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Thread: Breaking Bad

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
    I seem to remember that it was briefly addressed in the series, though I can't off the top of my head give the reasons. At the very least, Werner Heisenberg was a brilliant scientist (like Walt), contributed to a Nobel Prize winning project (like Walt), and had cancer (like Walt) - that much at least makes sense.

    I miss Breaking Bad - my evenings are now much less interesting...
    Yes. Since finishing this nothing else on TV or film has come close to it. Everything else to me feels pretty much tedious. I actually just think there is nothing else to watch. I either watch a chess lecture on youtube or listen to music.

  2. #47
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    I've been trying to get into The Sopranos as my Breaking Bad replacement - it's very good, but somehow I don't find it as captivating as BB. Whereas I couldn't wait for my daily fix of Walter, somehow I have to really psyche myself up for an episode of Tony...
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  3. #48
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    Recent BBC offerings are looking very poor compared to BB. "Shetland" and "The Crimson Field" are very tedious and very soapy. Maybe the solution is to give up on "so called" drama? The recent nature program on "Honey Badgers" was the most exciting & funny thing I've seen recently, and a documentary on old age the most moving.

    Amazon offered me a free Lovefilm/Amazon Prime Instant month, so I've been digging into some of the higher rated series i.e., Vikings, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Dexter, Revenge,... but gave up on these after an episode or two.

    I think the main problem is that even the greatest TV just doesn't compare to great novels, so, after the novelty wears off, you are just going to be bored out of your mind, or bombarded out of your mind. (Thinking of Battlestar here!)

    "No matter how good it is, it will never be more than just TV—an unparalleled distraction, crisply shallow, full of wondrous sounds and gorgeous furies that ultimately, in the ways that are truly vital and important to human life, signify nothing. It does not now, nor will it ever, meet the same sublime depths explored by the great novels. It is, quite simply, essentially inferior."

    "In television narrative, any television narrative, the commandments are few and simple: Something must always be happening, for otherwise there would be little reason to tune in next week; and whatever’s happening must happen on screen, for this is a visual medium, and a shot of Walter White brooding in his kitchen isn’t quite as gratifying as a shot of Walter White shooting some guy in the head. Our new technologies, and the gluttonous viewing habits they’ve created, have given the medium some more room to play, to build, as it were, character. But the primary principles still apply: To keep us amused, a show, any show, has to parade a quick succession of spectacles, far exceeding the scope of thrills and woes that befall any ordinary or extraordinary person in real life."

    "TV, by contrast, works by having some guy shoot another guy, or shoot another guy and then talk about it with his shrink, or cheat on his wife, or break the law. Even when it delves deeper than ever before into the machinations of morality—as Breaking Bad, again, does very well—it is only free to consider these questions by having its protagonist always moving, always doing, always on the make.

    Whatever else serious art accomplishes, it is committed to giving us a report of our condition, as idiosyncratic and insufferable and immensely complex as it is. It tells us something worth knowing about what it’s like to be human, to think and to feel and to be. Like all the great novels, What Maisie Knew performs that operation with a small and sharp scalpel, with insights and emotions cascading from every minute observation and every word. Breaking Bad approaches the same procedure with a sledgehammer; it titillates more than it truly moves, because its basic building blocks are not elastic words but cumbersome actions. It’s all it could ever do: It’s only a TV show."

    "we—sometimes referred to, occasionally without irony, as the people of the book—might consider stepping away from the amorous ad men and witty dwarves and murderous crime kingpins and instead read something. Like a fine meal, it takes longer, and it lacks the binge’s euphoric high of having consumed a lot of something very sweet very fast. But it leaves you with the unparalleled satisfaction of having exercised your fundamental rights as a human being: the right to think, the right to reflect, the right to contain multitudes."

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts...is-for-dummies

  4. #49
    I'd have The Sorpanos as the better show, and I think Deadwood is better than BB too.

    There's still great stuff to watch out there.
    Vladimir: (sententious.) To every man his little cross. (He sighs.) Till he dies. (Afterthought.) And is forgotten.

  5. #50
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post

    Amazon offered me a free Lovefilm/Amazon Prime Instant month, so I've been digging into some of the higher rated series i.e., Vikings, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Dexter, Revenge,... but gave up on these after an episode or two.

    I think the main problem is that even the greatest TV just doesn't compare to great novels, so, after the novelty wears off, you are just going to be bored out of your mind, or bombarded out of your mind. (Thinking of Battlestar here!)
    BSG is really good, one of the best TV series I've seen in a long time. The pilot is quite torturous though, but once you get past the episode called 'Water' it settles and becomes an amazing series. The whole part involving New Caprica is a reflection on Guantanamo Bay and it is a fairly good showcase for what sci-fi can do if done well (e.g. reflect on real life conflicts by placing it in a 'distant' setting). It's worth persevering with the series.

    Conversely, I watched season 1 of Breaking Bad and wasn't blown away. But that won't put me off watching season 2.
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

  6. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre Menard View Post
    I'd have The Sorpanos as the better show, and I think Deadwood is better than BB too.

    There's still great stuff to watch out there.
    I've seen some of the sopranos and it didn't interest me, so our tastes probably differ. I thought BB and The Killing (the original of course) was top quality and about the best things I have ever seen and nothing has lived up to that before or since. Right now I have nothing to watch and when I am too tired to study chess I just end up listening to music and/or just drinking beer and getting drunk. This is fine, as I enjoy this, but I don't see many great things to watch. (I enjoyed watching All Creatures Great and Small on Youtube, but that is about it, before that fun with woody Allen, but nothing else.)
    Last edited by LitNetIsGreat; 04-24-2014 at 08:07 PM.

  7. #52
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Recent BBC offerings are looking very poor ....
    Thanks for the article quoted (TV is for Dummies), it gives chapter and verse to its claim and corresponds to my own assessment of the difference between novels and their TV counterpart. To a lesser extent, the same might be said of the cinema where, despite a few obvious examples, great writing seldom translates effectively into the moving image. As the article points out, the word moving is at the heart of the matter: cinema and TV audiences are waiting for someone elses imagery to be implanted on their consciousness rather than do it for themselves by reading the book; which means the 'action' has to be kept up to engage the viewers' attention. I recently reviewed Hitchcock's 1939 Jamaica Inn (the new TV production is currently under discussion) for this forum's film section and it was a poor adaptation of the novel which in itself is admittedly not great writing but I suspect the film is better than its TV presentation.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  8. #53
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    I recently marathoned the show and while I did enjoy it for the most part I have a few issues with the series.

    1. Since I watched the show three or four episodes in a row the formula of hooks and cliffhanghers got a little tedious at times.
    2. I didn't like how Walt is portrayed as a villain simply because "drugs are bad". Drugs are not bad, and organizations like the DEA do their part in ruining plenty of peoples lives. Walt was not particularly villainous to be honest, the show was just pushing a militant 'war on drugs' agenda.
    3. Jessie was really stupid and I found him annoying.

    Seasons one and two were fantastic though I didn't really like four and five was only decent.

  9. #54
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clopin View Post
    2. I didn't like how Walt is portrayed as a villain simply because "drugs are bad". Drugs are not bad, and organizations like the DEA do their part in ruining plenty of peoples lives. Walt was not particularly villainous to be honest, the show was just pushing a militant 'war on drugs' agenda.
    I don't know - one of the criticisms of the series has been that it doesn't show drugs in an evil enough light. Whilst you may disagree with that point (I do certainly do - moral absolutes make for boring television), it's certainly true to say that the series doesn't really focus on the repercussions of Walt's actions outside of his immediate social circle. We never see his product on the market, being used by perpetual meth-addicts - and what consequences there might be for his 'customers'.

    I'm not sure the DEA is shown in a particularly heroic light either - in some ways, less honourable than the criminal world.

    As for whether Walt is a villain or an anti-hero, I don't think the show wants you to have an absolute answer. He does somethings that are utterly villainous, but how you see that last few episodes will depend affect whether you think he gets some small redemption, or at least a gesture towards it. I don't think anyone is truly villainous in the show, not even Gus or Uncle Jack - I think Todd and Lydia are the only two figures we are really encouraged to hate.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  10. #55
    Registered User Oedipus's Avatar
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    I'd rather watch an episode of "Fawlty Towers" than a season of "Breaking Bad"
    "Family duty required them to swallow their disgust and put up with him, simply put up with him'

  11. #56
    Registered User Sido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post
    I'd rather watch an episode of "Fawlty Towers" than a season of "Breaking Bad"
    I used to love watching that show! Wish they did more than 2 seasons...

    As for 'breaking bad', I don't know... My friends say it's great, but I'm not sure if I'd like it. May be I'll watch the pilot if I get the chance, and then decide

  12. #57
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post
    I'd rather watch an episode of "Fawlty Towers" than a season of "Breaking Bad"
    I'd rather have sex than eat chocolate. What's your point?
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
    I'd rather have sex than eat chocolate. What's your point?
    Ha, ha.

    Personally I'd rather win a bumper rollover jackpot (even though I don't play the lottery much?!) and live life on some beauteous and peaceful Italian Riviera type place...and be constantly supplied with fine red wine and San Miguel etc than watch Breaking Bad.

  14. #59
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Well, quite... Both things are wonderful, but so different in nature and intent as to make a comparison rather ridiculous.

    I've recently got my supervisor into Breaking Bad, and he's hooked. Another convert!
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  15. #60
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neely View Post
    Ha, ha.

    Personally I'd rather win a bumper rollover jackpot (even though I don't play the lottery much?!) and live life on some beauteous and peaceful Italian Riviera type place...and be constantly supplied with fine red wine and San Miguel etc than watch Breaking Bad.
    Fine red wine and San Miguel? These should not be mentioned in the same breath except when using one as the antonym of the other. I'm having the place decorated and have just found some bottles of wine that have been stored in a cupboard for years , including a 1989 Margaux, a 1969 Mouton Cadet and a 1979 Pauillac; all of which are now undrinkable and must be poured away but I can't bring myself to do it. If only it had been San Miguel.

    P.S. Entirely in agreement with the Italian Riviera though.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

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