Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Teacher, Mar 11, 2010.
I can't remember if it was on this thread, but he also did a Juicy Fruit commercial.
I've watched it and would like to be compensated for my time. What would you say happens in the show that doesn't serve strictly to advance the plot? To me gore and destitution don't count as worthwhile things to see in and of themselves.
Every why post
I was skeptical in the first two seasons for reasons related to this (and because I didn't quite feel like the show knew what it wanted to be yet), but in season three the plot becomes worth serving to me as the web gets more tangled and the characters become more conflicted and necessarily strategic.
I feel compelled to ask why: what, specifically, do you cite to back your point up? I'm not really interested in whether someone else likes the show -- I don't at all base my opinion on whether it's popular -- but you give no specifics. So what is it that you feel is so empty about it? That might contribute to our discussion.
You all better clear this shit out of your system before the show starts. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to go all Heisenberg up in this mother fucker.
This whole badass angle is the most annoying part of the show, bar none. It's like people just want the show to become a parody of itself. I'm worried one of these days Mr. White is gonna drive a low-rider through the suburbs and just empty an uzi clip into the side of schoolbus for not using its turning signal.
It was evident from the first few episodes that the show could only be taken so far. Five seasons just dragged out the inevitable conclusion. The tangles in the plot shouldn't be confused with well-written intrigue -- they're just betrayals of sloppy and aimless writing and more evidence that the only reason to watch this show is to see what happens next, because the characters, the writers, and the audience are all on the same page and can't ever see past the next episode. Ultimately, the plot twists (or really, you described them best as 'tangles') are caused by the characters all simultaneously yanking the plot in different directions. And that's entirely the problem: the characters still only exist to drive the plot somewhere -- anywhere -- and often in silly ways (durrrr...I'm a private investigator/total badass who works for Saul and the biggest undercover drug dealer in the southwest which is very convenient when a Mexican drug cartel sends two of its apparently most effective but easily-duped assassins to kill Mr. White. That said, the PI is just a stupid Swiss army knife character who freely admits that he doesn't know why he's doing what he's doing when he drives Jesse around during the 'training' episode. Apparently the writers aren't aware, either.)
Then there's the whole issue of the faux 'style' that the show tries: a lot of it is the cheesy badass angle which you mentioned and which really never sits well with me because Bryan Cranston never makes it believable as an actor. And a lot of the style is forced into the show with meaningless symbolism (like the eyeball of the teddy bear).
Speaking of the teddy bear, what's with the plane crash? What the hell? It's like the writers wanted to go somewhere with this and decided not to at the last moment. Lots of instances of this same thing happen throughout the show where they allude to some event or introduce some character only to tie off the plot thread when they decide to jerk it in another direction. For a show that's really only about plot this just seems like a meandering waste of time. And in this case it's quite a coincidence -- Walter just happens to sit down in a bar alone (which he never does and admits such) next to the man whose daughter dies of an overdose (a daughter who just happened to have a past drug problem which was introduced maybe three episodes prior in the forced dialogue of Jesse 'I know you have a drug problem...') and then is an air traffic controller and for some reason his emotions overcome him and both him and his coworkers become incapable of basic duty and cause two planes to crash in mid-air? Is this supposed to show me that drugs are bad because they have collateral effects? If that was the purpose maybe it shouldn't be so far-fetched.
More examples of stupid stylism:
- Walter's hat and Heisenberg costume. See above regarding Walter as a badass.
- Walter driving through the desert and he just happens to be listening to America's Horse with No Name. This was just transparent, superficial, and utterly meaningless. Ditto with the Wendy montage. Actually, every opening sequence and nearly every montage in this show is bad.
- Gus with half his face missing from the explosion. Sorry, but that's completely unbelievable considering the nature of the explosion. Aestheticized violence is abhorrent and lazy (no matter how tame) and makes up the majority of the show's attempt at style. All the hydrofluoric acid sequences for the same reason, and, well, pretty much all violence in the show since people tend to die in the most gruesome ways imaginable with a few exceptions (Combo's the only one I can think of right now).
Regarding Gus, he was a stupid character once he started to be this 5-foot-6 badass instead of a simple discrete drug distributor. When he ran toward the sniper fire it looked comical.
Jesse is the best character on the show but his reason for continued existence starts to become haphazardly written into the show too much after season 2 (I can see the writers penning him into the script revisions), especially since the only real reason he should still be there and not have been killed is because Walter likes him or sees hope in him. But this isn't believable because at the same time Walter is becoming more of a hardened criminal and Jesse never really seems to make any of the personal advances that Walter and viewers would probably have liked to see in him -- and which would have been a bit of hope in what is otherwise a really bleak show.
Walter's wife is a horrible character and I cringe when she bitches and whines on the show. And no character or person should ever be named 'Skylar' if they expect to be taken seriously, especially as an object of another's affection. She has the same problem as Jesse -- Walter is becoming more hard-hearted, meanwhile her character is becoming fatter, uglier, and a bigger bitch yet Walter still proclaims that she's the love of his life. Again, the characters are all pulling in different directions and the writers have no clue what they want to do or why.
Hank is incredibly stupid, although he's one of the better-acted characters and is probably the most entertaining. His wife's kleptomania is a pointless and silly attempt to make her seem like a deeper character. She works fine as a caricature of a middle class housewife because her role in the show should be ancillary to the other characters. Her character is what a lot of people do wrong when they write -- try to make everything deeper and just make everything more turbid in the process. There's a reason Shakespeare's fools weren't all written like Feste.
I pity anyone who is unfortunate enough to have to sit through a tv show or movie in the presence of why.
You have to admit, why makes some valid points. I mean, Walter started out this whole thing as a means to ensure his family's financial stability after his death. Even the most die-hard fans have to admit that the way things have escalated certainly paint a rather unrealistic picture.
It's unrealistic in as much as it isn't a documentary - it's a drama. Walter White is a compelling character because he isn't really a badass. He's essentially weak and fearful, but his new found "career" satisfies his deepest insecurities in a way that nothing else has. Despite that, you see how easily he's dominated by his wife and other real strong men around him when he's confronted directly. He's also very smart, smarter than those around him, and he's become increasingly devious and amoral. All of these things feel organic and true to the character - that's why it's a good show. The larger complaints about realism are true of any long running serial drama, and as such don't really hold water without that context. If you just don't like long form drama, then TV series like this aren't for you, but as an example of the form, BB is pretty exceptional.
Right. Because TV shows and movies often portray the most realistic of scenarios and human logic.
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