Is Breaking Bad good?

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Meet Jessie Pinkman….a drug dealing Meth addict who steals from his parents, who has no respect for his own life, and who cons recovering drug addicts to relapse… This is a man who is up to no good!  And yet I cannot seem to get enough of him.  I truly love the man.

Meet Walter White…. a master Meth cook, who produces pure grade poison that is distributed onto our streets, sold to our children.  This man is a talented manipulator who will KILL to get exactly what he wants… He wants to win.  Walt is dangerous… And yet I find myself really wanting him to win.  I say prayers for his health, his happiness.  I praise him for being such a good dad, because I truly care for Walt.

Meet Gus….Our very own home grown entrepreneur.  A man who started a chain of restaurants that he runs with careful precision.  But behind his chicken kitchen lies a ruthless murderer, the top of the drug chain, Lord of the Meth world.  He kills children, robs people of their dignity and deceives all.  And yet I respect Gus…I admire his clever mind, his ability to run the show behind a curtain of lies that he kept perfectly intact with a ‘have –a-nice-day’ smile.

Breaking Bad, the huge TV sensation, a phenomenon that has taken weeks off mine and my friend’s lives is completely gripping.  Because it is so damn good!  Or is it?

How is it possible that millions of decent, good natured people, many of whom are mothers and fathers, completely lose all sense of right and wrong… and begin applauding for the child killing Meth dealers??!!

good-and-evil

What does it say about society when you have multiple generations of men and women who are desperate for Jessie to recover from his run in with heroin and get back to drug dealing in good health? Or silently praying that Walt doesn’t get caught making his gallons toxic batches?  A society that, for the most part, condemns hard drug use has recently been found holding their breath for Walt and Jessie to reach unprecedented purity levels, so that they can sell their Meth for more money.  We sit on the edge of our seats as multiple murders are synchronised and 80 million dollars is moved from warehouse to desert in hope that one day Walter’s dear children may inherit the cash….because somehow we became convinced that they are entitled to it.

Breaking Bad has somehow allowed us to redefine our definition of good and bad, as we appeal to the gods…  PLEASE let the nice drug dealers win!!

Why?  Your guess is as good as mine…but my theory is:

In addition to the well-developed characters being intensely human, each actor turns out to be a massive surprise!  Walter, Jessie, Gus, each challenge the viewer to see them in a different light, challenging US to like THEM…so that we too can be Breaking Bad.  Feeling close to these characters breaks our own rules and preconceptions….challenging our paradigms, forcing us to re-look at what we had thought was obvious:

Walter White looks a lot like a family man.  A guy that you would know.  In fact you DO know a guy just like him.  All Walt needed was the right excuse to tell middle class society to fuck off.

Jessie Pinkman looks much like an average drug addict who has little chance of ever finding his way.  But underneath it all we see a man with a massive heart who has far more morals than we thought possible.

Gus looks a lot like anyone that we may meet in the business world.  A professional well respected and meticulous man who always says and does the right thing.  Behind that façade we find the devil.

They all surprised us.

And everyone likes a surprise…it takes us further toward an open mind.  So YES, I think Breaking Bad is good!

Thanks for reading,

JT