on October 19, 2011
This is a story about a guy who thought he could 'just' use his skills and cook a little speed and leave money for his family..This idea occurred as he was suddenly told he was dying soon, of terminal lung cancer, at about 45 years old. He got screwed financially -by his old pals-in a chemist patent (or something close to a patent). As a result, he is financially strapped works as Cranston is now a high-school chemistry-teacher, his salary- 40k.
While he is living the low-budget life, the fake friends who just forgot him, are really livin large. They do insist that he come to their big parties, why I dont know. And now,- when Cranston's wife spilled his terminal secret, they want to help him -now that he is dying. Make amends suddenly. He is not havin it.
Why people watch this is because it got beyond complicated. Cranston had to go over to the selling side of this drug-world hell when his young high-school student messed up the sales part of their partnership. That is when it turned into a terrorizing sort of horror flick. (I dont like scary movies with ghosts etc..but this, is different, way different)
When Cranston has to man-up, you see a transformation that is mind-blowing. He OWNS the worst Mexican Cartel thugs that are about to kill him. We watch them decide to try. I believe these guys could be real. No, the USA is not talkin about Mexican cartel. But they are here. One of the scenes, a head on a skateboard is based on a true practice done commonly in Mexico. One of the more famous killers for the one of the real Cartels often decapitates and sends souvenirs around. I no longer want to move closer to the border-out of the worst ozone where seasons are milder. I think I will stay in the cold north country. Even though no one is safe, not even in Vermont.
The whirlpool of events gives a believable picture of what drug dealing really is. See what is past the street corners and you go over to the wholesale side. It does not matter what role, in this world, that some person might think would be 'safe' to make a bit of fast cash. Thoughtful planning, great strategies- just dont pan out. Sleazy lawyers with brand new tricks fall flat. Seems everything fails. Clearly anyone involved, or just in the vicinity, can be killed--just to serve as a 'message' from competitors. Sure we have seen the 'let this massacre be a message to others, who would try to betray us' - this type of drug story has been told before.
Definitely its Cranston AND Aaron Paul, his right arm, that makes this into a sort of psycho-drama, along with too many others to mention. Aaron can not be denied as the crazy, street smart right arm of the gritty Cranston, whose life is like a runaway train ready to fly off the tracks.
Its not /just/ violence-its a compelling story. Its too real to deny. In each episode I expect Walt to be killed, or someone around him killed. Close calls are all over the place. Oh yes, people die or get mangled real bad. You never know who is left, at the end of any episode.
I think the drug-sellin+ usin-life-- is presented intensely well here. Intensely well. Cranston started out thinkin he had a month or two to live. He thought that he would get a little money to leave to his sharp-cookie/cool wife, AND his brilliant kid with some special needs, AND even enough for the future of their suprise baby who arrived mid-life, truly not planned. Seemed to be a lot to do, but he got there pretty fast, and all seemed posed to end well.
Its a bizarre, wrenching mess that sort of turns into blackmail. If Cranston does not continue to produce-dot dot dot. His wife is not dumb. Cranston tried to keep his dealin sidejob secret from her. And eventually she gets siderailed as well, while he is 'out walking' too many hours, too many nites. She pushes to get him to open up to her, he pulls back and avoids the truth about where he 'goes.'
He argues that he does have cancer, why should he not be allowed to just take a 'walk' when he must... She is just not diggin it.
Meanwhile, he learns to become at least as crazy acting- as the heavies who threaten him. The trained killers stir him to stand up, -face them down. Just a thrilling transformation of character. In my worst nightmrares.
"Walt's" stunning need to leave money for his family after he passes is hard to imagine. Where he gets this drive, to survive, while living with with terminal lung cancer.. As he sometimes chokes for air. He gets knocked down on the ground, kicked in the chest over and over, left in the dust choking.
still it goes forward, week by week. Its twistingly realistic, truly sick, and it stays real, ugly just like ugly reality.
Its a brutal visual of what 'the life' really is not.
The fourth season is just as much on-the-edge, just as full of new/bizarre events, as the first three. Unbelievable.
Personally, I thought Sopranos was cheesy and 'full of drugs and violence,"- yet with no worries, predictable murders, sooh day-to-day. It tried to make the most greedy/base/-bunch -of meatheads- seem to have a good life. It worked if you like to see guys with blood in their fingernails eat interesting gourmet Italian food, and go back to it. My opinion, Sopranos, were wanting to 'be all-Godfather,' and fell flat.
Instead, I see Breaking Bad as a true tragedy of events, NOTHING about it glorifies violence. No one enjoys the money being made. No parties, no fancy cars and vacaions and women throwing themselves around the guys.
Gut wrenching violence, new rules, old rules, it never gets slow and its never over. Drugs are shown to be a much deadlier business than most people can imagine or realize.
We generally are dulled by chronic stories of bad guys, with watered down content, or by the latest news updates. It seems that fairly young people actually listen to some of the dumbest rap, and watch some of the duller 'hood' videos on MTV. As if these fake rich guys and some cheap-acting young women are all actually drawn to the dream of livin-large-just driving around in 250 grand cars all day, doin nothin-what a load.
Breaking Bad blows that 'stoopit-stylin' fairytale to pieces.
The REALISM HERE is what draws me in. People dont get rich, they die tryin. Its real drug life, most people/, most young people, know that.
But seein a family man stand up to a very angry cartel boss.. is stellar, if unlikely. Cranston is tough enough, AND smart enough to hold the line. Buy some time. Minute by minute.