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Old 03-23-2009, 08:44 PM  
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Breaking Bad

Anyone watching this magnificent show?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #781
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It's salon.com. It has to have some agenda in anything they print. I do agree that there are people who like it for the reasons stated. I'm unsure whether it's ironic or sincere in the way it plays with those predilections.
It's not sincerely playing to the begrudged, fantasizing white dude set. This show isn't Dirty Harry. It isn't Falling Down. It does overlap with some of those fantasies, but either to demonstrate how flawed they are or to have the audience question why they thought a scene was so awesome when, really, it's indicative of something awful and/or pathetic.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #782
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The point that Walt represents some sort of "white man fantasy" doesn't work for me at all.
I think the show specifically makes you look at Walt and the characters from behind a sort of glass. I don't feel like I'm identifying with him as much as I feel like I'm observing him. The audience knows things Walt doesn't. We see backstory Walt doesn't. We see foreshadowing Walt doesn't. We see conversations between Jesse and Mike.
I think it's closer to what Mamet would say is effective drama in Three Uses of the Knife. The audience knows things the character doesn't, and effective writing is allowing the audience to know they're able to predict some of the character's future, but not too much. To let us see some, but withhold some, and then give it to us for effective drama. We're a step back from Walt. I don't think the satisfaction comes from the viewer being Walt.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:45 PM   #783
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Everything has meaning. You don't even have to seek it, unless you are lazy or stupid.
Or simply capable of being entertained for entertainment's sake.

'course I'll freely admit I lean more towards the low-brow side of the equation. I'd certainly rather read fantasy than 'litera-chore'.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #784
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Or simply capable of being entertained for entertainment's sake.

'course I'll freely admit I lean more towards the low-brow side of the equation. I'd certainly rather read fantasy than 'litera-chore'.
That's dumb. Genre literature is not necessarily any bit less deep than "literary fiction."

I don't for one second believe that you aren't mindful of thematic concerns and character psychology and etc. when you're reading a fantasy novel or watching genre TV like Burn Notice or White Collar or something. I don't even know what "being entertained for entertainment's sake" is supposed to mean. Well, I guess I do have an idea, but I don't think that the purported meaning is a phenomenon that really exists. *opens door for discussion of genre theory but expects no one to want to go down that road with me*
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:01 PM   #785
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god damn some people in here need to play some ****ing mario cart
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:03 PM   #786
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god damn some people in here need to play some ****ing mario cart
Too many subtexts in that game.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:07 PM   #787
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Why did Toad shoot a Red Turtle at me? COULDN'T HE SEE ON THE SPLIT SCREEN THAT I ONLY HAD A GREEN TURTLE.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #788
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Review of this week's episode (Cornered) form Pajiba: Scathing reviews for bitchy people.

Spoilers, for those who are still waiting to catch the episode:

“Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how much I make a year? Even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. … I am not in danger, Skylar. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about what draws me to “Breaking Bad.” My wife’s a devotee of crime thrillers and mysteries — she’s a big fan of everything from “Luther” and “Wire in the Blood” to “The First 48,” and like everyone with their head on straight, she loves The Godfather — but she can’t take even a minute of “Breaking Bad.” It’s just too depressing and violent for her. And I’m the first to admit that the show is definitely both of those things. Yet I’m always fascinated by what draws certain people to certain movies or series, and I love examining what it is that makes me feel like watching five straight hours of “Breaking Bad” while someone like my wife doesn’t want anything to do with it.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m consistently dazzled by the show’s exploration of flawed, compelling, brazen characters doing increasingly dangerous and deadly things that are always somehow justifiable within a given moment. Through Walt, the show explores the consequences of abandoning the social mores and legal structure that defines our society and doing so because you tell yourself that you are special, or deserving, or bound by circumstance and fate to do something different than what people tell you you’re supposed to do. This is not to say that there are no bad guys on the show. Viewers who think that characters with the capacity for good and evil are somehow neither are fooling themselves. Rather, what sets the show apart from almost everything else on TV — what makes it great — is the precision and honesty it brings to its stories of people choosing bit by bit to give themselves over to something they never would previously have imagined themselves doing.

This week’s episode, “Cornered,” was ostensibly about the way Walt lashes out at those around him when he loses control over his environment (or the illusion of control, which is probably a better way to think about his whole situation with Gus), plus the title was a nice pun for Skylar’s coin-flipping attempt to maybe find a new state to live in and start a new life away from the madness in Albuquerque. But it was really, deep down, a look at how much Walt has changed. He got into meth manufacturing out of a desperate desire to leave his family some money after he died, but now his cancer’s in remission and he’s making millions. Everything should be better, but it’s more complicated and draining than he’d ever imagined. He’s a kingpin forced to live the life of a pauper to dodge the IRS, and his personality has never been one to shrink from a fight or let someone else take credit for his work. Walt’s a caged animal, and it doesn’t matter a bit that Skylar’s advice and planning is sound and helpful. He’s going to strike.

The pivotal moment of the episode — in a way, one of the most defining moments of the series to date — was their argument in the bedroom after Walt woke up from sleeping off his hangover from the dinner with Hank and Marie. Skylar, who remains the most insightful and emotionally perceptive character on the show, nailed every bit of Walt’s fear and arrogance and insane hubris as she worriedly scolded him about his challenge to Hank, and that was all it took for Walt to wheel on her, growling about just how strong and dangerous he can be. Bryan Cranston continues to do amazing work as Walt thanks to astonishing nuance he brings to each episode, and he’s never been quite as aggrieved or proactive as he is in this scene. Anna Gunn’s body language was great, too, shrinking away just slightly in unconscious fear (a move she doubled at the end of the episode when she came back from her trip and Walt tried to coddle her with promises of protection). Four seasons ago, Walt was a weak-willed man with a flinty core capable of pushing himself to illicit behavior to save his family; now, he’s a major criminal willing to angrily lecture his wife (and anyone else who will listen) about just how much further he’s willing to go.

