One decade of Breaking Bad

Walter White al carrer d'Eixarchs, València

You know about the TV show Breaking Bad? It is unlikely that you haven’t heard of it, in fact, it is unlikely that you haven’t watched it.

Well exactly ten years ago, the first episode of the worldwide popular Breaking Bad had hit the screen.

Breaking Bad is considered one of the greatest TV shows, or even the best show ever. Vince Gilligan has achieved more than he had ever expected with this show.

So what did Gilligan do to make so many people addicted to Breaking Bad and appreciate it so much?

His idea was to start with a “good guy” protagonist who would become the antagonist. The title’s fitting: “breaking bad” is a colloquialism meaning “raising hell”. There are many more interpretations of the phrase “breaking bad”. (Read more about its history here.)

Was the idea of someone becoming more and more unsympathetic what made this show so great? We have a layman figure, a chemistry professor who regrets all the things he could have accomplished, and now it’s too late because he’s dying.

There isn’t a single characteristic that would make him special among other people. An ordinary, family middle-class man becomes ill. There are so many similar stories. But then Walter White starts doing something unexpected, to use his chemistry knowledge to make crystal meth, he feels alive. At first, it’s a weirdly pure intention to secure his family financially. But then, he starts liking it because for the first time in his life he feels important.

“I am not in danger, Skyler, I’m the danger”, he said to his wife.

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All this makes us wonder about ourselves. Stepping across the edge made Walter really bad, and what about us? What if all of us had that need for being important in a bad way, not only to be dangerous but to be the danger itself?

That could be one of the reasons why we have become addicted to Breaking Bad. But it’s not so simple. There’s so much more in this TV show. There’s no room here to talk about everything, but you can find many analyses, points of view, opinions… As if we talked about a classic novel. In a way, Breaking Bad really is a classic. One you can binge-read.

Trackbacks

  1. […] We have already paid tribute to the Breaking Bad series, so let’s say something about Walter in particular. Cranston won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for that role, which is an outstanding one indeed. […]

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