Why we love…

Why We Love Breaking Bad, Reason #3: Narrative Techniques

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Not to say that starting an episode in medias res is unique. Plenty of police procedurals and science-fiction shows start off in the middle of a plot, and then spend the rest of the episode forcing us to guess how the characters got in that situation to begin with. But Breaking Bad uses this technique so well, partly because (especially watching the show for the first time) there is so much tension, and mostly because, once the show shifts back in time, we wonder, How in the hell did the character get INTO that situation?! How could Walt, the square chemistry teacher, end up out in the desert in his tightie-whities, waving a gun around, with (one is led to assume) the cops on their way?

So, then, reason #3: narrative techniques.

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Why We Love Breaking Bad, Reason #2: Character Metamorphoses

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As part of a continuing exploration of why Breaking Bad is so compelling (see Reason #1), I turn to Reason #2: character metamorphoses. And, if it’s not already apparent, I’ll do a formal *PLOT SPOILER ALERT*. (Plot spoilers are something you can expect for MOST pieces I write on this blog, so, yeah, Roger Ebert would be mightily pissed off at me.)

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Why We Love Breaking Bad, Reason #1: “Cancer Man” (1.4) and the Beauty of Human Frailty

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Why do I love this show?” I asked myself this when I recently started rewatching Breaking Bad—the third time in two years, and on a binge basis. Had I developed a sort of addiction, on par with a methamphetamine craving? Was there some vicarious pleasure in watching a criminal mastermind get away with Machiavellian mayhem?

As the two-year anniversary of the show’s finale fast approaches (“Felina” aired on September 29, 2013), it seems appropriate to contemplate this question. About the love of—or, rather, obsession with—a show that, according to Tim Surette, “makes the rest of television look like utter shit.” (That was from 2011, before the show ended, but I think the terse statement stands up in 2015. Sorry, Mad Men fans!)

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