Breaking Bad Confessions

Credit: AMC

One big advantage that Walter White has had in going from Mr. White to Heisenberg is that most people see him as Mr. White, the former wonder boy now high school chemistry teacher. The Mr. White guise caused some of Walt’s enemies to underestimate him and allowed some to not even consider the possibility that he was Heisenberg. Then, when Walt felt like he needed to, he could transform into Heisenberg and leverage that identity. (But even as Heisenberg, Walt still looked like the former wonder boy who was now trying too hard to look cool in a pork pie hat and out of fashion facial hair.)

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Heroes on Television


When I was thinking about Call the Midwife the other day, I thought about how I had difficulty enjoying the show at first because it felt too earnest. I have become used to series being cynical about goodness. One of the things that stands out in Call the Midwife is that the main characters are good, as are many of the supporting characters. Even the woman who steals an infant from another mother is not evil but is instead traumatized from having to give up her own child. It made me wonder what has happened to me.

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Low Winter Sun No Rounds

LWS_103_AG_0514_0202sizedCredit: AMC

So for now I’m keeping up with Low Winter Sun. I’m waiting for it to be more than a collection of pieces I’ve seen in other movies or TV shows but it hasn’t gotten there yet. I’m still hoping that there’s a good show here trying to get out but “No Rounds” doesn’t do much to support my hope.

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Wives on Television

Credit: AMC

On Friday, actress Anna Gunn wrote an editorial for the New York Times in which she discussed the phenomenon of people hating the character she plays on Breaking Bad (“Skyler White”) and how that hatred has crossed over to be hatred about Anna Gunn herself. I recommend reading Gunn’s editorial and I also recommend that if you feel that kind of vitriol towards Skyler White (who doesn’t actually exist) or towards Anna Gunn (who is not Skyler White) then you should seek professional help.

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The Bridge Destino

BRI_HD_0000_01Credit: FX

So he’s not the guy. Jack Childress is not the Bridge Butcher even if he bought the car that was left at Dr. Meadows’ house and even if he uses the word “dialectics” in his book. Childress is off his meds, whatever they are, and judging from his bathtub, he’s been off them for a while. In “Destino”, The Bridge wasn’t asking us to be interested in the super villain, it was asking us to be interested in ordinary characters.

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Tired and Bored Aug 23 ’13

It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing; I’m giving 50% at work today instead of the usual 55%. The other thing it means is that I will respond to reader e-mail questions.

As usual, all e-mails have been edited.

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Tired and Bored Aug 21 ’13

How to Write a Novel

As you may know, David Roberts, the excellent blogger over at Grist, is taking a year off. He has multiple reasons and you should read his post, but one of the things David wants to do during his year away from blogging is write a novel. In the interest of helping David, and any other would-be novelists, out, here are some links.

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Good Luck David Roberts

Credit: First photo is from David Roberts. Second photo is mine.

I love modern technology. I love having access to more information than I could consume in a million lifetimes. I love that I don’t have to wait to find something out. When Rooney doesn’t celebrate a goal 3,300 or so miles away, I know it almost as soon as it happens. When an episode of Breaking Bad finishes, my Twitter feeds lights up with overnight reviews (at least from those critics lucky enough to get screeners). And the best thing is that it doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the day or in the small hours of the morning. New and interesting information is always being generated.

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Low Winter Sun Pilot The Goat Rodeo

Credit: AMC

Even though every review that I read for AMC’s new series Low Winter Sun agreed that it tried to hard to be seen as a serious drama, eventually I had to break down and watch it. Not that I expected to disagree but because I was curious to see what I thought of the show.

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Breaking Bad Buried

Credit: AMC

Even though the Breaking Bad episodes we are now watching are technically the second part of season five, that is for accounting and contract purposes and means little to us. When Breaking Bad came back last week with “Blood Money”, it functioned as a season premier, resolving the cliffhanger from the previous season and setting the stage for the conflict for the current season. “Blood Money” was so good, especially in the final scene between Walt and Hank, that it can be added to the still growing list of classic Breaking Bad episodes. “Buried”, by virtue of having to prepare us for what is to come, is not an instant classic like “Blood Money”, but the good thing about Breaking Bad is that even its lesser episodes are still excellent.

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