Carmela Soprano – The Sopranos
Looking back on Carmela Soprano, you might be apt to feel a little sorry for her or pity her situation. Don’t. She was about as self-possessed and (mostly) in control as any mob-mom I’ve ever seen. With a bully and psychological toddler for a husband, Carmela is the only reason her two children had even a semblance of a good life.
Even though her children grew up privileged and sheltered, they were exposed to a lot of stuff grown adults couldn’t handle. As a result, AJ turned out to be an entitled little jerk, and Meadow grew distant as she grew older. She didn’t want to be the mafia princess forever. As an individual, Carmela took the failures and successes of her children very personally. As a mother, she always worked to make sure they knew how much they were loved. Even when they weren’t acting very lovable.
Tony was absent and distant and performed more like a tyrannical third child than a husband. With double standards and emotional manipulation, he often made Carmela’s life miserable. She never let him intimidate or control her, and she took care of her own business, time and time again.
In fact, she not only took care of her own business, but she protected her family fiercely and without hesitation. She acts as the boss of this particular family, in all practical ways, she’s better at it than her tortured and moody husband.