Breaking Bad and BCS

I comment on BREAKING BAD and BETTER CALL SAUL so much because in some important ways, I think they are as good as television gets.  Pretty close to classic tragedy: a strong character destroyed by personal flaws, especially self-deception and hubris.   I consider them to take place in deeply moral universes, even though the behaviors of most of the characters are not exemplary.  All are human.   Everyone has redemptive qualities, loves someone, regrets something, employs lies and moral gray zones to protect themselves from the reality of what they are doing and the damage they have caused.   Walt is responsible for HUNDREDS of deaths (well, probably around 200) and people still defend him, and say that they would make his choices.   What a litmus test.  Never seen anything like it on the small screen.

Classic tragedy was designed for catharsis and social debate, for ancient Greeks to collect in taverns afterwards and discuss the fall of this or that god or hero or king, and what it meant in terms of morality. To discuss the meaning of ethics and life itself.   I submit that Breaking Bad (and to a slightly lesser degree, BCS) is doing the same thing today, and I love them. Vince Gilligan is a friggin’ writing god.

 

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