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Breaking Bad

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jtm

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Reply #150 on: July 01, 2010, 03:05:47 AM
a few of you have said season 4 should be the last, but i disagree... it's gotta go to season 5.

next season: balls to the wall action... walt continues his game (with skyler taking part), takes out gus, becomes the kingpin and then in the season finale (for the cliffhanger) gets found out by hank.

season 5: walts on the run, gets caught, then the trial, then prison. <done right, that could be an epic series finale.


diggler

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Reply #151 on: July 01, 2010, 10:25:41 PM
they've only scratched the surface with the Mexican cartel, so 5 seasons would round the series out nicely. Walt still has to unseat Gus, then he's got to deal with the bigger picture (then of course, his family and Jesse).

Absolutely loved the whole season. I haven't been this giddy watching a t.v. show since the first season of Lost.
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Cory Everett

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Reply #152 on: August 18, 2010, 10:56:07 AM
I guess I need to start watching this show.  I watched Season 1 in an afternoon and didn't love it.  It was okay but seemed like it was trying too hard to be shocking.  Does it get better?

Also: I work with AMC so yay to this show being good.


Rewatched Season 1.  Felt about the same about it, that there was so much untapped potential and the writing just wasn't good enough to bring it out.  However, I just finished Season 2 and I think the show got EXPONENTIALLY better as it went along.  The last few episodes of the season were AMAZING and now I'm hooked.  It's really grown into itself as a series so I'm super excited to watch Season 3 now.   :yabbse-thumbup:
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


Stefen

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Reply #153 on: August 18, 2010, 11:55:45 AM
Season 3 IS THE BEST.

Spoilers
Did the silly coincidental ending of season 2 make you roll your eyes? I hated that.
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Cory Everett

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Reply #154 on: August 18, 2010, 01:30:08 PM
It didn't.  Partially because I think half of it had been spoiled (and I knew that people had been disappointed) and partially because I do like that it elevates the show above "realistic" and onto a more LOST-ian coincidences & consequences scale.

And I like Gilligans response"It's not a random event, but in fact a cosmic indictment of Walt's life choices of late. And my philosophy is if you can guess it's the cartel, and it turns out to be the cartel – well, as a viewer, I'd rather be surprised."
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


squints

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Reply #155 on: August 18, 2010, 01:42:47 PM
I like how in Season 3, there's an episode (it may be the fly? i'm not sure) where Walt actually points out and says how weird of a coincidence the ending of season 2 was.
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche


picolas

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Reply #156 on: August 18, 2010, 01:46:14 PM
i'll defend the ending of season 2 until the day this thread dies. IT'S POETRY, JERKS.


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Reply #157 on: August 18, 2010, 04:58:57 PM
I'll admit, I was taken aback by the ending of Season 2, almost to the point of finding it anticlimactic.  I had muscled through the second season and was just so into it that I wasn't sure if I was totally satisfied with it or not.

The more I thought it over, I'm so happy with it.  I still have yet to see an episode of the third season, but they went all out so far with the first and second.  I almost didn't want to like this show because of the nature of it (kind of like how I didn't want to like Nip/Tuck) but I'll be damned if it doesn't amaze me.
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I Love a Magician

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Reply #158 on: August 19, 2010, 01:36:10 AM
the only thing i find fault with in breaking bad is that it sometimes comes off as a writing exercise. vince gilligan has said over and over that they don't plan things out and write themselves into corners on purpose. it's generally pretty thrilling to see how they write themselves out of those corners but you can still tell sometimes that they're pulling it out of their asses. i'm just getting into the wire (finished season 1 the other day, couple episodes into season 2) and you can tell it's all plotted out with no loose ends. the wire would never introduce something like marie's kleptomania and just let it fizzle out.


jtm

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Reply #159 on: August 19, 2010, 01:51:46 AM
you guys talk about the wire so much that i guess i should check it out. i've never even seen a scene from it. know nothing about it. i'd be going into it totally new.


Tictacbk

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Reply #160 on: August 19, 2010, 01:58:51 AM
the only thing i find fault with in breaking bad is that it sometimes comes off as a writing exercise. vince gilligan has said over and over that they don't plan things out and write themselves into corners on purpose. it's generally pretty thrilling to see how they write themselves out of those corners but you can still tell sometimes that they're pulling it out of their asses. i'm just getting into the wire (finished season 1 the other day, couple episodes into season 2) and you can tell it's all plotted out with no loose ends. the wire would never introduce something like marie's kleptomania and just let it fizzle out.

Spoils, including for season 3:

I made this exact argument to a friend of mine who is a die hard BB fan when he claimed it had no faults.  That drives me crazy.  I'm pretty sure they only have an idea of where Walt is going and everyone else is there just to get him there in an interesting way.  It only hurts the show from time to time, but really kills me is that IF they were to plan everything out meticulously the show could be amazing.  Instead the show's plot falls into place in sections.  For instance, had the show mapped out better perhaps we could've been introduced to Andrea earlier in the season.  Then Jesse's relationship to her, her son, and her brother, as well as the realization of the Combo situation and Jesse's general reaction to it could've played out in a more logical span of time.  Instead, to me, it felt rushed. My theory as to why is that they had no idea how to end the season until they had already written 2/3 of it.  

As far as the end of Season 2 goes, I view that as the biggest miss-step of the series so far.  Not because it was SO coincidental, I'll buy that.  But because of all the snippets they showed in other episodes leading up to it to make us anticipate the end.  ESPECIALLY the bodies.  It came off as such a bate-and-switch.  Haha, you thought someone important was going to be dead, but they weren't, gotcha!  Its cheap writing.  Oh and just because they referenced the end of season 2 in the first scene of the first episode doesn't mean they had the entire season planned out at the beginning.

