A Guilty Pleasure

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This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
What does it say about us that we love 'The Sopranos" so much? Is it because we like to watch people behaving badly.

Tony Soprano is a sociopath, yet somehow when we see him interacting with his family we feel empathy, or sympathy, or something.

I find myself watching old episodes and laughing out loud — then minutes later being disgusted with what's happening on screen.

I talked today with Lorraine Bracco, who plays Tony's psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, and I said, "Why does Dr. Melfi keep seeing Tony?" And she said, "Because she thinks she can help him."

I don't know. My feelings about the show are like Dr. Melfi's feelings about Tony: We're attracted and repulsed at the same time.

I'm a little embarrassed to write this, admitting in public I even know this much about "The Sopranos." But perhaps that's the show's real appeal. Yes, the story lines are good. The acting is fantastic. But, for me at least, "The Sopranos" is a guilty pleasure.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.