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The Sopranos
The Sopranos

Those who tuned into the first episode of The Sopranos in 1999 found not a documentary about opera singers but a dark, offbeat drama about a New Jersey gangster with a fixation on the ducks who visit his swimming pool. As the first season wore on, viewers became hooked on creator David Chase's uncompromising vision of an old-school criminal organisation beset by all the stresses and tensions of the modern day. A fusion of sharp, unpredictable writing and powerhouse acting ensured this show classic status, spawning a videogame, spoofs by The Simpsons and the Clintons (!) and an Artie Bucco recipe book, so you can make like Tony and feast on 'gabagool' yourself.

Best Episode
Long Term Parking (Season 5, Episode 12), in which... well, we won't give it away. Let's just say that two of the show's best characters have an eventful car ride and leave it at that.

Did You Know?
The Bada Bing strip club is actually a go-go bar in Lodi, NJ, called Satin Dolls.

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