Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five things I learned from Breaking Bad.

Five things I learned from Breaking Bad.

#1. Ordinary man. Extra-ordinary circumstance.

 Bryan Cranston (IMDB Page), Plays Walter White, an everyday working stiff who teaches high school chemistry in Albuquerque, AZ who on the surface appears to be a normal person who is a  loving father, caring husband and a great provider for his family. On the inside tho, Walter, is a steaming pile of repressed anger at everything that his "normal" life represents. Walter's life looks easy but as we know life isn't easy for anyone, no matter what they choose to show the world. Walter has had several golden opportunities yanked out from him including money, love, sex and happiness. One such event happened to Walter in college when Walter and a friend, Elliott Schwartz co-founded a pharmaceutical company called Grey Matter. Somewhere after creating the company Elliott and Walter had a falling out and is forced out of the company. Elliott is married to Gretchen, who Walter was in love with in college adding to the stress of being betrayed. Elliott took the company and developed it into a multi-million dollar company, that Walter believes is all backed by his research while at the company. Stresser number one!
 Stresser number two happens when Walter finally has settled into his normal life as a teacher, husband and father. Walter learns that he has terminal lung cancer. The only ray of hope is a very expensive procedure that his HMO won't cover. Walter resigned himself to dying but not before devising a plan to leave his family financially set. Of course Walters family, especially his wife Skylar White (Anna Gunn), are dead set on keeping him alive. 
 Combine these life circumstances, Walter's anger and need to provide for his family and you get a a high chemistry teacher deciding to cook meth to make money. At first it's about the money. Then life happens and Walter enjoys the "fame", the outlet for his anger and the respect he gets second hand from being "Heisenberg" the notorious meth cook!

#2. An inside man is best left on the outside of your life.

 Walter has several "inside" people in his criminal life and one or two that dances the line in-between his "normal" life and his "criminal" life. The first inside man was Jesse Pinkman, played by Arron Paul. Pinkman is a former student of Walter's who while on a ride alone with Walter's brother in-law, who is in the DEA, see's Pinkman escaping from a house where the DEA is doing a meth bust. Pinkman becomes Walter's inside man into the street world of meth dealing. Pinkman is almost as inept at dealing and cooking meth as he was a student but he his loyal and Walter feels he can control and trust him. 
 Walter's next inside man is completely unaware of his status as an reverse informant on the DEA to the meth dealer and cook known as "Heisenberg" (which we know is actually Walter) his brother in law, Hank Schrader played by Dean Norris. Schrader is a barrel chested, loud mouth, tough as hell DEA agent in AZ and often gives clues to Walter to what the DEA is up to while telling Walter stories about his exploits in the DEA.
 Possibly one of the best performances in the entire show is by Walter's next inside man, Attorney Saul Goodman played by Bob Odenkirk, a veteren comedic actor who's comedy brings a great realism to Walter's lawyer and lynch pin to the seedy underworld of Albuquerque

#3. Drug dealers and cartel leaders love to hand out advice.

Not having any experience myself in the drug trade or usage, I can't say for a fact that drug lord, kingpins and other various scumbag villains give out sound, stable and should be taking serious advice but in Walter's world they do. From almost the begging Walter has been giving sound words of advice from different thugs and has consistently ignored it! And almost every bit of street wisdom that has been offered, if taken, would have saved Walter allot of trouble if followed. It would have been hard to do and made Walter make a ton of hard decisions but would have kept him out of many situations that necessarily didn't need to happen! 

#4. Walter White Jr is by far the best actor on the show.

RJ Mitte plays Walter's son Walter White Jr. who has Cerebral Palsy. I'm not sure why but this kid can act! I think one of the reason is because of his mild case of CP in real life allows him to act with his face and not just his actions. This kids emotions are all played out in his face and his CP ticks that he plays to perfection!
 Walter Jr. is involved in several pivotal family scenes that might not play out as well with another actor. He is a normal teenager going through normal teenager drama's set against his fathers extra-ordinary situations. He loves his father, who he is named after, but is struggling to find his own identity. For several episodes he will only answer by his middle name of Flynn, which causes some stress with his dad. 

#5.Breaking bad doesn't make dealing meth or the culture of drug use look glamours.

Unlike other bad habits portrayed in movies or in films, Breaking bad keeps the meth culture that we all know from the news or personal experience, real or at least seem real. Some of the minor characters, such as the two in the picture above this paragraph, are completely disgusting, insane and singlely-minded toward obtaining meth. The man holding the knife in the picture is known as "Spooge". Which drives home the point how disturbing and disgusting meth heads are! 
 Breaking bad airs on AMC and has been recently renewed for a fifth season and I can't foresee any future that doesn't end badly for Walter. Despite being immensely likable and you want to him to have a happy ending I doubt that it will end happily for him! Which brings us back to keeping it "real, yo!". 
 I think I have been influenced many times by various media sources to try things that weren't very good for me. Such as smoking, John Travolta sure makes it look cool, drinking, Frank Sinatra is the man, but Breaking Bad, if anything, has made the use of meth even uglier than what you may think it was already, it's this show!

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