Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
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Breaking Bad



Breaking Bad is a drama-comedy about a Casper Milquetoast of a character, Walter White, a nerdy middle-aged high school chemistry teacher, who through accident, cleverness, courage, and desperation, winds up as a methamphetamine drug lord.

The show has had three seasons so far, with a fourth scheduled. I've watched the first season. Breaking Bad is often fun, but not quite as good as it should be. Timing and pace are frequently off. Setting alternates between Walter's conventional suburban life and the drug-addled underworld into which he plunges. The drug-addled underworld is colorful, violent, exciting, and has great music and brisk editing. Walter's suburban life frequently drags. Teachable moment: the way to depict dullness is not to be dull.

The writing is not quite as clever as it should be. When a drug boss to whom he is trying to sell meth asks Walter his name, Walter replies, "Heisenberg." Sorry, that joke was stale decades ago. Dialog is frequently uninteresting. One-line jokes are stretched to fill a ten minute scene. Conflict often seems trumped up to fill plot dead time.

I notice from the Wikipedia entry that the show has won several Emmys, and that critics have raved about its acting, writing and editing. Acting, sure. Writing and editing? Nope, sorry.

One annoyance: the director opted to shoot indoor scenes with hand-held camera and no Steadicam. Result: shots constantly jiggle around the frame. Irritating and distracting. Lay down some tracks, please.

The show excels in set and costume design. It's sort a Queer Eye for gangsta learners and student meth users.

I had an overdose patient in the ER a few nights ago whose sartorial style reminded me a lot of Jesse Pinkman, a meth cook who goes into business with Walter. His hoodie was a LV-style print featuring dollar signs, skulls, hearts and guns. Here's a photo of his hat:



Breaking Bad definitely has its moments, but there's too much clumsiness and too many blown scenes to wade through to get to them. I'll be skipping the second season, and heading back to anime for a while.
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