As Breaking Bad winds down this week, likely with a big finish, I thought I would share some random thoughts I have had over the years about what is going on and what the show has meant.
1. Bryan Cranston is so deceptively good that many don't realize what a great actor he is. Very few people can play the character the way he does. He makes bad seem sort of good. We actually are rooting and feel sorry for a drug dealer who makes crystal meth and lies to his family on a daily basis.
2. I haven't read any of it, but I have heard about those who hate Skylar because she didn't support Walt and all the horrible things he did. I have only one question for those people: If your husband or wife was selling crystal meth and then putting your family in grave danger, what exactly would you do? Say, thanks honey, don't worry about almost getting us killed everyday.
3. A big part of the allure of the show is that we all wonder how much we would be like Walter White if we had the temptation to make the kind of money that we can't even dream of. Would we? Are we the kind of people that would do that sort of thing if the chance was presented to us?
4.One thing that always jumped out at me, with so many characters on this show, is how you really don't know your neighbors like you think you do. That nice man next door, the one who always waves at you, cuts his grass and does his part for the community, he could easily be a drug kingpin, drug dealer, meth cooker or any number of things. We saw that repeatedly in this show, just like they showed the ones who were clearly in that culture and were never hiding it, like Tuco.
5. I have never liked RJ Mitte at all. I think he is a horrible actor and it is a lousy character. They didn't get many things wrong on this show, but this was one of them. It is not about his disability. He just can't act.
6. The comedians on this show play drama really well. That is the sign of good writing and casting.
7. Saul Goodman is one of the best original characters in a very long time and I actually look forward to the spinoff, which I rarely do.
8. In many ways we accept the violence of Breaking Bad where we might not with other TV shows because it seems appropriate. The types of people Walt gets involved with are the type that have no problem with the violence. It is a way of life for them, a way of life most of us will never see up close. But when we do, in this context, it seems part of the story, not there to enhance it.
9. I think the show has clearly shown, much as The Walking Dead does, that really great drama, with great writing, filming and acting is way more addicting than any cheap drug like meth. People who watch this show are much more addicted to it than almost anything else and can't wait for their next hit.
10. I can't remember a more anticipated TV finale since The Fugitive almost 50 years ago. Even though most TV is very predictable, this finale can go so many ways. And that is a very good thing. We don't want a happy ending, unless that is what it should be. In this case, there won't be any happy endings, just tying up of loose ends.