Saturday, March 20, 2010

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

If you think of AMC as the network to turn to in order to see some censored copies of movies when there's nothing else on and all the other networks have gone to infomercials and haven't realized the greatness that is both Mad Men and Breaking Bad, then perhaps you should open your eyes and see that they're producing some top quality shows now.

So what is Break Bad? It's a show about a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer and so he uses his chemistry knowledge to cook meth as a means to leave his family with enough cash. It's about the moral downward spiral of a man into a world of shady practices. When he finds out his cancer is in remission does he realize that realities of what he's been doing. Though he can't seem to get back into his normal life and is urged back into the life of cooking meth as seen in this single most awesome scene that should convert anyone..

It's really one of the best shows on Television. Funny that AMC is two for two on their original programing, and really how great this and Mad Men is. And if you are a regular viewer who forgot what is going one, here's where we left off.
  • Walter had surgery to remove the cancer from his body. Shortly after given a good prognosis, Skylar left Walter for being secretive and untrustworthy.
  • Jesse hooked up with a very hot recovering addict named Jane, and they spiraled back into the abyss together, attempting to blackmail Walter out of the money he earned selling his meth to Gus.
  • Walter gives in, but returns to Jesse's house later while they're sleeping in time to watch Jane choke to death on her own vomit. He chooses not to save her, believing Jesse will ultimately be better off.
  • Whether or not that's true remains to be seen, but in the short term Jesse freaks out and checks into a rehab center, falling into a deep depression.
  • Jane's father works for Air Traffic Control, and his grief over his daughter's death causes him to space out on the job, resulting in a horrific mid-air collision - which just so happens to be over Walter's house after Skylar grabs Walter Jr. and bails.

As for the billboard, no Walter will not be going to China this season to make Meth for Mao. It's a spoof on the controversial Barack Obama billboard in Times Square. But if I do say so myself, he deserves to stand and mock the President. I really liked Bryan Cranston from his role on Malcolm in the middle, but he has shown a range and ability I never would have guessed. I have no doubt that he will have a lot of work in the coming years after this show is long past its run.

I met him once on the studio lot while he was filming episodes of How I Met Your Mother as Ted's Boss. He's a really nice person and would have a pretty easy going conversation with you about the little things like the weather and other inane subjects with anyone standing there talking to him. Very easy going.

And even though the show is about him Breaking Bad, I can't help but feel for Walter. He has definitely gone off the rails morally, but he started with his heart in the right place; and it's hard not to be glad for his new found fortune. Developing determination and grit, not to mention his genius not only with chemistry, but his growing savvy as a man doing business in the underworld... even though he is still pretty bad with it.

You can't discard Hank. He's a very sympathetic character on the show. A guy, doing what he knows is right and yet there are parts of his job that frighten and disgust him. I could almost believe a real DEA agent might have a problem with killing a dealer. Even though he sees the criminals as thugs and punks, he still sees them, and all the other maddening people in his life, as human beings.

But Skylar.. oh man, how everyone seems to hate here. To be perfectly honest, I'm Okay with being called a misogynistic ass if it means I can hate Skylar. Yes, she has every reason to be suspicious of Walter but it seems like she has walked that very same line and just was too afraid to cross it while still maintaining the attitude that she's higher than thou all the while.

I'm much less sympathetic to her. Maybe it's just that she's acting like someone who had always been a priority for someone else, and had naturally expected that to continue regardless of what life and death situation and all these unknown stresses are going on in Walter's world. Yet she never discusses them and keeps them bottled up. I guess Walter could be more honest with her, but again, would she even be open to the win fall of the situation considering she does seem to have this attitude of not wanting to know how sausage is made.

Then there's Saul.... Oh Saul. Saul is a cheap town lawyer that all the loser criminals who can't afford real lawyers get. He has television ads that would normally show up at 1am in between your typical Adult Swim airing of Aqua Teen or Squidbillies. Want to see an example?

Saul's played by Bob Odenkirk and it's like he called up Tim and Eric and said "Hey, wanna help out on a show I'm acting in?" Even his website shows that AMC has gone to great detail for this show. So if you're in need of legal assistance, CALL SAUL.

So maybe now you're willing to give this little AMC show a chance, you wont regret it. Now who's ready to cook?

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