Thursday, August 4, 2011

More stuff about Breaking Bad

I learned recently that there are people who really, really hate Skyler, Walt's wife on Breaking Bad. There's a facebook page devoted to their dislike. They don't mind Walt who, so far on the show, has dissolved a couple of human bodies in acid and watched a girl die of a drug overdose because he didn't want to call 911. The girl's death led to her distraught air traffic controller father causing a terrible disaster.

Walter is a very bad man, but he'd be okay to live with. Only problem would be the possibility of being murdered by his drug lord friends or going to prison when they falsely implicate you in his crimes.

With Walt, it's like what Alfred Hitchcock said. He talked about suspense in movies. There was the scene in Psycho. Tony Perkins cleans up after the murder. The camera pans around the motel room.

Presumably, the audience wanted the killer to be caught. They didn't want the killer to get away with it. And yet, as they watched Tony Perkins mopping up the blood and picking up the stuff, the audience was in suspense. When the pans around the room, they're looking for anything he might have missed---they were trying to help him.

The situation was stronger than the character. Or...was the character stronger than the situation?

In any case, I hate drunks, speeders, car thieves and reckless drivers, but when I see those police chases on TV, I always find myself hoping the poor guy gets away. I don't approve of Walt's crimes, but for some reason I don't want him to get caught.

Walt started out as a pitiful high school teacher, moonlighting at the car wash, his students showing him no respect, his disabled teenage son being taunted by wealthy jocks. Criminality made him grow as a person, become more assertive. He couldn't deal with disruptive students but he faced down an extremely violent drug lord and walked away with a bag full of money.

The only thing is, the premise of the show is that Walt wants to make money to provide for his family after his death. He's terminally ill. Why does he want to provide for his horrible wife? She was apparently unfaithful. Part of the backstory was that Walt had been a prominent chemist, had started a company with a friend who made lots of money off Walt's work after he left in disgust----they didn't say why but it may have had something to do with his horrible adulterous wife. And someone somewhere mentioned that Walt wasn't sure his son was his.

Walt was so much closer with Jesse than with his actual son. Walt, Jr., seemed rather pitiful and immature idolizing his scumbag father.

On the other hand, Walt gets Jesse beaten up again and again, has him committing horrible crimes including murder, gave him the task of disposing of Walt's victims and he stood and watched while Jesse's girlfriend died of an overdose, which I mentioned above. Poor Jesse. Rejected by his family.

Maybe the series is more like Shane, or Hud, or All Fall Down, with Jesse in the Brandon de Wilde role, as a young fellow idolizing men he really shouldn't look up to.

And how long is this show going to last anyway? Will it be like M*A*S*H* where the Korean War lasts for decades and two 50-year-old men are playing draftees? The guy is was told in episode one that he didn't have much time left to live.

Maybe his criminality is improving his health.

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