James Gandolfini's recent death—sad as it was, much as it made us reconsider the anti-hero, the impact of the show that made him so famous, and Alec Baldwin, and, you know, America—has delivered an enormous interest, both new and renewed, in The Sopranos, at last, for the binge-watching era. Internet dwellers have returned to the debate about that ambiguous ending, critics have posted discussions about that famous scene, and now HBO—nominally in tribute, but also to capitalize on the sorrow- and curiosity-stoked buzz—is helping everyone out, by making the series available on demand. The Los Angeles Times reports that the premium network will make each season available for a full month at a time through cable providers, so you can watch season one in July, season two in August, and so on. It's not quite binging—that would be like a season per weekend, right?—but it's helpful for re-watching or watching anew. The full series, as with all of the network's most popular legacy content is available on HBO Go, which can now be accessed with Apple TV.
Of course, binge-watching The Sopranos has and will be difficult without some sort of access to HBO, since its shows do not stream on Netflix, and it prefers to capitalize on DVD sales and new subscribers, no matter how many fans are Googling, legally or illegally, for a way back in:
It became pretty obvious that a nostalgic or never-caught-it public would be ready to watch The Sopranos almost immediately following Gandolfini's death. The day after he passed away from a heart attack, the first season shot up from number 1,463 to number two on the iTunes TV charts. The Sopranos: The Complete Series became the number-two bestseller on Amazon. On Twitter, people are already documenting their re-watching experience, which is officially a thing, even if HBO won't tell us just how much. "We do not give out streaming numbers for specific series," an HBO spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire when we asked for on-demand and HBO Go numbers the day after the news of its most famous star broke. But, hopefully, with HBO's new plan we can all collectively mourn Gandolfini for the rest of the summer, rather than cutting to black.