Breaking Bad

This show is going to get people’s undies in a twist. Technically, it is awesome. The cast, acting, script and all the little things that you aren’t supposed to notice are beautifully done. The subject just sends it over the top into a level of show that deserves to be the water cooler topic far more than other shows. The main character is a man who chose to teach a subject that he loves to unappreciative teenagers when it is clear that he could have chosen a better paying job. As a result, his family struggles. He works a second job at a car wash while his wife lies to the bill collectors. His teenage son has CP and his wife is pregnant. He admits that his insurance is lousy as he is being taken to the hospital where he receives a terrible diagnosis. He is desperate to take care of his family before he leaves them. He chooses the fast cash of illegal drug sales.

There is a scene where his partner in crime asks our anti-hero if he is crazy. He doesn’t deny or confirm what the viewer suspects. This is a man who is standing on the edge of a cliff. He is desperate and thinks he has nothing to lose. Later in the episode, he is in terrible danger and shows just how much fight he has left in him. He has either let go of sanity completely or he has been taken down to a primal level of survival that far too many people understand. He is not fighting for his own doomed life, but for his family. This show doesn’t glamorize what he’s doing. It is clear that he is in the gutter, fighting the other vermin for the trash. We all know how it will end. We just don’t know what will happen in the short time between now and then.

The world is not black and white. Sometimes good people do bad things. When the good guys become the bad guys, does the blame lie only with them? Would we believe the plot of this show if almost every teacher we know didn’t work two jobs? Doesn’t everyone know someone with no insurance or useless insurance that cancels you when you file a claim? What if we spent more money researching treatments for Cerebral Palsy than male impotence? What if selling drugs was as profitable as a lemonade stand?

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