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RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed

 
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RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 1/10/2013 2:14:11 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23659
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W

quote:

ORIGINAL: JagLover


quote:


Regarding Walt - I'm not sure how comfortable I am with basically scoring an undisputed victory and dying on his own terms. He beat the Aryans, left his family with (fat) stacks of cash, got one over on Elliot and Gretchen, etc. He even managed to beat Hank by dying before the police could get him, just as he said he would in Blood Money. Ultimately the two major consequences he faced for his actions - no longer being a part of his family's life and not getting to see his daughter grow up - would have happened anyway if he never cooked meth and died of cancer years ago. I think there was an underlying part of me that was rooting to Walt (I did a kind of mental fist pump at the end of Granite State), but nonetheless it felt kind of off since the show has made us come to hate him by this stage. He probably got his true comeuppance in Ozymandias and this was more of an epilogue, but it felt slightly askew to have such a morally ambiguous ending in a show that was never really about moral ambiguity the same way some of its peers were.


I like to think that with the ending they gave something to all the fans.

Those who hated Walt had him admit for the first time he did it all for himself. His son still hated him and his daughter will probably grow up to despise him. They will live comfortable lives but believe it was charity and not him providing for them (which was always very important to him)

Those who were still rooting for him, despite all he had done, saw him triumph one last time, go out on his own terms and even save Jesse.

Often crime does pay, and having any drama about it being some moral story proving otherwise is unrealistic.


I don't know if Breaking Bad was ever a realistic crime story in the same way The Wire was, for instance (which is why I wouldn't have a problem with the ambiguity in that show, even if it has a clear strain of social commentary). With the magnets (bitch), guys with their faces blown off, machine gun robots and murderous silent axe-wielding Mexicans, I think any claim about it being 'unrealistic' went out the window a long time ago. And that's not a problem at all when the show is consistent about its aims, which Breaking Bad always has been, but having an ending that satisfies all the fans like you say isn't going to work when you have two sets of fans that have the opposite view of the main character. This is a good article where Gilligan lays out pretty clearly the aims of the show http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/magazine/the-dark-art-of-breaking-bad.html but I don't think the finale followed through on that. It just seems strange that Vince Gilligan was 'Team Walt' after going through all that effort to make Walt completely repulsive up until two episodes ago.

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Post #: 661
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 1/10/2013 6:36:08 PM   
JagLover

 

Posts: 457
Joined: 11/5/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf


. It just seems strange that Vince Gilligan was 'Team Walt' after going through all that effort to make Walt completely repulsive up until two episodes ago.


I think it was very important to BB that WW remain ambiguous, neither definitely hero or villain, right to the very end, because that was the story of the show.

I think also that too many people were still rooting for him for them to flat out make him the villain.

They didn't flinch from the damage he had caused, which included to his own family, but gave him his two moments of triumph.


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Post #: 662
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 1/10/2013 7:24:55 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23659
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
I can see what you're saying, though I personally saw it slightly differently. The show worked because we could relate to Walt and saw some of ourselves in him (and saw some of him in us, too): the desire to live freely, the petty grudges we bear, our financial worries etc. One of the reasons why I thought Granite State was almost as good as Ozymandias was that it prevented people like me (Team Jesse?) from really revelling in Walt's defeat by presenting him as a very broken and vulnerable human being rather than a complete monster who's been beaten. I don't want to suggest that moral clarity (which is a hallmark of the show by Gilligan's own admission) and complexity in characterisation must be mutually exclusive.

But that said, I don't think that's the same as suggesting anything heroic in his character. the only heroic motivation he can be said to have was to provide for his family, and even then he finally admitted that it was for him really. I don't think the story of the show was his ambiguity - it's been quoted millions of times, but the story of the show was 'turning Mr Chips to Scarface'. Preventing us as viewers from enjoying Walt's defeat in Granite State was in clear contrast to Walt's 'I won' back in S4, where's he's unwilling/unable to recognise the number of lives he's damaged to achieve that victory.

