That’s right, Abstracticality Reviews has a new category, Television, and we are kicking it off with the TV hit, Breaking Bad!
I don’t actually watch television for one simple reason, I hate the commercials. Acting is an art, and the emotions associated with a show are destroyed by an abundance of ridiculous shit that no one wants to see, constantly interrupting a perfectly good show. Therefore, I mainly stick to shows that are on Netflix or that I can find online commercial free. So here is one of the best ones that I have come across, Breaking Bad.
The Idea: Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is an over qualified high school science teacher, husband, and father, who, in the very first episode, learns that he has lung cancer. Walter has spent his life “settling” instead of chasing after his dreams. He didn’t use his incredible knowledge in any better way that could have provided him and his family with so much more. He wasn’t about to die and leave his family the massive debts from his treatments. He originally refuses treatment all together, but is eventually left with no choice when he sees how this decision affects his wife.
In need of money, and quite a bit of it, he seeks out Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who he knew was in the drug business after seeing him flee from a drug bust. Walter convinces Jesse to partner up with him to cook and sell meth. Walters skills result in the purest meth ever seen. This may be good for business, but very dangerous at the same time, when everybody wants a piece of what he has to offer.
This series expresses one of the biggest morality controversies, basically mirroring the classic question of “Is is ok to steal bread for your starving family?” Now Walt’s family is by no means starving or homeless, but what he does, he does for his family. That’s what drives him to continue taking risks and ultimately change his lifestyle.
The cast is awesome! I had originally never given this show a chance because it seemed weird for the dad from “Malcolm in the Middle” to be playing such a role. But I assure you it doesn’t take long to adapt to the character of Walter White, a once quite, soft spoken, no body, who takes a 360 degree turn with his lifestyle upon notice of his practically pending death. Nothing or no one feels out of place with this series. Everything together, from the cast, setting, actions, encounters, and more, makes the show the hit that it was. Seeing Walter become a badass is quite amazing, and I love that even though I eventually came to accept him as one, I still ask myself on occasion “how does someone like Mr. White change that much?” This show proves that anyone can change for both better or worse, and what kind of conditions might be required for such change to occur.
I think TV shows are different from movies in that they have the potential to eliminate certain things that I would normally complain about such as predictability or realism. Breaking Bad isn’t perfect like anything else, but I feel that it has done more than an excellent job at seeming real when it comes to the consequences of actions and decisions made by the characters. And sure, it isn’t real, but it certainly could be. Over qualified people accept lower level jobs all the time, and given the right circumstances anyone can change their life dramatically, especially when motivated by love for your family. I suppose though, if I had to choose something, realism would be my biggest complaint, for the occasional happenings that just seemed too good to be true, such as Walt and Jesse slowly struggling to walk out of a semi-secure facility with a very heavy container of methylamine and not getting caught back in the early part of the series.
Obviously Netflix doesn’t have the last season yet, so I have not seen it, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.
My Rating: 95% When you can watch a TV show and just keep wishing for it not to end, then you have yourself a hit!
Enjoy this humorous look at the series in the video below. Thank you for reading.