Monday, November 28, 2011

Is Breaking Bad about putting more and more pressure on ordinary people?

Because if that's it's thing - having to make decisions under lots of pressure, and those decisions leading to terrible consequences and even more terrible decisions that need to be made - then I can see how (a) it becomes a great but tough watch, like Mike said, and (b) how, after a few seasons, it might be difficult to find a plausible, satisfying way to wrap up the show. However, it's great to see the writers keep re-focusing the responsibility back onto Walt, any time it looks like he's going to run away from making a choice.

And the show has won a lot of credit from me by making Walt's wife (Skylar) a character who  takes smart, completely-believable actions. It gives me confidence that eventually the whole cast are going to be well-motivated and interesting.

About Breaking Bad's visual style

I'd describe it as sympathetic but impersonal. The camera (and the script) treats Walt, his family, and Captain Cook as people it likes, but there's also with a degree of distance: for instance, when Walt's lying unconscious on the carwash floor, or the Captain's in the car with his former cooking-partner, Emilio. I got the impression that anyone could die at any point, and the camera would just be happy to watch it happen and then keep recording what happens next.

A good tone for this sort of low-crime show to hit.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

OK, Breaking Bad is off to a good start.

It's done a fantastic job of creating characters who are either sympathetic or memorable assholes, and it's doing the 'reasonably smart people trying to figure out the logistics of committing crime', which is totally my favourite genre. But most impressive of all, the pilot episode did an outstanding job of conveying Walt White's complex thought processes and making the decisions he makes believable entirely via subtext and performance - no need to resort to voice-overs, clumsy commentary by other characters, or on-the-nose speeches.

Looking forward to Episode 2.