms, we did peep into every aspect and room.
    Life goes on whether we are there or even aware of it. In the end they just turned off the camera we had used to violate their privacy; nothing more nothing less. They couldn’t show us Tony getting whacked because it wasn’t yet his time to die.
    I think it was the perfect ending, in perfect harmony with the very beginning. In the beginning the camera simply turned on, no lead in, no intro, just a here is a portal into the lives of this family take a look if you want. Years later the cmera was just turned off.

  6. I believe since Tony wearing something completely different in diner at end than he was just moments earlier w/ Junior and the fact he went from looking at where he was gonna sit in the diner to just being there lead me to the conclusion that this was a play on the old tale that your life flashes before your eyes JUST at the moment of your death, so the writer made it seem that the ENTIRE Sopranos series was HIS flahback leading up to the MOMENT he was killed. No it wasn’t the original design but i think when they wrote the last episode they decided to make it seem like we watched his flashback, through HIS eyes, right up to the secong where he could no longer ever hear or see again. It’s said that his type of death, a surprise, instant one would result in Tony not even hearing the shot or seeing the flash. Some say that’s how ghosts are made. They die so quickly they are spirits that never realize they died. My theory…..we were watching his life flashing before him just as the gun went off in the back of his head!

  7. The last scene seemed like a dream sequence to me. The way familiar people were walking in… Maybe he woke up when the scene cut off… I’m wondering about the significance of the cat and the photo of Christopher. What was that about?

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