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Monday, September 26, 2011

Crawl Space

After many months of trying, I came to a conclusion last night: Breaking Bad will probably not be one of my favorite all-time TV shows.

I say this fully acknowledging the show is very well-written, acted, and produced, but at the end of the day (moreover, when I'm thinking about something to watch over dinner), I cannot join my friends in the near-universal praise.

I played catch-up with the series during its hiatus before season four began, so this is my first season I've watched week-to-week. And I've passed the point of whether or not I should continue watching the show. I don't hate the show per se; I can't give up on a show with characters I've taken a lot of time to know. I want to know how the series will end, so I'm hanging on through the end of this season and I will watch its final, fifth season when it airs.

Without going into spoiler territory, I point towards never-ending chasing of tails. When there's a problem that seemingly can't reach an easy solution, no matter how much it's between a rock and a hard place, eventually there is a clever solution. And it's usually an unpredictable solution, making things very engaging to see happen, albeit to a fault.

What also doesn't help: pacing. Plenty of episodes have long, drawn-out moments of discussion that sometimes can test the audience's patience. Alas, when a brutally violent confrontation or sequence occurs, all is forgiven.

But at what cost? Plenty to me.

There seems to be a certain, mostly male, attitude that loves this show. And guess what? I don't have it.

Although certain people I know, like my friend Millicent and my expert friends Donna and Noel (who have reviewed and been with the show since its pilot episode) have optimistic views on life, many males I've encountered can't get enough of this show because they see adult life as an ongoing series of disappointments. It's like, this show is an escape from the drabness of being lonely, broke, bitter, and disaffected. In other words, places in life I'm not at, or have been at before and don't want to be at again.

Again, I have not sampled a little of this show and said, "Eh." I've been on the rollercoaster and I don't want to get off of it. All I'm saying: do not expect me to own the entire series on Blu-ray or to be a part of the ongoing critical echo.

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