I got to The Sopranos party a little late. I probably could've gotten into the series when it was airing, but I think some of the themes would have eluded my 12-year-old brain. Also, The Sopranos works best when subverting the mafia cliches we've come to love. During its initial run, I would've had no context for the authenticity, or lack thereof, involved in the show. Plus, the subtle references to Godfather and Goodfellas would've gone well over my teenage scalp.
My exposure to copious gangster media notwithstanding, I still frequently sit with my jaw agape, saying, "that can't be real," when watching The Sopranos. Consequently, I've fallen down the rabbit hole of investigating the veracity of my new favorite old show. In the video linked above, former mafia man John Pennisi presumably puts himself in the crosshairs by revealing the intricacies of his previous line of employment with the Insider's YouTube page.