Monday, July 16, 2012

Breaking Bad, Heisen's Burg

The characters Leonel y Marco Salamanca (Daniel and Luis Moncada)
Breaking Bad is brilliant partly because of the suspense which has been racheted up every single episode since the very first.  Genius Walter White is not only inexperienced in the nefarious activities he is drawn to, but so full of pride and arrogance, he goeth before his own fall, episode after episode. Sometimes Jesse jumps in after Walt, sometimes his choices force Walt's hand.
Jesse, I want to point out, has an exceptional mind but doesn't realize that. He blunted access by way of doping, truancy, small-scale badassing. But he is ingenious, and, point of fact, wouldn't have lasted as Walt's partner in meth-making if he hadn't been able to keep up.

More than the tension so cleverly created, more than the astonishing weirdness (like the Salamanca brothers crawling in the dirt, como penitentes, to a shrine where they supplicate mother death to destroy Walt) Breaking Bad makes me think.  Has me pondering, again and again, ethics, necessity, The Bad, The Good, human nature creating destiny.

It is a thought-provoking show on a major scale.  The Greek's, or one of the ancients' themes--hubris--is presented over and over. Once Walt pays for his medical needs, money isn't really the draw for him.  He knows how to get along. He knows that the financial comfort he is providing--though thwarted--is obviated by how it's provided.

I understand his motivation. If I could finally earn enough money through writing to wipe out my debts, I'd feel justified, regardless of what I wrote.  (Well, maybe.)  He's finally making big money through chemistry.  By the way, I realize he can't just walk out, what with the cartel and all.

Everyone connected to the show shares credit for the depth of character and ethical dilemmas arising out of situations--actors, writers, directors, editors, costumers, art.

The Sopranos was an astonishingly good show and also raised questions but not like Breaking Bad does. It was more a guilty pleasure, with extraordinary acting, plotting, imagination.

Anyway, I don't have a t.v. but this is a show worth buying. I go to Amazon and purchase a download the day after episodes are aired. So tonight, whoa, mama. I'm looking forward to Episode 1, Season 5. I anticipate tension, fear, frustration, and jaw-dropping admiration.

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