Don't get me wrong though, I love this show.  Its' probably my second favorite show on TV right now. Thats the only reason I hold it to such high standards.


squints

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Reply #161 on: August 19, 2010, 02:44:52 PM
you guys talk about the wire so much that i guess i should check it out. i've never even seen a scene from it. know nothing about it. i'd be going into it totally new.

your'e in for a treat. I'm always super excited for anyone who's never seen it.
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche


john

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Reply #162 on: August 19, 2010, 11:38:14 PM

your'e in for a treat. I'm always super excited for anyone who's never seen it.

I have a friend who is just beginning to catch up on The Wire and is, unsurprisingly, enthusiastic about it. He told me that watching The Wire practically renders Mad Men a dull chore. By comparison, the stakes in Mad Men are so dismally low it's hard to invest much consideration into anything that happens. I felt the same way about Mad Men after getting into Breaking Bad*.

It's nice to see the love for BB increasing exponentially. It's a much more daring show (Artistically, intellectually, thematically) than Mad Men has yet to even attempt. To me, Mad Men suffers the same problem Inception suffered. It's so deliberately vague and emotionally thin that it makes it too easy for the audience to project a deeper meaning upon it. I'm not calling Mad Men (or Inception, for that matter**) shallow - rather than nowhere near as declarative as Breaking Bad. It's a pulpy show that wants to be immensely watchable and, in that effort, it's succeeds tremendously. The wonderful thing about it is that, for all that pulp, it still creates an emotional resonance that Mad Men has yet to touch***



*Contrasting the merits of twos shows based solely on their running time and shared network is a pretty ridiculous exercise. I can acknowledge this as fact, but it still doesn't keep me from not doing it.
**This declaration, however, I'm fine with.
***Though Don's California trip came pretty fucking close.
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Tictacbk

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Reply #163 on: August 20, 2010, 04:42:19 AM
It's so deliberately vague and emotionally thin that it makes it too easy for the audience to project a deeper meaning upon it. I'm not calling Mad Men (or Inception, for that matter**) shallow - rather than nowhere near as declarative as Breaking Bad. It's a pulpy show that wants to be immensely watchable and, in that effort, it's succeeds tremendously. The wonderful thing about it is that, for all that pulp, it still creates an emotional resonance that Mad Men has yet to touch***

Spoils for BB and Mad Men:

I disagree with this.

What is deliberately vague about Mad Men?

I would argue that the characters are much more fleshed out and realistically developed on Mad Men than on Breaking Bad.  Sure Breaking Bad is more "pulpy," in the sense that it deals with drugs and people, at any moment, can be killed on the show.  Mad Men doesn't have that kind of action (unless you consider lawn mower accidents), but thats not what the show is all about.  If you want people getting whacked go watch The Sopranos (I like to say that the sopranos was Mad Men with the constant possibility of someone being murdered).  Mad Men is about the characters who work in advertising in the 60s, and they are damn good characters.  Better than Breaking Bad's I'd say.  For example:

Don VS Walt: Don Draper is a bad person in a shiny wrapper.  But over the past few seasons we've watched that wrapper be peeled off him.  At first it was hard not to like him despite his lies and infidelities, but now we've watched everything catch up to him.  We've been along for the ride as he slowly deteriorates into the pathetic drunk he is this season.  Every realization (meaning every new lie we realized he was living) we had in the first 2 seasons we watched him pay for in three and now four.  Now he's alone and struggling to keep up with the massive change thats taking place in the 60s (which is something I'm not really touching on here but 1960s NY is also a cooler setting than NM).  I have no idea whats going to happen to Don, but I'll continue to enjoy watching his ups and downs.  Its been a logical path for Don this whole time.  From that moment in the pilot that we realized he had a house/wife/kids we've just watched his web of lies unravel and destroy him, and its been a treat.  

Walt, on the other hand, has been down a bit more unbelievable road.  Breaking Bad is, as you mentioned, pulpy...so I'm a little more willing to accept things for the sake of entertainment.  However, what began as very interesting (his decision to cook to support his family in his dying days) has turned to a more generic idea (greed, with cancer very much on the back burner).  Walt is no doubt a terrible person, but its a more predictable greek tragedy type of way.  Greed is his flaw.  It used to be that he made the decision to cook meth, a very poor decision indeed, and now we'll see how that decision ruins his life.  But now its been elevated into a more generic (and scarface-y) "greedy" place where nothings enough unless he's a drug czar and he doesn't care what he has to do to get there.  In my opinion that strays from the more real, more harsh places his character was developed in the first and some of the second season.  We all have predictions as to where Walt's character is going...he's going to go after Gus and try to take over his business, then as a result of his greed get caught and go down.  Maybe Vince Gilligan has something completely different in mind, but what I'm getting at is I have no idea whats going to happen to Don Draper.  His character isn't following a path I'm familiar with.  At the core of his psychology Don mostly just wants to bury the past, but as much as he tries he can't.  It comes through in alcoholism, infidelity, and a general lack of a conscience.  Walt's just become greedy because he's developed a taste for action/money.


I'm working on a larger response with things like Skyler VS Betty (I think Skyler is mostly there to serve Walt's story like: Will she find out he has cancer?? will she find out he's cooking meth?? Oh now she's divorcing him, but wait now will she join him??) Jesse VS Betty, Hank VS Whoever... but its getting late and I've gotta work tomorrow.

I love both shows, but I called Breaking Bad my second favorite show on TV for a reason, and that reason is Mad Men.  They're both better than everything else on TV but I think Mad Men goes for substance/character development where Breaking Bad sacrifices those slightly for pulp/shock.  Mad Men's just more my style I guess.


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