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?
Walter White wasn’t the only character breaking bad during the series. One could argue that each character had their own character flaw that led to Walter’s path of self-destruction. Could it be the Schwartz’s greed? Gustavo’s manipulation of White’s ego? Jesse’s lack of assertiveness against Walt? Or maybe his emasculation at the hands of Skylar and Hank?
If you can really iron out this topic, it would be perfect timing because the tenth anniversary of the premiere of Breaking Bad is coming up in January, believe it or not! – KennethC3 years ago
Vince Gilligans brainchild Breaking Bad is a television series which is often mentioned within the conversation of the greatest television series of all time. This is attributed to Gilligan’s excellent storytelling abilities- particularly his use of foreshadowing throughout the series. An article discussing this narrative technique used within Breaking Bad including specific examples would be quite enthralling.
Analyse what shaved heads/baldness might mean in relation to power structures in Breaking Bad. Why are so many of the characters in seats of power bald, and what does it mean when both Walt and Jessie shave their heads? How does this theme interact with cancer, arguably the shows most powerful antagonist?
Interesting observation, but one could even take it further to other AMC original series. For example, in S02E03 of The Walking Dead, Shane shaves his head immediately after killing Otis, to cover up where his hair was torn during the struggle. The scene is very reminiscent of Walt shaving his head in S01E06 of Breaking Bad, as both circumstances signify these characters' shifts to the "dark side" (so to speak). – ProtoCanon4 years ago
Interesting point...I would have never thought to connect those dots. – MikeySheff4 years ago
On the other hand, the follically challenged - Walt, Gus, Hank - all died, while the hirsute Jesse and Saul made the cut. – Tigey4 years ago
In analyzing Breaking Bad I noticed some themes starting to develop throughout. Walter White is anti-welfare, anti-immigrant, and anti-government in nature. I understand that Vince Gilligan has claimed he aimed not to make a political statement with Breaking Bad, but given today’s context we can extrapolate our own meaning out of Walter’s actions. Tell us what you think of Walter White. Is he a far right extremist?
What fans love most is a great television series. Breaking Bad happens to be one of those shows that will always fill the hearts of its fans, and its writing is just brilliant. That being said, the objects within the show make it that much more than what it seems. For example, what is the significance of the bear that is burned in the plane crash? What events are foreshadowed from its appearance? The fact that half its face is burned is important. What other objects are significant and what do they mean to the overall show?
Though the television series Breaking Bad has been discussed numerous times on this platform, a conversation that has yet to be broached is the amount of symbolism, allusions, and "clues," the creator, Vince Gilligan provides throughout the series. For example…In season 3 episode 7, "One Minute," the time on the dashboard is 3:07. At the same time, Hank gets a call that he has one minute, as two men are on the way to kill him. 3 7=10, or let’s look at it as one minute. Also, the episode is from season 3, episode 7–same time displayed on the dashboard. Lastly, the room number of Skylar’s room when giving birth to Holly is 307. All of these connections are intricately woven by the creator.
Other examples for discussion: the constant mentions of Icarus, The Godfather and Scarface references, the similarities between Hank (ASAC) and Ahab from Moby Dick, The meaning behind the title of the series finale, "Felina," (hint, think periodic table of elements and cooking meth; also a few other possibilities), etc. There are numerous connections and allusions, from episode titles that allude to popular movies, to songs, providing the missing puzzle pieces.
What does it all mean? It must be important or else why would the creator take great time to intricately weave every single element of the series together. Questions to consider: Why does Walt begin cutting off the crust on his sandwiches?, Look at the wardrobe evolution of characters, consider the episode title, "Grey Matter," etc. The possibilities are endless….let the explorations begin!!!
It sounds like some of these ideas are similar to LOST. Maybe some of these similarities could be written about, such as the significance of the numbers. – Munjeera5 years ago
I love shows like LOST, Mr. Robot, and Breaking Bad that reward multiple viewings. It's great to see that Better Call Saul isn't shying away from hiding its own Easter eggs like its predecessor. For this topic, I would suggest that the author of the article try to narrow it down. Even confining the topic to Breaking Bad leaves room for a never-ending article thanks to vast amount of clues and symbolism that Vince Gilligan worked into the show. Try to focus on explaining what the motive of a show creator could be in including all of these hidden secrets rather than trying to point out every example. – KennethC5 years ago
BB is loaded with fatalism. Gilligan is a moralist, raised Catholic. God's number is seven, three is the trinity. The bread crust trimmings, ala Crazy-8, recall the fatalism of Bob Dylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown": There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm,
There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm,
Somewhere in the distance there's seven new people born. I think amoral Walt points out Hank's white whale - the futility of law enforcement and the hypocrisy of smoking illegal cigars - over Cuban cigars and booze, while contemplating what Walt states is the arbitrary nature of laws. It's an interesting mix, fatalism and Hank's faith in imperfect but necessary laws. – Tigey5 years ago
There also seems to be connections between Walt's ages (50, 51, and 52 years), and the corresponding elements of the periodic table. – Tigey5 years ago
Did Walter White use Jesse Pinkman as a proxy conscience? If so, in which instances, and what were the effects on Walt and Jesse?
To be more specific, throughout BB, Jesse learns of Walt's heinous acts - through witness, discovery, or Walt's admission - and this "education" seems to take a toll on Jesse, but never Walt. Is there a "type" of sin that hurts Jesse most deeply? Is there a group of people for whom Jesse suffers most deeply? How is Jesse's spiritual and physical suffering manifested? Finally, can someone who murdered Gale Boetticher and Todd Alquist be a character of conscience? – Tigey5 years ago
Juxtaposing Dorian Gray and Breaking Bad is quite genius! Wow, I never really considered that pairing, and I am still having a bit of difficulty doing so, while thoroughly enjoying the task. This is a rare topic because it is the first one I've come across on this site that I feel I need to contemplate a bit before formulating an answer. Ironically, I recently taught a literature class that focused on the series Breaking Bad, and some pieces of literature were juxtaposed with the series, as well as multiple comparisons of numerous aesthetic mediums. You tackle numerous questions, and yes, Jesse always seems to find out about Walt's misdeeds in the worst possible ways. Isn't it odd how such an intelligent, definitive genius, lies so poorly, and has no means of "covering his tracks." Makes one wonder if he didn't care if he got caught doing these "heinous acts,"--I'm not referring to the cooking; he did not want to get caught and was obsessed with making the finest product with the highest monetary profit--or if he overestimated his intelligence and underestimated the aptitude of those around him? Walt's ego, by the close of the series, reaches a monumental level of pure self consumption. He really thinks he's Ozymandias?!
– danielle5775 years ago
Thank you, danielle577, for the compliment. – Tigey5 years ago
Danielle, I think Walt didn't get people, in a sense. It seems he may have seen people as problems to solve, therefore if he wasn't aware of a problem, he was blindsided. Regarding his bad lies, I think that was a subtle "eff you," a way of saying, "You're not even worth a good lie." That's Walt's main problem: He's Walt and we're not. – Tigey5 years ago