Spoiler alert for everything. Sorry. I should really put this piece on spoilers.io, if it only existed.#
I'm on episode 8 of the final season of Breaking Bad, and I can now tell you why I cringe when people say it's the best TV show ever. I couldn't have said exactly why before. #
I like all kinds of crime stories. I like Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction. The Godfather is the best movie ever made. The Maltese Falcon. The Departed. I love them all, and they all have one thing in common. The lead character is sympathetic. Tony Soproano is the mob boss who is seeing a shrink and has a neurotic wife whose approval he desperately wants. He's sympathetic. Would Succession be as good if Logan Roy wasn't proud of his son for being so awful? 💥#
But Breaking Bad? I absolutely hate Walter White. Every episode provides new reasons to hate him. That's the central idea of the show. How hateable can we make Walter White? I hate that so many sympathetic people die before he goes. Gus Fring was sympathetic. Mike Ehrmentraut. I forget all the characters who die (I'm going to re-discover them now). All his adversaries are sympathetic. But he's an absolute worst piece of shit he could possibly be and the show is all about him. #
One more thing. I'm a huge fan of Bojack Horseman. And his sidekick, like Gilligan to the Skipper, like Sgt Schultz to Col Klink, is Todd Chavez. Who is played by Aaron Paul who plays Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. And this time around, I hear Todd's voice when Jesse speaks. It's funny! Of course there's more overt satire in Bojack, even though I'm sure the Breaking Bad writers meant it to be funny in a hateful way. #
So I admire Breaking Bad. I am in awe of it, everything about it. But I also hate it because I have to focus on a character who I thoroughly despise. #
Last update: Wednesday October 16, 2019; 3:39 PM EDT.
You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)