Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Random thoughts of a Tennessee fan on life, sports and more TV shows than any one person should be allowed to watch.
About me
Name: Michael
Location: Nashville, TN
E-mail me!

View My Complete Profile
100 Things About Me
My Facebook Profile
My Wish List
Syndicate Big Orange Michael

The Latest News on the Vols


Also For Your Reading Pleasure
The Rocky Top Brigade
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

For Your Listening Pleasure (Podcasts)
Slice of SciFi
PodCulture
Two Insane Fans: The Statler and Waldorf of Doctor Who commentaries

Archives
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011
01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011
02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011
08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011
09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
10/01/2017 - 11/01/2017
11/01/2017 - 12/01/2017


Monday, July 18, 2011
TV Round-Up: Breaking Bad, "Box Cutter"
I've spent the last couple of weeks catching up on AMC's award-winning series Breaking Bad. I'd watched the first couple of episodes, drawn in by the pedigree of Vince Gilligan from his work on The X-Files. But somehow I got behind and while many others appreciated the genius of the show, I was far behind and never could quite catch up.

Thankfully, the show is on cable so seasons are only 13 episodes long...not too bad a catch-up if you really want to do it. And watching Breaking Bad, catching up is exactly what you want to do.

So much so that I've caught up now, watched the opening episode of season four and find myself feeling a bit of a void as I have to wait six more days to find out what happens next....

This show is that good. But it's probably not for everyone. It's dark, it's brutal and it's unflinching. It started out as a dark comedy about an ordinary chemistry teacher who when he finds out he has lung cancer decides to cook meth to help leave something behind for his family. He finds an old student whose a low level drug maker and dealer and uses his knowledge of the drug trade to begin making money. Since that time, the show has evolved into something more, showing the slow destruction of Walter White and how he poisons all those who come into contact with him. We've seen Walt realize he's only feeling fulfilled when he takes on his drug kingpin persona of Heisenberg and that he's incredible vain and short sighted at times. His weakness his ego and a need for gratification. He also has an amazing sense of self-deception as he can do terrible things and somehow justify them to himself. One stand out scene in season two sees Walt allowing his partner's girlfriend to choke on her own vomit and die simply because she's an obstacle to his overall safety and business.

All of which brings up to season four. One good thing about burning through the final couple of season three episodes on a lazy Sunday afternoon is that I only had to wait a few hours to see how it all picked up. Because man, season three ended on one hell of a cliffhanger.

Since it started, Breaking Bad has not only been about the slow destruction of Walter White, but also about the smaller moments that take place between the crimes being committed on screen. And it's in those episodes the show works brilliantly well. As amazingly on the edge of my seat as I was in last year's episode that Walt and Jessie trapped in the incriminating RV as his brother in law and DEA agent, Hank showed up outside because he was following Jessie, the episodes that examine the consequences of actions are just as good. If you're looking at season three, I point you to the fly in the lab episode and the one following Hank's attack by the Cousins.

"Box Cutter" is also about examining the consequences of actions. As last season wound down, Walt realized that his new boss, Gus, was preparing to eliminate Walt and allow lab assistant Gale to take over the cooking. Walt quickly decided that to save he and Jessie, Gale had to go. Meanwhile, Jessie was having issues with some of Gus' distributors, leading to Walt killing two of them and sending Jessie on the run. It all came to a head when Gus brings Walt in, supposedly to kill him. Walt appears to betray Jessie, instead using the phone call to let Jessie know where Gale is and giving the order to kill him. The season ended with Jessie at Gale's door, crying and forced to carry out Walt's orders to save them both.

And then, season four starts. Walt believes he's got the upper hand on Gus, for now since no one else can cook like he can. It's his formula and only he and Jessie can make it. What Walt doesn't count on is that one of Gus' men who has been guarding them in the lab might just be able to do it. The tension mounts as Walt and Jessie sit the lab, waiting for Gus to arrive. The guard shows them he knows enough to "follow the recipe" and starts making a batch of the signature blue meth.

Gus shows up and in a sequence that is both riveting and horrifying, shows Walt just how serious he is. It involves the box-cutter of the title and it's mean to send a message to Walt that everyone is expendable. It also shows just how much or little value Gus places on anyone or anything that gets in the way of his business. It's as dark and violent as the show has ever been--and yet it's a quiet moment. While Walt is justifying his decision, the sounds of Gus walking into the lab, changing into a protective pair of coveralls and then killing the man who made the mistake of being seen at Gale's after Jessie pulled the trigger and could link him back to Gus is one of the most compelling, dark and utterly horrifying moments we've had in this series..and that's saying a lot because this series is full of them.

Interestingly, Gilligan has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to end the series with the audience hating Walt. It's not hard too do. This isn't one of those cases of rooting for the bad guy or an anti-hero. At this point, there is little left to redeem Walt or make him likeable. But it's a credit to Gilligan's writing team and to actor Bryan Cranston that Walt is still compelling and utterly watchable. I can see how some could compare Walt to Tony Soprano or Vic Mackey, but in the case of those shows we met both characters after they'd chosen the life of crime. Breaking Bad takes the interesting route of showing us an ordinary guy who is likeable at first and shows us how he slowly becomes an evil, evil man. Watching the show, it's easy to see why Cranston has won three straight Emmys...and will probably pick up another one for season four based on what we've seen here.

If you haven't watched this one yet, get the DVDs and catch up. It's worth every last second.

I can't wait for next week....

Labels: ,



posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/18/2011 07:22:00 PM | |
Comments: Post a Comment
Widget_logo


Follow me on Twitter!




    Follow me on Twitter!

    www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from bigorangemichael. Make your own badge here.

    Recent Comments
    Awards


    Best Middle Tennessee Blogs



    Web Sites I Visit
    CrossWalk.com
    Daily News Journal
    Doctor Who News
    Go Vols
    Go Titans
    The Tennessean
    The Tennessean's Titans Coverage
    Trek Today
    TV Guide On-Line
    Washington Post Redskins Coverage
    USA Today

    2007 Team Schedules
    Tennessee Vols
    Tennessee Titans
    Washington Redskins

    Favorite Authors on the Web
    Orson Scott Card
    Peter David's Blog
    Keith R.A. DeCandido's Blog
    Neil Gaiman
    Elizabeth George
    Philip Gulley
    Stephen King
    Donald Miller
    Lisa Samson's Blog
    Robert Whitlow

    Musical Links
    Carolyn Arends
    Sherrie Austin
    Cherryholmes
    Lee Domann
    Dust And Ashes
    Fleming & John
    Sara Groves
    Jennifer Knapp
    Jars of Clay
    Carolyn Dawn Johnson
    Cindy Morgan
    The Monkees
    Nickel Creek
    Nothin' Fancy
    Rebecca St. JamesRay Stevens
    Steep Canyon Rangers
    Williams and Clark Expedition
    Rhonda Vincent and the Rage
    Jaci Velasquez

    Blogging Links

    Powered by Blogger Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Listed on Blogwise
    << ? Blogaholics Anonymous # >>

    My Blog Chalk

    Michael/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Tennessee/Smyrna, speaks English. Eye color is brown. I am in shape. I am also creative. My interests are Reading/Swimming laps.
    This is my blogchalk:
    United States, Tennessee, Smyrna, English, Michael, Male, 31-35, Reading, Swimming laps.



    You Are Visitor

    Free Web Counter


    Looking For Something Specific?
    Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

    Site search Web search


    Blogskins
    Powered by Blogger