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Posts Tagged ‘breaking bad’

Dear Internet,

 

I get it.  You liked “Breaking Bad”.  It was a really good show, not quite as perfect as you collectively think, but that’s not the point I here to debate.  Still, really good television, no doubt.

Is there any way you can stop calling Walter White an “anti-hero”?  He’s not.  He’s a bad guy.  I feel like Vince Gilligan has spent five years trying to convince his audience not to like this guy and the audience has spent the same amount of time (and twice the effort) looking for ways to love him.

Just because you have kids doesn’t give you carte blanch to build a drug empire  You aren’t allowed to murder scores of people because you have been diagnosed with cancer. Walter White the character is build on the strength of Bryan Cranston the thespian, i.e., Walt is a fantastic actor.  He vacillates between various mutations in each episode but each permutation is to manipulate someone.  And he was so good at it he ended up manipulating the audience.

Spoiler to follow.  Gilligan, who wrote the final episode, basically spells it out when Walt tells Skylar that he didn’t do it for her or their kids but because he enjoyed it.  That is the moment of truth.  That is him finally saying what I have been saying for years.  He’s not an anti-hero, he’s a selfish narcissist who does horrible things because he doesn’t care about anybody else.

I think a fitting ending to the show (besides the ending that we got which I enjoyed) would have been for Walt to somehow catch Junior hitting the meth pipe.  Like if his work was so effective that he had ostensibly turned his own son into a junkie (and he had no time or opportunity to help) would have been a good price for him to pay for the millions and millions of dollars that he made.  The cost of that is that his kid is now Skinny Pete.

An anti-hero is redeemable.  There is some modicum of humanity in an anti-hero.  Walt has/had none of that.  Walt is a monster but the worst kind of monster; he is a monster that looks like the father from “Malcolm in the Middle”.

 

Thanks,

MT

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