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Making the Best of Bad, Emersion Breaking Story Telling Part 1. Dealer’s choice Patreon reward for TheGreatEater. · 4:39am May 1st, 2018

Heya readers! Welcome to part 2 of my ‘I messed up and failed to meet my blog responsibilities in March and will continue to mess up next month’ blog series which is actually part 1 of a sub-series! Yesterday I pinned most my troubles on allergies, which is still true from a writing perspective. I’m not going to bother to link yesterday’s blog. You should all know to get to it…

Anyhow, TheGreatEater has decided a don’t need a topic from him, but because my Patreon is not intended to be a charity for me, I’m picking a topic and writing on it on his behalf. The last sentence being a nice segue, as I’ve decided to blog on a series I just recently finished, Breaking Bad. Clearly, this particular post will help me tap into the massive Breaking Bad/MLP cross market.

This feels like an excellent opportunity to screen cap the rating and viewer count of my latest endeavor, but again… I figure you guys can work out hyperlink and a joke. So, Instead have some art about some new background ponies that we have because, clearly, DHX has ran out of bucks to give. Source.

Breaking Bad, for those not in the know (and apparently there’s a lot of you), is the tale about a man who finds out he has lung cancer and decides that he’s going to make the most of his short life. “Most” in this case meaning strictly money that he’s not too picky about how he makes it. In this case, he decides to ‘cook’ methamphetamine.

And much like a certain regenerating comic book character, he’s the best at it.

Ah… part 2 of the beginning of a parody gone horribly, horribly wrong… or right depending on who you ask.

Breaking Bad is on Netflix if you haven’t seen it. I was late to the party but recently gave the pilot episode a go… then was hooked and quickly made my way through the rest of the series. I do recommend at least giving the first episode a shot.

With that being said, I suggest only continuing this post if you’ve watched the series or don’t care about spoilers, like… at all…

First, I’ll start with a brief take on each character. I mean… I could easily do a post on most of these characters, but a paragraph or two will suffice here.

Walter White: Our protagonist and a compelling man to watch, to say the least. Proud, stubborn, prone to flying off the handle, but ultimately a man who does seem to really care for his family and a select few others. He also seems to have a desire to foster the full potential of those under him. Watching his decent/accent served as a very interesting character to me as I’m STILL not sure if he ever became ‘evil’ or if most any man would make the same choices he did if put in a box as he often was. Hell… it could be argued that things would have been a lot worst with a character who had a different morality at the helm

I don’t know if I’d say Walt is a ‘good man’ at heart, but I think he’s at least a decent human being. A factor that I believe supports this idea is Walt tried several times to ‘quit while he’s ahead’ and life/the show’s writers just wouldn’t have it.

Jesse Pinkman: Walter’s on-again, off-again literal partner in crime. He’s another character I enjoy. Often because Jesse just seems to be a good person at heart, despite whatever circumstances led him to partner with Walter and the circumstances he’s forced into as the series unfolds. Unfortunately for him, he absorbs the brunt of Walt’s collateral damage apparently based solely on his proximity to Walt and the fact that the universe/writers get the mother of all boners for making Jesse’s life miserable. Honestly one of my biggest critiques is that the show often piles on Jesse’s misfortunes a little too thick. Like, Jesse Pinkman is delicious cake and his trials and tribulations are frosting, but often piled high to the point where we no longer have cake, but a bucket of frosting with mashed sweet-bread crushed underneath.

As much as I felt sorry for Jesse, the show went far enough with abusing the poor guy it sort of broke my capacity for compassion for him and I found myself laughing at the absurdity at certain scenes towards the end. Still… It’d be great to watch a series where… I don’t know… we see what would happen if Jesse got to carry on in a more carefree manner without being pulled into Walt’s black hole of misery and pain that often isn’t even the fault of either of them.

Oh, right...

Skyler White: I tried to empathize with this character. I swear, Internet, I really did! Even with her passive-aggressive, very close to home way of dealing with her husband’s secrecy, I still understood and sympathized with her… and then season 3 hit and the stuff with Ted… Yeah… No… she’s just… the worst…after… allergies…

Yes… and you two… again… Source.

After discussing Skyler’s character at length with a certain friend (who is free to step forward and claim this point of view), it was pointed out to me that Skyler’s primary motivation is not actually her family but her image, the one she projects as well as her self-image… I think… at the very least I was told something close enough to this that it makes sense with my understanding of the character and hurts me more inside because it’s, again, very close to home.

