Skip to comments.Impossible Choices? The Conservatism of "Breaking Bad"
Posted on 08/24/2013 2:39:14 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
"Breaking Bad" is a fascinating show. But efforts to compare it to "The Wire," which systematically analyzed American institutions and the American experience, are misguided. "Breaking Bad" is fundamentally a conservative show that is all about the individual.
This Sunday (September 2) AMC will air the final episode of part one of it's fifth and final season of "Breaking Bad," an immensely popular and critically acclaimed show about a down-on-his luck high school chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, starts a life as a crystal methamphetamine manufacturer. The high praise of the show is largely warranted: the premise is fascinating, the photography and acting is superb and the drama intense. Some have even dared to suggest that "Breaking Bad" represents the best that modern television has to offer, even surpassing HBO's the "Wire" as the greatest show of its time.
(Excerpt) Read more at truth-out.org ...
I wish I had watched this show. I haven’t see it yet and encourage comment from those who have. The story of a meth dealer does not sound like a show with a conservative message, but it’s worth noting that a number of mobsters from the 1950’s and 1960’s were staunch Republicans.
The article is a year old, just in case some people miss that.
or they just wanted to pay less taxes?
It’s a great show. I haven’t gleamed any political message from it though.
I doubt Walter White pays any tax on his drug money.
You should sign up with netflix and watch it from the beginning. It is great.
We watched it from the beginning on Netflicks. We are waiting for the Netfliks final addition. We like watching one segment after another without the commercials.
The writer of this dreck blames capitalism on the downfall of Baltimore. Yeah right.
I can’t watch the show myself. Too much language, realism in violence, and extremely intense situations for me. But my husband and son absolutely love the show.
Walter is a prideful man who though down on his luck (he develops cancer, his wife is expecting, his teenage son has cerebral palsy), will not take help from anyone — not friends, certainly not govt. He is almost like a modern day moonshiner fighting against the revenuers. One of which happens to be his brother-in-law.
If you are up to stomaching realistic gore and violence, creepy and extremely intense situations, you may enjoy it as much as the rest of my family.
I actually have watched Breaking Bad since Season 1. The premise of Malcolm in the Middle’s dad being a meth dealer seemed pretty far fetched at first. Wow was I ever wrong. Cranston’s three consecutive emmys are well deserved.
Less tax or fewer taxes.
That M60 weighs 20lbs with a loaded mag. Walt is not planning to carry that thing into battle. Must be part of a plan for a ‘last stand’. Its just the best show on TV. Along with game of thrones.
Or put another way, there's a freight train of karma coming at Walter White and there is nothing he can do to step out of its way.
It’s absolutely fascinating. Walter White’s decent into evil is magnificent acting by Bryan Cranston. Of course it’s also filmed in Albuqeurque, and I know most of the places where it was shot.
Agreed. But I've never figured out his compulsion on both shows to romp around in his Jockey shorts.
Sales tax for every legal product he buys?
Just keeping it real. The producer and him come up with it. Tighty-whiteys lent more realism than boxers they thought.
Hard to believe he was the dentist on Seinfeld who became Jewish just so he could tell better jokes.
I wouldn’t exactly call it a conservative show but there has been some real genius behind the writing and casting.
Taking Hal from Malcolm in the Middle and slowly twisting him into this conniving, manipulative, murderous drug lord took a true craftsman. You couldn’t have made the show with anyone other than Brian Cranston.
It’s a very entertaining show, but I don’t see much that is conservative about it. I think most of us here on this site (a conservative site if there ever was one) would not choose to start a meth business if we were diagnosed with terminal cancer. That seems like something a liberal would do even if he did not have cancer.
I call it Breaking Hal.
LOL - I’m a tighty-whitey man myself.
However, a couple of years ago, hubby and I were bored with nothing but summer fare, and we decided to try Breaking Bad. If we didn't like it, we would stop watching. Well, we got hooked. The great thing about Netflix is that you can watch whole seasons. So, I would recommend the show. Bryan Cranston's performance is really good and tells me that this guy is just a great actor, when I had thought of him as simply a comedic actor -- good; but, not until I saw this show did I realize his depth.
Give it a go, it you don't like it, stop watching. But, I'll bet you get hooked just like everyone else.