Making Walt a human character was necessary to the show being one of the all-time greats - it wouldn't have had half the impact it did if he was a one-dimensional boogeyman (or 'the devil' as Jesse calls him at one point). But making him human and relatable more importantly serves the purpose of making his descent all the more shocking, because the point is that we could all become the villain under particular circumstances. But that shouldn't be used as a way to dilute or mitigate the terrible things he's done. To take a famous example, SPOILERS FOR THE SOPRANOS The Sopranos had a likeable and relatable protagonist who was also a really bad person - the ending of that show deliberately pulled away the opportunity for redemption and closure because the protagonist remained a bad person to the end. It didn't negate the audience's connection to him as a person, but it wanted you to know that he was still a bad guy.

in other words, giving people the ending they wanted and giving people the ending the show wanted/earned are not always in sync. In this case, I think more people needed to be annoyed by what went down.

< Message edited by Olaf -- 1/10/2013 7:26:48 PM >


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Post #: 663
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 2/10/2013 3:31:24 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20116
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From: Springfield


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Post #: 664
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 4/10/2013 11:57:54 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77072
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Just had a marathon with the last 6 episodes. Not sure I can post anything remotely coherent at the moment except to say I loved it but am sad to see it go.



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Post #: 665
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 4/10/2013 6:23:52 PM   
snaze1


Posts: 266
Joined: 2/3/2007
Three points to make after finally finishing Breaking Bad (Actually went through all five seasons in about 4 weeks as had never seen it but only heard good things about it).

1. Absolutely brilliant show, only slightly (very slightly!) bettered in my opinion by The Sopranos.

2. The scene with Walt saying goodbye to his baby daughter and seeing Walt Jr but being unable to approach him actually made me cry.

3. I would watch a spin off show with Badger & Skinny Pete

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Post #: 666
RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 6/10/2013 9:24:17 PM   
RobotDevil

 

Posts: 111
Joined: 3/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: sharkboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

I get the argument about simplicity that people are referring to, but it felt like the script kind of moved from thing to thing without much time for all the characters to really get the payoff they deserved - there was never any closure for Marie (which was odd considering she developed into a much more prominent character in the final half season particularly), and the happy ending for Jesse felt like it needed to be developed further considering the horror he's gone through.


I see Marie's closure as getting Hank's body back and knowing that the men responsible for his death all met a violent end themselves, including her brother-in-law. As for Jesse, his emotional reaction was perfectly understanding, considering he had escaped his slavery and, as you say, shown Walt that he was his own man. I wonder how much of that was also due to his knowing that Walt himself was a dead man walking.

As for the box scene, here's Jesse's response from Kafkaesque when he was asked what he wold do if he could do anything he wanted.

quote:



Jesse Pinkman: I took this vo-tech class in high school, woodworking. I took a lot of vo-tech classes, because it was just big jerk-off, but this one time I had this teacher by the name of... Mr... Mr. Pike. I guess he was like a Marine or something before he got old. He was hard hearing. My project for his class was to make this wooden box. You know, like a small, just like a... like a box, you know, to put stuff in. So I wanted to get the thing done as fast as possible. I figured I could cut classes for the rest of the semester and he couldn't flunk me as long as I, you know, made the thing. So I finished it in a couple days. And it looked pretty lame, but it worked. You know, for putting in or whatnot. So when I showed it to Mr. Pike for my grade, he looked at it and said: "Is that the best you can do?" At first I thought to myself "Hell yeah, bitch. Now give me a D and shut up so I can go blaze one with my boys." I don't know. Maybe it was the way he said it, but... it was like he wasn't exactly saying it sucked. He was just asking me honestly, "Is that all you got?" And for some reason, I thought to myself: "Yeah, man, I can do better." So I started from scratch. I made another, then another. And by the end of the semester, by like box number five, I had built this thing. You should have seen it. It was insane. I mean, I built it out of Peruvian walnut with inlaid zebrawood. It was fitted with pegs, no screws. I sanded it for days, until it was smooth as glass. Then I rubbed all the wood with tung oil so it was rich and dark. It even smelled good. You know, you put nose in it and breathed in, it was... it was perfect.

Group Leader: What happened to the box?

Jesse Pinkman: I... I gave it to my mom.

