IvanBlue

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    How Did Breaking Bad Change TV?

    After the widespread critical success of Breaking Bad, it appears to me that many other shows popped up that carried the same type of quality, not just of filmography and acting, but of writing as well. Take for example, the Walking Dead, West World, Game of Thrones, just to name a few. Few shows can boast the same critical reception of Breaking Bad, but before then, the most well written and high-quality show that comes to my mind was the Sopranos, which even then falls short of the same quality. In my limited observation, it appears that TV shows, which had traditionally been regarded as lower quality and lower complexity than film, theater, or literature, experienced a boom in both the quantity and quality of its TV shows. Does this observation have any merit? Am I making assumption based simply on my own, limited experience with TV? Did Breaking Bad really change the quality of TV the viewers have come to expect? What other, perhaps more minor or hidden effects did the success of the show have on the industry?

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      Latest Comments

      Your argument is very compelling and I would be inclined to agree with most of your points. Luffy is not unique in terms of his powers, or heritage, or destiny, but he is unique in his personality. By that, I mean in his ability to make allies. He is simply such a compelling person that, no matter where he is or what the odds against him are, he always seems to make friends that are willing to put their lives on the line for him. This is even stated multiple times in the anime. So while nothing else about his abilities, history, heritage, or destiny make him unique, who he is as a whole does which is why, even after twenty or so years, people still read and watch to see what he’s going to do next.

      One Piece: The Uniqueness of Monkey D. Luffy

      Great analysis! As a long time fan of the show, I think about the transformation of Rick throughout the show. I do agree that killing Shane was a major turning point, but not the catalyst that signaled the beginning of his transformation. I feel like people always seem to forget that the first people he killed were the two men in the bar in season 2 episode 8, “Nebraska.” Throughout the first two seasons, Rick had shown incredible resilience as well as a the ability to be reasonable and merciful (as shown in Season 1 Episode 4, “Vatos”). But this all changes here. Watching this episode, I always think about his season one line, “We don’t kill the living.” Yet the look on his face when the two men walk in, its almost as if he was planning to kill them from the start. I feel this is really where he begins to change, displaying his desire to survive if only to protect his family. His mercy and ability to negotiate and be reasonable is gone, as he rejects all offers of the men to team up or pool resources. These options presented too many complications and chances, and he opts for the quick and (arguably) easier solution; his Python. Shane was not the catalyst, but merely an example showing how far Rick was willing to go down the path he had already taken.

      The Walking Dead: The transformation of Rick Grimes

      Carl’s death was the last straw for me. Glenn’s death left a bad taste in my mouth but, having read the comics, I was willing to keep going just to see how the story played out. Carl’s death, as you discussed above, was highly unnecessary. On top of that, it is detrimental to the narrative that has been created for the last 10 years. Seasons 7 and 8 seem to have a misconception of why people watched the show, choosing to give us action and shocking scenes over truly interesting drama and story lines. Killing-off Carl to create the moral dilemma with Rick is not just bad writing, but it also makes no sense. Carl was all Rick had to live for. He didn’t want to lead Alexandria, he didn’t want to become the bad-ass killer that he did; all he wanted to do was keep Carl safe. Everything else was simply a by-product of trying to achieve that goal. Taking Carl away would be it for him. He would have nothing to live for, nothing to fight for. Not even Michonne and Judith could give him reason to keep going, as Michonne, despite their chemistry, really served to be a new mother figure for Carl and Judith was more of an obligation for Rick, as well as a grim reminder of how his whole life fell apart. Without Carl, these people mean nothing to him and life means nothing to him, and Carl’s melodramatic speech before he died would certainly not be enough to change that.

      The Walking Dead: What Led To Its Jeopardy