Originally Posted by Teacher
It's just silly to say "this isn't good because there aren't real people like that" for two reasons:
First, we want to see compelling characters and plots, not everydat ones. Nobody would expect Tarrantino, Anderson, or Shakespear characters to pop up in real life; why demand it from Gilligan?
I expect Shakespeare characters in real life, and I think that's one of Shakespeare's strengths and why so many productions of his have been done with entirely different settings from the original and worked well. His plays work regardless of time and setting because there's so much truth to them. If you put Tarantino and Anderson characters alongside Shakespeare's you're either joking or retarded.
Second, he's NOT so unrealistic as there ARE people more or less like this. Most people don't start out to be greedy criminals, but money changes people. That's exactly what Gilligan is showing us: Walter makes horrible decisions out of both averice and self-preservation, and this has happened countless times in real life. Crime can become a nasty and very real slippery slope. Also, keep in mind that hates what he's become: witness his violent reaction when he finds out he's in remission.
Walter doesn't care about money for himself. If you seriously believe that you're just deluding yourself.
A few other observations:
The plane crash was what it was: a consequence of a string of bad decisions (continued and deepened drug use, Jesse's allowing himself to be manipulated against Walter, Walter's allowing her to choke to death, etc).
Yeah, it's sure nice to explain away bad writing with tautologies.
The assassin brothers weren't good at their job because they were stealthy and cleaver, but because they were careless sociopaths.
They were idiots. Durr...assassins get sent by a boss, then talk to a rival boss and then decide to change targets? Are you kidding me?
Mike is a fixer. Don't overthink him. He's paid to do dirty (and often boring) work. He's not really meant to be compelling; he's exactly as why described him, except it isn't a bad thing. Just as real fixers are hired to make things happen, Mike exists to be one vehicle of accomplishment on the show. The character doesn't get in the way and provides some excellent comedy to boot. I wouldn't change a thing about him.
The only thing Mike fixes is the bad writing and lack of foresight.
We aren't meant to see beyond the next episode, and that's the point. From the beginning, Gilligan has expressly stated in general terms what was going to happen: a good person was going to become a bad person. Even his reasons for doing what he does evolve, from being for his family to greed. The wonderful thing about the show is watching how[/] he evolves. It's very much character-driven, despite the great and twisting plot.
Oh please. How can you say we're not meant to see beyond the next episode when they foreshadow ten or so episodes ahead at times like the plane crash and its build-up? And your explanation is just as lazy as the writing in the show...durrr...we're not meant to see beyond the next episode? Since when? How do you know what we're meant to see, and furthermore who gives a shit about what we're meant to see when the entire problem is not about what the writers intend but how the writing is executed? Might as well say 'the writers meant to write a good show' as a way to explain away all the show's faults.
And the entire basis of the show -- Walter 'breaking bad' -- was accomplished in the first season or two. It was boring then, and at this point they're just milking it for all it's worth and I'm not dumb or bored enough to bother watching it.
All the crap about Walter as a deep character is just that -- crap. It's not really worthwhile to discuss character depth, especially because deep characters alone don't make good entertainment anyway no matter how much dopes like to discuss them. Some of the best literature ever written had completely lifeless and boring characters yet for some reason I can't discuss a movie, TV show, or book without some half-wit bringing up character depth. It's the reason Breaking Bad's writing is bad yet people think there's something to it. It's not good. It's the same tired crap drama focused on characters and the unbelievable events that occur in their lives against a backdrop that provides the all-essential ready-made affect. It's a crap recipe that produces crap like The Shawshank Redemption and its sci-fi more-magical-black-man spin-off The Green Mile, garbage like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and nonsense like The Deer Hunter -- except with Breaking Bad instead of prisons, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam War we have drugs.
(The above examples are off the top of my head and aren't by any means exhaustive since Hollywood is plagued by the disease).Edited by why - 7/9/12 at 1:03pm