Said friend also suggested that Skyler was very well written, which I’m inclined to agree with given the point of view she (my friend) outlined above. I still don’t LIKE her (Skyler)! I’ll grant there are a few moments in the series where Skyler came close to making me actually like her, though.

Walter White Jr.: I refuse to call him Flynn, but, whatever… Jr. comes off as a typical teenager except, you know, suffering from Cerebral Palsy. I don’t have a ton to say except that he’s well written and also probably one of the few legitimately ‘good’ people in the series.

Hank Schrader: Hank was another compelling character to watch develop or even ‘unravel’ as he himself said. Another character I don’t really like on a personal level, but Hank never deserves the full hatred I can muster for other characters. I actually found him pretty compelling at times, especially during the third and fourth seasons.

Marie Schrader: AAAAAA... No wait… I have a picture for this.


Marie was another unlikeable character that was written well… probably… I don’t know… she bugs the HELL outta me and I’m not sure there EVER was a moment where I actually enjoyed watching her on screen.

Saul Goodman: Lordy was he entertaining and a welcome addition to the cast. I would watch a series just based on him.

Oh, right…

Mike: He also deserves his own series, but I’ll settle for his appearances in BCS.

Well now that my discussion of most to all the major characters is handled, I’ll break down my thoughts on each season briefly.

Season 1: As mentioned the pilot got its hooks into me and the rest of the season clamped down tightly. Some of the musichere REALLY helped.

Season 2: Yeah… if memory serves, every episode of this season lead with into one of the biggest ‘You got PUNKED!’ moments of TV history that was utterly unsatisfying to me. Also, though this series has a rather plodding pace in general, this season felt especially meandering… possibly because the show makers suddenly had twice the amount of episodes in the season and didn’t really know what to do with it all. The symbolism of certain acts was also markedly more overt in this season than others. I won’t say I had a bad time, but if the rest of this series was this quality, well… it would have broke me. :trollestia:

Season 3: Something about this season felt like a rather drastic shift from season 2… in a GREAT way. The pacing… the artistic symbolism and other small details that lend to the story really clicked for me this season. This is my personal favorite and also has my favorite episode, Sunset.

I mean… the name of the episode is completely coincidental here, but any excuse to post another Sunset Shimmer pic, sure… Source.

Season 4: Another season I feel is great, though not as many scenes quite resonated with me as in season 3. Still, this season had what is likely the series’ most satisfying endings.

Season 5: The season certainly had its ups and downs and many, many unresolved plot-lines… Still, I had a good time and props to the creators for giving us a mostly ‘happy’ ending where Walt mostly gets away with everything and lives happily ever after with his family. I mean, not probably the resolution most would have thought, but man… that musta took balls to end the series on a high note.

Poor Jesse though… Hopefully, he uses his riches to better himself. I kinda assume he becomes the most kick-ass drug counselor after all this.

I’m guessing Todd doesn’t make it on account of all the moral vacuum he is…

Erm… Not you, Todd… The Todd in the series I’m actually talking about.

Alright, I’m guessing I’ve thoroughly confused those who’ve actually watched the series with my season 5 stuff. And that’s why this post is part1!

Also, I'm tagging Breaking Badass... for obvious reasons... and maybe spite... Mostly spite.

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Comments ( 11 )

I mean, I stand by my statement. Skyler was very well written; in the sense that she was relatively believable.

A rabid cunt, but believable.

Also, uh... did you give up after "Gilding Over All"?

>Well written unlikable characters
I have a buddy that hates not finishing things. He won't finish Linebarrels of Iron because the obnoxious protagonist is that obnoxious.
And it's even a series about wringing the asshattery out of the guy.

Yes, in a manner of speaking. I mean... full disclosure, I DID push forth after a few day break because the general quality of writing (minus some things I'll get to) and my investment in the series warranted it... I'll dole out more information next blog post, but the lead-up to Better Call Saul has already proved worth it.

>> Hashtag very relatable author problems.

I honestly hated Jesse by the end of the series. The reason being is that he only seemed to exist to make things harder for Walter. While I do like the idea of Jesse being responsible for Walter's downfall I hate that it happened because Jesse once again had an emotional freak-out and screwed things up because for some reason he was incapable of realizing that Walter wouldn't kill him and that he often went out of his way to protect him.

I gave up part way through the second season. It was the episode where Skyler is in the hospital, giving birth I think, and Walter is digging bags of meth out from under the sink. I remember watching that episode, and thinking, "This is it. They're never going to succeed. They're just going to f:yay:k things up time and time again." And I decided not to use my time watching people fail.