Group Leader: Nice. You know what I'm gonna say, don't you? It's never too late. They have art co-ops that offer classes, adult extension program at the University.

Jesse Pinkman: You know, I didn't give the box to my mom. I traded it for an ounce of weed.



The duality of Jesse summed up in one excerpt


That and Mike's 'No more half measures' are two of my favourite scenes. In almost any other TV series they wouldn't have even been written or would end up on the cutting room floor.

As for the finale - it leaves me equally sad that it's over, and happy that it ended on it's own terms, much like Walt.

And I'm so glad that Jesse had something approaching a happy ending as well as getting to rid the world of Todd. In some ways Jesse would have been better off if he had died in the first season as planned - to see him suffer so much this season, with every hint of brightness (like helping Hank bring Walt down, or his near escape from the neo-Nazis) stamped out almost immediately, was brutal.

It's hard to see anything matching this for a while.



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RE: Breaking Bad - US Speed - 6/10/2013 10:55:49 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1426
Joined: 20/10/2012
I know a lot of people don't like those HONEST TRAILERS clips, but this one for BB is really good... very spoiler-y...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDqGAUvWKkU

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Post #: 668
RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 1/11/2013 12:21:49 PM   
Invader_Ace


Posts: 1582
Joined: 31/7/2008
quote:

ORIGINAL: demoncleaner

Apart from the totem items of hat and glasses I think the first time we saw what we call Heisenberg is when he punches the hand drier in the hospital and then soon after when he's forcing tequila on Walt Jnr.


I'm not sure when that was, but I think we saw the "real" Walt before that, back in the first series. 

He shorts the battery on that flash guy's car and walks off to let it burn, for no reason.  Sure that guy might be a bit of a dick, but that's not a crime and he does nothing personally to Walt.  Walt is just bitter at the success of others.

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Post #: 669
RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 1/11/2013 12:28:52 PM   
Qwerty Norris


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RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 17/11/2013 5:05:58 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5666
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Good old Bryan has just filmed this alternative ending to Breaking Bad.....

Its awesome......

http://fullist.co.uk/2013/11/alternate-breaking-bad-ending-need-see/

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RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 20/11/2013 4:48:52 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 2957
Joined: 22/11/2006
How stupid I was to question whether Breaking Bad could really be as brilliant as everyone said it was.

Just watched the finale. Absolutely amazing show.

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RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 2/12/2013 3:28:51 PM   
Moorish


Posts: 326
Joined: 17/10/2005
From: Scotland

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

How stupid I was to question whether Breaking Bad could really be as brilliant as everyone said it was.

Just watched the finale. Absolutely amazing show.


Glad you liked it. Indeed, it was all amazing. I'm on my third go round :-)

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Post #: 673
RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 2/12/2013 6:11:45 PM   
jonson


Posts: 8919
Joined: 30/9/2005
Last 2 episodes to watch tonight, been dying to come in here and read everyone's thoughts, so not long now.
Gutted, absolutely gutted that Hank was shot (although it was the only outcome really) what a final line he gets though, acceptance of one's own death is as horrific as you can get, brilliant writing and brilliantly played.
To be honest, he was the one character who I was hoping would win in the end.


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RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 23/12/2013 10:11:14 PM   
Base


Posts: 4355
Joined: 30/3/2006
From: Surrey, UK
I somehow managed to jump on the bandwagon and start watching after the finale had aired and still made it to the end unspoiled!!!!

Though maybe some spoilers would have lessened the trauma!!!!

Fantastic stuff!!!!!!

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RE: Breaking Bad starting on Five USA - 9/2/2014 9:07:24 PM   
TheGodfather


Posts: 5272
Joined: 21/10/2005
From: Sin City
Finished yesterday:

Breaking Bad - Season 5
The fifth and last season is a wonderful ending to this show. All the storylines are round up nicely. The last few episodes are really excellent and are among the best of the whole show, wich has a shocking, tragic as well as a fitting end.
In the beginning it did take a while before the series really got me going but slowly but surely it got better and more addictive. With a number of brilliant characters, great editing and storylines, in the end turned out to be one of the better tv shows in recent years that (luckily) got out on a high.
Thank you, Mr. White!

8,5/10

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