It’s moments like that that keep me tuning in and writing about this show. “Cornered” was a sharp hour that dug into Walt’s fragile emotional state and highlighted the consequences of his actions. Not to belabor the Godfather comparison I’ve made here before, but the show really does feel like a television counterpart to the film. They both deal with the slippery slope of choice and consequence, and the way that violence breeds cold indifference.

The rest of the episode was strong, too. The remnants of the Juarez drug cartel are not exactly forgiving men, and the way they sent a message to Gus via a pair of lowlife meth-heads was exactly like something Gus himself would do: Hit hard, save your skin, and use disposable intermediaries. Jesse’s also starting to come into his own again, building on the lie of Gus’ arranged stick-up to become an actual help to Mike in investigating the missing blue meth. Jesse’s just as cornered as Walt is, but he’s also willing to work within those limitations to find success. He knows enough to realize that his time with Mike started out as a babysitting gig, but he brushes off Walt’s paranoid-sounding but totally accurate theory about the robbery being a fake because he actually wants to do well in his new role as Mike’s assistant and apprentice-level fixer. Plus this time he actually pulls it off. He managed to use his experience manipulating meth-heads to trick his way into the dopers’ house, then pure adrenaline and luck to disarm the shotgun-wielding psycho. Not bad for a character only a year past his days wearing oversized jackets and making crystal in his aunt’s basement.

Only a few things “happened” in a big way in the episode, especially regarding Walt and Skylar’s plan to slowly establish a legitimate front for the river of dirty cash flowing into their lives, but the hour was jammed with emotional moments that underscored just how much is at stake for everyone involved. A great episode.

Scattered thoughts:

• The cold open made me feel claustrophobic and out of breath. Great, tight work from director Michael Slovis, who also helmed last season’s “Kafkaesque.”

• “Was it the people you work for?” “Definitely not.” Always the layers, the double meanings, the worming for new definitions.

• It took total strangers for Walt to finally realize just how dangerous he really is to people: He thought he was being clever or cute by hiring the women from the laundry to clean his lab, but all he did was ruin their lives and get them deported while angering Gus yet again. You had to know it wouldn’t end well for the women Walt haltingly bribed into cleaning his lab. Hell, even he had to know it. Still, tough luck.

• Walt’s brief scene with Bogdan was a great pissing contest. Bogdan’s condescending advice that Heisenberg should learn how to get tough was hilarious.

• I think we need a web series about Mike’s gruesome and occasionally comic misadventures as an operative for Gus. Or maybe some spinoff episodes in which he and Jesse team up, ’80s style.

• I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but I think it’s only been a few months in the story’s chronology since Walt got the cautious OK from his physician about his cancer. I keep waiting for Vince Gilligan to let the other shoe drop and bring the disease back. Maybe that’s how the show will end.

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a member of the Houston Film Critics Society and the Online Film Critics Society. He’s also a TV blogger for the Houston Press. He tweets more often than he should, and he blogs at Slowly Going Bald.
Very nice.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #789
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god damn some people in here need to play some ****ing mario cart
I once wrote a 20-page paper in college entitled "Living Life All the Way Up: Thrill-Seeking in the Pursuit of a Masculine Identity in The Sun Also Rises and Mario Kart 64." I compared Mario losing to Peach in the Mushroom Cup to Jake Barnes getting his dick shot off.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #790
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That's dumb. Genre literature is not necessarily any bit less deep than "literary fiction."

I don't for one second believe that you aren't mindful of thematic concerns and character psychology and etc. when you're reading a fantasy novel or watching genre TV like Burn Notice or White Collar or something. I don't even know what "being entertained for entertainment's sake" is supposed to mean. Well, I guess I do have an idea, but I don't think that the purported meaning is a phenomenon that really exists. *opens door for discussion of genre theory but expects no one to want to go down that road with me*
Character psychology I care about insofar as it's used in character development, but overarching themes have never interested me all that much. For whatever reason my brain doesn't work that way.

It probably has to do with the fact that the primary thing I look for in entertainment is immersion. I'm an escapist. I prefer to lose myself in a narrative, rather than spend time contemplating the larger implications of the story. I would not in any way, shape or form consider myself an intellectual.

So that's what I mean by entertained for entertainment's sake. Entertainment, whether it's tv, book, movie, whatever, is a form of escape for me. I think in a lot of ways it's an outlet that allows me to "live" vicariously, since I don't have much in the way of real world social skills and/or interaction with anyone in the broader outside world. If that makes sense.

I would guess that genre theory is a bit above my pay grade.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:42 PM   #791
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:43 PM   #792
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Wikipedia suggests that they DID have those Challengers back in 2008, that they were, in fact, brand new in 2008 (and likely to have been advertised on billboards like in the episode): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_C...0.93present.29
That's good to know. Puts my mind at ease.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:44 PM   #793
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #794
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So why the **** is Gus still transporting the meth in the chicken batter, AND how did he know to have Mike in the back of the truck the first time, or is that how it's always been done?
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #795
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http://www.reddit.com/r/breakingbad/...nduras_newest/

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I don't know how widespread the use of this expression is, but at least to many Salvadoreans, "going to Honduras" means you're gonna die. I'm not sure if this is the result of our neighboring rivalry and if it's used elsewhere, but I figured it was a funny little tidbit especially since many here think that the ladies "going to Honduras" meant they were gonna get taken out.

I'm not saying that's what Tyrus meant. shifty eyes
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