Story posted June 17, 2009
In its first season, the hit HBO series The Sopranos wove Bowdoin into an ongoing storyline that dealt with Meadow Soprano's search for the perfect college.
TV Guide has compiled a list of the greatest episodes of all time and ranked "College," the episode in which Meadow travels to Maine with her mobster father, Tony, to visit Bowdoin, Bates and Colby, the second-greatest episode in the history of television.
Highlights from the episode, which aired February 7, 1999, are detailed in the article, "TV’s Top 100 Episodes of All Time," in TV Guide's June 15-28, 2009, issue.
Seinfeld's "The Contest" episode took the top spot; The Mary Tyler Moore Show's "Chuckles Bites the Dust," I Love Lucy's "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" and Lost's pilot round out the top five.
In the episode, Bowdoin appears to have the inside track with Meadow and Tony during their college tour. But the visit to Maine is not without incident. After denying his true profession to Meadow, Tony tracks down an enemy and executes him (it was The Sopranos, after all).
Tony is then forced to do some soul searching outside the Bowdoin admissions office (the scene was not filmed at Bowdoin), where he is haunted by an inscription on the wall quoting Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter: "No man ... can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one may be true."
Noting Tony's interest in the inscription, a student informs him that Hawthorne was a famous Bowdoin graduate.
Bowdoin is also mentioned in a later episode as Meadow's college application process continues. While Bowdoin is on the shortlist, ultimately, she attends Columbia.
The Sopranos ran from January 10, 1999, to June 10, 2007, and is in reruns on cable.