I guess it depends on what you mean by fail. I will say that the show eventually moves on from making Walt broke time and time again and presents other hurdles to deal with it.

And yeah, two is my least favorite season for sure.

I don’t know if I’d say Walt is a ‘good man’ at heart, but I think he’s at least a decent human being. A factor that I believe supports this idea is Walt tried several times to ‘quit while he’s ahead’ and life/the show’s writers just wouldn’t have it.

I don't think Walt would ever have truly quit even if left to his own devices. Even without the temptations set before him. The man's greatest flaw is his pride. Walt's pride caused more trouble for him and everyone around him, especially in season five, than just about any other force in the series. Even without all the factors that drove the plots of seasons four and five, even if he opted out and never took Gus' offer, all he'd need would be to see another ten "Captain Cooks" running around half-assing things and he'd have gotten back in just to prove his superiority.

In the end, really, he was a bitter, resentful man who once lost out on a chance to be great, rich, powerful, and respected, and he's felt cheated and slighted ever since. His meth empire was his way of "taking back" what should have been his if he'd stayed on with Grey Matter.

Jesse Pinkman

After everything Jesse went through, I DAMN sure hope the disappearer guy helped him start fresh somewhere else. Maybe he's tending bar in some Seattle dive. Maybe he's a roadie for some indie thrash band. Maybe he's a guidance counselor for addicts somewhere, trying to stop other kids from turning into him. Wherever he ended up, I sure as hell hope he's sober.

Skyler White: I tried to empathize with this character. I swear, Internet, I really did!

I didn't. She's a total fucking cunt. The only character even LESS sympathetic than Skyler is Marie. The only time I ever cheered for Skyler (other than when she stuck it to that asshole with the eyebrows) is when she SCREAMED "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" at Marie.

Walter White Jr.

Is STILL waiting for his breakfast!

Hank Schrader

God, Hank. Hank, Hank, Hank. I like Hank, but he's an asshole. Hank is a typical jock cop. He's a decent guy, he's got a good moral center, he's the kind of guy you crack a brew with on a hot weekend and joke around, he's got a temper, he shoots his mouth off, he's a little full of himself, he can be kind of a dick, but all around, he's just a blue collar joe doing his job, doing his thing, looking out for his, y'know...just a guy. A lot of the shit that happened to him is seriously fucked up, and the fact that his own brother-in-law was the catalyst for all of it just makes it WORSE.

Marie was another unlikeable character that was written well… probably… I don’t know… she bugs the HELL outta me and I’m not sure there EVER was a moment where I actually enjoyed watching her on screen.

Marie exists SPECIFICALLY to be hated more than anybody else in the show. If your cast is full of jerks and assholes, there has to be one character who is such an ultra raging turbo megabitch that it skews the curve to make everyone else look less douchey.

Saul and Mike

Saul annoyed me more often than not in Breaking Bad, but not so much in Better Call Saul, especially now that a lot of his backstory has been filled in, and ESPECIALLY after everything Chuck did. Yeesh.

Mike...is the absolute best character in the Breaking Bad universe. Hands down.

Re: the seasonal breakdown...

Seasons 3-5 obviously are Breaking Bad at its finest, but I do have a soft spot for season two and don't see it in quite as meandering and unsatisfying way as you do. For me, season two is the transitional phase--the metamorphosis from "man dying of cancer turns to crime to leave his family money" to "good man is turning into a not so good man and using increasingly flimsy excuses and erratic behavior to cover the growing mountain of shit and death he's leaving in his wake".

These days, I have a hard time REMEMBERING much of season one except a few key scenes (Walt beating down the jerks in the clothing store, Walt quitting the car wash, the whole bathtub thing, the mercury fulminate thing, and the very last scene).

I agree with most everything here, though I'd say the interesting thing about Walt is that aside from some personality traits which both drive him to greatness and heinousness, he proved he legitimately cared about his family in the end... and that even extends to Hank and Jesse. Truth be told, I'd love to see another season of him just... unable to quit... like... He knows he can do better and he won't stop until SOMETHING stops his heart. I elaborate more in part 2 of my blog a bit, but really... I feel the conclusion was a bit prematurely forced and that Walt had plenty of character development, for good or for ill, to show us.

Yeah, AMC's finish-it order on Breaking Bad deprived us of a lot of potential, but on the flipside, it also prevented Vince from coming up with even less probable ways to screw Walt and Jesse over. I mean, even with just the one season left to wrap things up, he STILL dropped Todd, Lydia, and Jack on us! Imagine what he'd have done with a whole extra season or two before he had to put paid to Heisenberg!



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