I was a bit late to the party on Breaking Bad but that only means I got to power watch the first three seasons in about three weeks on Netflicks, which was awesome. Best drama on TV without a doubt and one of my favorite shows of all time. I thinks it’s better than “The Wire”, which is not a criticism of “The Wire” (I loved it) but high praise for BB. Cranston is just awesome. And his writers give him an excellent script to work with. There are few actors who can do side splitting comedy and high drama with equal skill and Cranston is one of them.
So do I and my hubby. We lucked out and our cable company, about a month ago, had available the first half of this last season. So, we caught up and are now watching the final episodes as they are shown weekly. We record them, and then just zip past the commercials.
The stand-off between Hank and Walt in Walt's garage, a couple of weeks ago, was the most intense few minutes of television I have seen in quite a while.
Haven’t seen the show, but it doesn’t really surprise me. Vince Gilligan did a lot of writing for the X-Files and a lot of subversively conservative themes wound their way into the story arc. There’s a fascinating assessment of the phenomenon here:
I’m guessing it has something to do with Todd’s relatives.
I MISSED LAST WEEKS SHOW!!! DOES ANYONE HAVE IT RECORDED???
CAN I COME OVER????
If that is how the show ends I am personally going to see to it that Vince Gilligan gets "a vacation in Belize...!"
I want him to wake up as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.
Last weeks episode should run again on AMC right before the new episode tomorrow.
BB is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
Netflix has up to ep8 S5.
My son was begging me to watch it, but he got me actually started on episode one when I was newly pregnant. I could get through a few episodes, but wasn’t really enjoying it, and came to the “bathtub episode” where I had to STOP WATCHING. Lol. We picked up again after the baby was born, and I got totally hooked. Now I’m watching this last half season live.
The show is extremely well written, acted, edited, and shot. The state of New Mexico should get a Best Supporting Actor nod. Amazing characters and more addictive than the Heisenberg Blue Meth.
Loved The Wire, guess I’ll have to give Breaking Bad another chance.
Say my name.
To be appreciated it must be watched from the beginning. It is very convoluted with plots and sub plots and subsub plots. I have watched it more than once to develop an understanding of what actually took place.
The conservative aspect are the family life of the two sisters. Walt and Skyler pretty much have an average middle class family. He is a chemistry teacher. In Albuquerque. Aside from being the most wealthy and capable meth cook and dealer, Walt is a down to earth great middle class guy. His wife Skyler struggles constantly to be a mom and a wife.
Skyler’s sister is a wonderfully written flake who has purple everything except kids. Her husband id the DEA agent in Charge for New Mexico.
The tension between the sisters and the brothers in law that are actually great pals make for great drama
Unlike the various bad guys against whom Walt is pitted, he is smart. He uses his intellect and education to prevail.
Jessee provides a window into the American seamy culture of poorly educated but middle class young men that deal drugs. Jessee is a tragedy. He is a criminal with misplaced honor.
The worst character is the lawyer. He plays all side against the middle and is a totally disgusting but skilled individual.
Breaking Bad reveals a very wide cross section of America
The best episode is called Face Off, a genuine life and death encounter between two powerful men. It is a great tragic comedy scene .
I’ll miss this Sunday but will tape it.
My question is why did Walt return to a fenced in weed over grown former home with all his hair (chemo treatment for his cancer was hard on his hair) and retrieve a vial of sarin powder he synthesized to kill his arch enemy.
My favorite line from last season was an episode that took place in Alergia. The good guys were getting help from a local Berber woman in tracking down an Arab carrying nuclear triggers. They were holed up with a couple of Algerians on a farm and surrounded by the terrorists who were trying to kill them. During downtime, one of the Algerians is critical of the Berber woman for helping the special forces guys and says to her: "They just use you and move on." She then turns to the Algerian Arab and says to him, "At least they leave. We've been waiting a thousand years for you to leave and you still haven't."
Smack. Pow. Zing.
The Wire. The Shield. Breaking Bad are my favorites in that order .
That scene was classic Breaking Bad.
Yeah that was typical of the odd moments of humor in the show.
She's one of the scariest bad guys I've ever seen. That scene of her leaving the underground lab in her high heels with her eyes closed was priceless.
Next question. What will Walt do with the ricin?