The first season of The Sopranos finds lifelong "organization man" Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) taking over from Jackie Aprile Sr., terminally ill boss of the northern New Jersey branch of the DiMeo crime family. Tony's promotion is met with mixed reactions from his wife Carmela (Edie Falco), daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lyn DiScala) and son AJ (Robert Iler), but his loyal lieutenants Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico), Sil (Steve Van Zandt) and Big Pussy (Vincent Pastore) are effusive in their congratulations. Also pleased by Tony's ascent is his protégé and surrogate nephew Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), who will soon come to enjoy the perks and publicity attending Mob "royalty" (if his growing dependence on crystal meth doesn't kill him first).
But uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and soon Tony is suffering more than usual from anxiety attacks and weird nightmares. Thus he seeks out the counsel of analyst Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine DiBracco), who despite her fears that she'll be "whacked" once her usefulness comes to an end is fascinated by Tony and won't let him go. One of Tony's biggest headaches is his Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese),who is p.o.'d that he was denied Jackie Aprile's job in favor of his nephew. Junior spends most of the season conspiring against Tony--and ironically, his chief co-conspirator is Tony's own mother Livia (Nancy Marchand). Also vexing Tony is the revelation that there's an FBI "mole" in his midst--and when that mole is revealed in Season Two, it's a real heartbreaker for the troubled Mr. Soprano. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi