The Second Post – What Do I Write About, Though?

Alas. It is only day two of this endeavor and the worst has already come to pass – I have no idea what to write. I suspect this is far from the last time this will happen before 365 days are up.

Since I don’t really know what I should write about, let me opine about a t.v. show I watched recently. Behind the times as I am, I only got around to watching Breaking Bad on Netflix in the past three weeks. And I have some feelings that I can’t really air with friends – that’s what you get when you watch a t.v. show four years after its time.

(Side note: I’ve never been the type to watch popular television shows as they’re airing. I think this is because I’ve been in various tertiary and graduate institutions. For some of that time, I didn’t have internet, let alone cable. (That’ll be a piece for another day, I figure.) For the large proportion of years, I’ve had cable, but the ill-defined boundaries of academic life wipe out, for me, the ability to enjoy the normal American past-time of watching a show when it airs. I can barely read for fun without feeling like I ought to be working; devoting an hour per week to a show is out of the question. So instead, I have binging episodes, where I know that I’ve wrapped up whatever obligations for at least a week, and I can figure that that gives me enough time to watch an entire television series. I enjoy it less than I otherwise would, in part because there’s no one to talk about it with, and I am overwhelmed with guilt. But damnit, I have seen some fine t.v. Wallander FTW.)

So, Breaking Bad. Holy toxic masculinity, Batman. Here we see a man who is so wrapped up in the idea of what it means to be “a man” that he can’t see how his actions are hurting the people he’s trying to help. Even at the end, he can’t let the Grey Matter people contribute a cent of their own money. Pride really does goeth before the fall.

That was something else that caught me about Walt. One night, waking up after a binge-inspired drug dealer dream, I found myself sleepily thinking about how many of the Seven Deadly Sins Walt encompasses. Greed, obvs. Pride and Wrath are shoe-ins, as is Envy. I’d argue for Gluttony, as Wikipedia defines it; there’s an element of Walt that pursues trouble for his own sake, placing his interests before his family’s. Even though it isn’t eating, he still displays that selfishness that Gluttony implies. I think you might even be able to make an argument for Lust, if you view it as “desiring too much.” There are certainly times in the series when Walt crosses the line in that respect, most notably the time when he nearly rapes his wife. Sloth is the only sin to which Walt really cannot make any claim.

I wonder whether this is part of what makes Walt so engaging to watch. We start out with a guy who is relatively virtuous, but his descent into violence and evil are multi-faceted.

In any case, I think I’m going to try to do NaNoWriMo this year, so I’d better figure out what makes Walt such a great villain, so that I can emulate it.

(Another side note: Also, I guess maybe from reading blogs and such, Walt wasn’t really considered a villain by the viewing audience at the end? And Skyler was hated? From the perspective of one person, watching alone, neither of these conclusions really makes a ton of sense, and both make me wonder whether the Gamergate trolls aren’t just being noisier than regular people. But maybe you, reader, can convince me.)

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