Introduction: Several years after the end of the HBO series The Sopranos , I still miss the characters. In particu lar, I miss the protagonist, Tony, who feels like an old friend. This affection of mine for the fictional mob boss gives me pause. After all, Tony Soprano is a murderer, a liar, a thief, an extortionist, and a womanizer; he is pathologically callous, selfish, bigoted, racist, homophobic, and self-centered. So why do I sympathize with him? Why do I admire him? What makes me like him so much?