Look, Walter, We Have To Talk

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I really liked Breaking Bad, once upon a time.  These days, it’s become a bit of a slog.
It’s not that Breaking Bad is, well, bad – but at one point, after suffering through another tense episode of Battlestar Galactica, I asked Gini: “Are we enjoying this, or are we appreciating it?”  And everything about the new BSG was top-notch – the effects, the acting, the plotting, the music – except that we were having zero fun watching this grim Shoah-in-space.  So we stopped.
We’re more invested in Breaking Bad, and we have only nine episodes to go, but… I’m not sure how thrilled I’m going to be about it.  I mean, yes, the pitch on Breaking Bad has always been, “Mr. Chips to Scarface,” which is to say that you take a beloved science teacher and turn him into a crime lord.  Well, no real spoilers here, but nine-tenths of the way through the show, Walter is far more crime lord than science teacher, and my sympathy for him has completely evaporated. His ego is in full flight now, his morals eaten up, and every time he does something to pull his fat out of the fire I’m now like, “Come on, man, just put a bullet in that guy’s head.”
So who’s left to root for?  Nobody, really.  In the ascendancy of Walt, it’s like all the other characters have shut down, withdrawing or retreating or dying.  The cast of characters is smaller than when it began.  And as such, Breaking Bad has this problem for me: it’s more disproportionately Walt at a time when I want to see less of Walt.
I’ll stick it out to the end.  We’ve come this far.  But in the beginning, Breaking Bad was this gloriously black comedy, with the mishaps of Walt and Jesse and their klutzy criminal enterprise.  The good news is that Walt’s worked out most of the bugs.  The bad news is that as it turns out, watching vicious efficiency in the drug trade isn’t nearly as entertaining as I’d hoped.

1 Comment

  1. Chris
    Aug 27, 2012

    I’m still having fun, because I am rooting so much for Jesse. He has so much heart, is so loyal and wants to be a good guy in a bad guy’s world. Should he be involved in Walt’s insanity play? Of course not. Money or not, he should have headed for Canada long ago. His flaws ( mostly his loyalty to the only ‘family’ he has in Walt and Mike and his belief that making meth is the only thing he does well) are dooming him to making mistakes, but damnit, I want him to come out okay. I want to see Walt go down bloody and I know he will (even when we get glimpses of the Walt he used to be, and I still love him a little even when I find his character deplorable and want him to burn) and I want to see Jesse and Skyler and Hank triumph. Vince Gilligan’s Chips-into-Scarface works for me, and I feel just as he wanted his viewers to feel, I think. The twists – even outrageous ones like the magnet – work for me, especially when we see old-Walt use science to solve problems. The thing I’m NOT having fun with now are the new additions — Todd and Lydia, for instance. I miss the cartel, and wish they’d have expanded the storyline to have Gus’ friends from South America involved instead of a German conglomerate. It changed the flavor of the show for me in bad ways. Even still, I love this exceptionally clever show and I’ll still look forward to every episode… and will be rooting for Hank, Skyler, Marie and especially Jesse until the undoubtedly very bitter end. Everyone dies in this movie, after all. 😉

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