Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Breaking Bad" Should Be Called "Breaking Great"

Breaking Bad is a drama on AMC about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico, played by Bryan Cranston. After White is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, he turns to a life of crime producing and selling methamphetamine (crystal meth) with a former student named Jesse Pinkman. It has been nominated for numerous awards including winning three consecutive Emmy Awards for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Cranston. Now in it’s fourth season it is less about Walt and his cancer for he is in a way the cancer in other people’s lives. He is bringing them down with him and putting them in danger as well.

Breaking Bad is one of the most suspenseful shows in television. Most shows play it safe and never put their lead in to much danger. Walter White’s brother-in-law even works for the Drug Enforcement Agency and is at times unbeknownst to him looking for his own brother-in-law, Mr. White. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said in an interview that they try to paint themselves into corners that seem impossible to get out of. This forces them to be creative and new. Some of their creativity comes from editing. From the time lapse cutaways to actual unusual cuts during the scene, Breaking Bad is willing to take chances and break a lot of the “rules” to help show the effects of drugs or to make a symbolic point. A great example was in a recent episode from the latest season where Jesse is playing a violent video game and is getting haunting memories from when he had to shoot an innocent man named Gale to protect himself and Mr. White from dying.

The show also forces you to pay attention to every detail. This show is not most shows where if they want the audience to see something they will make it blatantly obvious with a cut of a close up or a musical cue. Breaking Bad is more of a puzzle. For instance in last Sunday’s episode Gus, who doubles as Mr. White’s boss and an owner of Los Pollos Hermanos, a fast food chain, attempted to poison the entire cartel in Mexico by poisoning their alcohol he gave them as a gift. To not drawn suspicious he was forced to drink to. However we did not know he poisoned it. In a scene afterwards we see him seemingly throw food or something in his mouth (it was an anti-dote) and then minutes later the cartel started dropping like flies. There is also suspicion and many freeze frames online that think that Mike, one of Gus’ men, was going to surprise and shoot Jesse in the back before he was shot himself from an alive member of the cartel. A lot of this I did not catch the first time and I can’t wait to watch episodes again and catch new things I never saw before.

Finally, there is a conspiracy online about Breaking Bad and its connections to color. My friend and I have noticed this but we went online to see if we were not crazy in thinking this. Others agree but are not quite sure yet what it all means. For example Mr. WHITE wore a lot of green and there was a lot of green in the set when he was cooking the original meth product, which omits a green gas. However after a new type of chemical was added and changed their product to blue he has wore a lot of blue and the set pieces became very blue. His wife Skylar and sister-in-law wear colors off of blue (light blue and purple respectively). Gus wears a lot of gold and forces his employees to wear a lot of gold either at Los Pollos Hermanos or even when Walt and Jesse cook meth for him. They trade in their colors for Gus’ as if Gus then owns them in those scenes. Even Jesse’s last name of PINKman is about a color. Only time will tell if this is just is fans conspiring or a deliberate detail in the genius show that is Breaking Bad.

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