At first watch, the Chevrolet Super Bowl ad that reunited Tony and Carmela Soprano’s kids (Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler as Meadow and A.J.) reads as a simple but effective nostalgia grab, but fans of the series will notice a few significant details.
The Sopranos creator David Chase and cinematographer Phil Abraham are back for the clip, which recreates the show’s iconic opening credits — but with Meadow in the driver’s seat instead of her father. Though James Gandolfini passed in 2013, Sigler told People, “His presence was very much felt throughout it all, of course, because anything we ever do having to do with Sopranos, he is there.”
While Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning” plays over grainy footage of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Manhattan skyline, looking like they were filmed in 1999, more recent additions like the Freedom Tower bring the characters into the present day, which is news in itself because the series finale certainly wasn’t clear about that.
“If you subscribe to the theory that the guy in the Members Only jacket burst out of the men’s room at Holsten’s ice cream parlor to pump a few bullets into Tony,” wrote Sopranos Sessions co-author Alan Sepinwall in Rolling Stone, “then there is entirely a chance that A.J. (seated at the booth with Tony and Carmela) and/or Meadow (opening the door into the restaurant right as the scene cut to black) were collateral damage of this hit.”
The ad, called “New Generation,” updates Tony’s Chevy Suburban with an All-Electric Silverado, which means A.J. finally got his way regarding his concern about fossil fuels.
The world is finally catching up to A.J., right down to the nu-metal revival.
Whether or not Meadow can parallel park remains a mystery. She doesn’t need to in the commercial, which Seppinwall takes as evident she never learned how after struggling to pull it off in the finale. However, on Twitter, plenty of people seem to think otherwise.
What is clear is that she has a pretty big truck and doesn’t appear to have difficulty getting around in it when she drives up to seafood restaurant Bahrs Landing. As Sepinwall points out, the area has significance for the family as Tony briefly owned a house on the shore in the season 4 finale, “Whitecaps.”
Getting some of the gang back together could mean we haven’t seen the last of the family. As Sigler told The Hollywood Reporter, she’s learned not to rule anything out, “Sopranos has been this unique experience where every time we think it’s going to be the last time we’re doing something, there is always something else that comes.”
Last year, David Chase produced a prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, in which Michael Gandolfini stepped in his late father’s shoes to play a young Tony. Chase also signed an overall deal with Warner Media last year, meaning we may not have seen the last of Meadow and A.J. after all.
And Sigler seems to think Meadow, whatever shape her parking skills are in these days, is right at home in the driver’s seat. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter, “Despite all of her rebellion and all of her frustration, she was her father’s daughter. And if anyone was capable of running things at some point, it was definitely Meadow.”