Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Some Breaking Bad Cheers And Boos

Needless to say, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

my favourite were the existential episodes
1. Cheer. The season finale. Glad they brought back all the old characters, tied up the loose ends and gave us the pleasure of seeing the really bad guys brought down and the not quite so bad guy (Walt) go out in a manner of his own choosing. And Jesse lived. And got away. Not quite as good as the fantastic Face Off season finale but fairly satisfying never the less. And certainly not the disaster that was Battlestar Galactica, Lost, The Sopranos, Seinfeld etc. etc.
2. Cheer. The deaths of Todd and Lydia. Among the most cathartic and fan pleasing moments in any show. Ever.
3. Boo. The money. I never bought the whole premise for that plot development about them "finding his money". As if brainy Walt wouldn't have checked whether the van he was driving out into the desert had GPS or not. You or I might have forgot. Walt, no.
4. Boo. Skyler White. Hmmm. Never bought Anna Gunn's performance and the dialogue and scenes between her and Marie were always dreary. When the Big Bang Theory decided to have 3 female leads they brought in female writers. Breaking Bad never did and it showed.
5. Boo. Merchandising. The merchandising around this show has been ridiculous. This isn't Star Wars. Its a dark, adult crime drama. You don't need to merchandise it to death. No one needs the money. Not cool. And as for Talking Bad don't get me started on that tacky infomercial of a show that really is an utter embarrassment.
6. Cheer. Albuquerque. When I lived in Denver I used to drive down to New Mexico a lot. I'm glad many more people are going to visit the blue collar (and pre BB largely untouristed) city of ABQ.
7. Cheer. From Mr Chips To Scarface. Even though they took this cheesy idea literally for the season finale it still kinda worked.
8. Cheer. The existential episodes. My favourite episodes were the ones where not much happened and we went off into a Samuel Beckett play (like the one were Walt looks for a fly in his meth lab). That was a breath of fresh air in a television industry that seems obsessed by the need for every scene to turn the wheel of the plot (an idea pushed by the likes of David Mamet). The only drama show that seems to do that now is Louie and Louis CK only gets away with it because people think they're watching a comedy.
9. Boo. New Hampshire. New Hampshire didn't look a bit like New Hampshire. The sky was the wrong colour.
10. Cheer and Boo. BB is everywhere. I'm glad but also a little sad that this has become a pop culture phenom. When I started plugging Breaking Bad on this blog five years ago no one had heard of the show. Now look at the monster. Two(!) front page stories in The New York Times, mentions on the TV news, entire features in serious magazines. I'm a little wistful of the days when me and six other chemistry geeks were watching this programme in our basements.