>Off the Beaten Path>Just Started Watching Breaking Bad...Help, Please.
Just started watching Breaking Bad on Netflix; we're about four episodes in.
The writing is every bit as awesome as I'd heard it is...wow, it's been awhile since I've watched a show that had me just staring at the screen without any desire to browse the internet/play a game at the same time. I forget how many awards it's won, but it certainly deserves them. And Bryan Cranston, who knew?! (I realize most everyone "knows" by now, but I'm late to the game)
However, it still bothers me as I watch that the protagonist is a meth cook, a key position in a type of operation that is second from the bottom only to child sex rings in my estimation. I suspect a major theme of the show is going to be Mr. White's inner conflict over his situation, maybe a Michael Corleone-esque attempt to extricate himself from that world (though the current reputation of the character as the ultimate bada** leads me to think I could well be wrong), and I could practically feel the turmoil he felt in dealing with "Krazy 8," but the whole time I kept thinking, "yeah, all this could have been avoided if you'd not started cooking in the first place, idiot! Very distracting.
So, without spoilers, can anyone reassure me that there's something redemptive about this character that we're going to see soon, other than "aw, but he has cancer and wants to take care of his family"?
Enjoy the ride. No spoilers from me, except that the mission of the show's creator, Vince Gillian, is to show a downward character arc from Mr Chips to Scarface. And to always surprise the viewers.
I got bored & stopped watching in season 2.
Ha, maybe there's something in the air. A friend and I just started watching as well. I'm only two episodes in right now. Very interesting to say the least.
I'm clearly not sure about whether there's any redemption to come... but I wouldn't have said there was any in the Sopranos but I thoroughly enjoyed that show.
First or last...it's the same finish line
HF #4362 - no really :)
There are plenty of redemptive things, but they may not come from the areas you'd expect. One of the things I've really enjoyed about the show is how it challenges the preconceptions of its characters and, by extension, its audience. It's a very gritty, but thoughtfully written show.
Best Present Ever
Having heard all the good stuff about the writing and acting, I tried to watch it. I watched two episodes, but could barely keep my eyes on the screen. My tolerance for violence is very low. I couldn't watch the Sopranos either, fwiw.
Run mostly easy.. sometimes hard.
I can really relate to what you wrote.
In my younger days, I watched every violent show/movie I could get in front of me.
However, as I've grown older, my tolerance (and perhaps more interestingly, my taste) for violence has waned. I come face to face with actual violence pretty much every day during the course of my job, so that most likely has a lot to do with it as well.
Not being judgmental here--I've heard the show is quite good. I'm glad that people are enjoying it.
Breaking Bad for the most part is a great black comedy of errors. It's constant tension with barely any release--like Dexter. I take a break after each season (on Netflix), as sometimes it's hard to root for the "protagonists." There were points like that in The Sopranos, but I never felt like I needed a break as I do with this show. If you suspend disbelief, which is easy to do, because it's so well done, it can take a lot out of you by the end of the season (if you binge watch like I do).
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As far as redemption for Walt White. Can't tell you. I'm only through season 4. I can tell you that Walt White changes from season to season, as does Jesse. Good shows will show changes. They're cooking meth in season 1. Meth is an awful drug. You have to make a mental leap right there and rationalize it somehow if you're going to keep watching (he's doing it to make sure his family is taken care of, because of his cancer). The title of the show illustrates what constantly is going on. Breaking Bad. Walt's not the only one who breaks bad as it goes. At least one character seeks redemption. Maybe more. Doesn't mean they get it.
I can't say you have much redemption to look forward to, but you can definitely expect a great deal of ambivalence. I think that's (well-)written into the character from day one, and you will see the development more clearly if you ever go back and rewatch the series. I'm up to date with the show, and though Walt is the main character, I'm not sure I would call him the 'protagonist' (at least not anymore).
Every good story is primarily about character development, and Gillian's got it covered.
"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain."
I've been watching this show all the way through and am waiting to see what happens in the new episode this Sunday. Even though I love this show I no longer care much for Walter White. I rooted for him in the beginning but now feel he is beyond redemption. Ironically Jesse is the one who struggles the most with the morality of their actions. I wonder if Jesse will be the one to finally bring Walt down.
And yet somehow I see Walter as flawed but noble in his own way. Jesse is simple, easily swayed, and yet also has an element of nobility to him.
I'm sorry that some folks were turned off by the disturbing stuff. I understand, I really do, but in terms of interpersonal dynamics the show is brilliant and fascinating.
What's nice about all of these new collection of good tv shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc., is that (finally) we are given plot lines that have little to do with a simplistic arc of redemption.
Any identification with Walt or Jessie has to be a complex identification. We identify with the characters because we have made dubious choices in complex situations. It's sorta the zeitgeist as well: is it possible to believe in the "arc of redemption" these days? Seems to me the mark of the times is moral uncertainty, and these shows do a great job reflecting the zeitgeist back to us.
In many ways, I think this is exactly the sort of art we need right now because if we are going to get our politics straightened out and learn to talk with each other, we need to give up on the simplistic narratives of redemption that the parties offer us and look to the difficult and perhaps doomed choices we have to make with respect to issues like, well, drugs, but also global warming, the economy, immigration, prisons, etc. We all sort of find ourselves like Mr. White, led by good intentions deep into a dark and bewildering world, where no choice bears the possibility of absolute redemption.
The Logic of Long Distance
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