Friday, November 15, 2013

You're a monster, Mr. White

Television hasn't been too kind to me, lately. I've dropped two major shows that just about most people are making a huge deal out of. Fortunately, I am passed the point in my life where I will keep watching a bad show just so I can bitch about it week after week. I needed something great, something to make up for the TV shows that have recently disappointed me. "Breaking Bad" has been on my list for a while, even after the much-talked-about finale. Over a month after the series ended, I realized I still knew next to nothing about the show, and the ending remained unspoiled for me. But how much longer would that last? I fast-tracked "Breaking Bad" to the top of my list and binge-watched it in less than a week.

I'm not going to summarize the show or the characters since I think just about everyone in the world knows who Walter White is, and the basic premise of the show. But he is a terrific character, and now at the end of all things, I don't know how I feel about him, after watching him devolve into the creature he became. I sympathized with him, I hated him, I pitied him. But I can't say I ever liked him, nor do I think he was a "badass" of any kind. He's very smart, but he is also lowly, pathetic, piece of human garbage with an uncanny ability to self-rationalize everything he does. He's narcissistic, has more than enough chances to stop, and in the end destroys what he was initially trying to save. He certainly reminds a lot of another character whom I am very well known for loving.

"Breaking Bad" was an emotional roller coaster, as all great dramas are. I laughed, I cringed, I was horrified. The episode titled "Ozymandias" came very close to breaking me, I almost turned it off... but I couldn't. I sat there mesmerized by the cruelty and evil of the entirety. It was a punch in the gut, and pushed a lot of buttons for me. It was horrific, and it was also one of the most exceptional hours of television I have ever watched.

It was a great reminder of how great cable tv is, especially after "Agents of SHIELD" reminded me why I can't stand broadcast tv. Some people I know are calling it the best television series ever. While I don't want to make a proclamation that bold, "Breaking Bad" is very easily a contender for the title. It just keeps getting better and better. There are no low-points in the series, everything fits together like an important piece of a puzzle. There isn't a bad or even a mediocre series. I can't say the same for most other shows. "Breaking Bad" knew when it was time to go, because I would not be surprised if AMC wanted to keep milking the Golden Goose. It was a very rare animal, a perfect TV show just as "The Godfather" is a perfect movie.
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