This show only caught my eye as it was ending. It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard of the Heisenberg bulldozer before I started watching it. People have been talking about Breaking Bad for years, how captivating it was, how intense it was, and how much I was sure to enjoy it.
I wouldn’t say that I necessarily have a problem, it’s just that I’m drawn to dark TV. I’ve been obsessed with psychopathic male lead characters for as long as I can remember. It started mildly with a rule-flouting and smart-assed Fox Mulder, and has included such renowned characters as Dr. Gregory House, Dexter Morgan, and Sherlock Holmes (the BBC version, in case there was any question, which let’s be honest, there shouldn’t be). That Walter White and Jesse Pinkman keep my eyes glued to the screen is absolutely unsurprising, even with—or perhaps in part because of—the high rate of slit throats, gunshot wounds to the head, and melted bodies in hydroflouric acid.
Oh, spoilers, by the way.
What’s strange is how often I feel things during this show. I’m not desensitized to the violence, nor the humanity that this show evokes in me. I plug my ears frequently, having learned by now that the trade-off between dialogue and the sound of gunshots through flesh always favors the former. My heart breaks every time Jesse gets tears in his eyes, which I see now is exactly why the fans love him so much. And strangely, I get hungry. Alarmingly frequently, especially if you consider the description of this show I’ve just given.
I’d like to blame Pollos Hermanos. One can only see so much fried chicken before one gets a craving. Why can’t there be fast food places like that in the world outside Breaking Bad?
At the same time, there’s something magically alluring about the visualization of cooking meth. I need hardly point out that this is not an endorsement of making drugs, using drugs, or selling drugs when the behavior is illegal. But, the writers, chemists, cinematographers and director of Breaking Bad understood how to make the world of methamphetamine alluring. Let’s face it, when you’re going to have so much violence in a TV show, you need something that people come back for, and it wasn’t going to be body sores or withdrawal.
It does get in my head though, and maybe that is the point. Every aspect of Breaking Bad pulls you in, if it’s the kind of show you’ve got a base interest in. The characters are dynamically constructed, the humor is dry and wicked, and there’s a uniquely overdramatized view into the world of drug manufacturing. In a world of sequels, prequels, adaptations, and remakes, it’s nice to see networks like AMC pushing the audience to enjoy creative and captivating entertainment. I can only look forward with anticipation to the next show like this to cross my path.