Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Return of Breaking Bad

Janine and I have been looking forward to July 15th for some time. That marks the return of one of the most raw, original, and intense shows on cable television. Breaking Bad has a rabid fan base, a gripping story, and probably the best web viral marketing campaigns on the web run mostly by its fans. I don't think I'm disclosing any spoilers, but please read ahead with caution.

I thought about the attraction with such a show. The characters are all thrust into a bad situation. Walter White, a chemistry teacher, and probably a great chemist in his own right gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. He decides to produce a destructive product  and commit several crimes to stay alive or to secure sufficient money to provide for his wife, teenage son, and newborn daughter. Why would we cheer for heroes on a show that would be considered villains in our world?

The characters, especially the main character is relatable. We probably all have that fear that we contract some terrible illness and not have the means to pay for treatment let alone provide for family if something fatal were to happen. We all think that in our darkest moments, we would do what was necessary to make sure they had what they needed. As someone who works in insurance, it speaks to me from a stand point of preparedness. It's really advisable that we all plan for the worst, but live and hope for the best. We all need to hedge our bets and hope that we can leverage the best results regardless of the circumstances.

Aside from this being a very gritty show, there are some nuances to the show that also kept my attention. Once Walter started to produce street quality crystal meth, he ran into problems that even legitimate businesses face on a daily basis. Our hero faced problems with distribution, with legal matters, and with defending innovations. I think of Silicon Valley start ups and how they begin to form a business. They rely on venture capital to provide funding so they could invest monies in expanding, protecting their products, and being the best competitor they can be. This show does a good job showing Walter's humble beginnings all the way to the ultimate glory similar to a success story of a good small business.

This certainly isn't the show for everyone, but I would recommend this to anyone looking for something really involved and intense. I'm looking forward to enjoying this as it debuts. AMC has been hitting it out of the park with their programming the past few years and I'm sure this season will be memorable.