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Thread: Breaking Bad

  1. #31
    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    What's funny is that as a baseline comparison, BB and Weeds are basically the exact same premise, but to me couldn't be more different. And, really, Weeds is kind of just dumb.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    I agree w/ what MG said about the reality level of the show.

    Twin-badasses = cartoonish. (Synchronized movements, silent, steely stare-downs? BB is capable of so much better.)

    I'm ready to get the ladies (Skylar and Hank's wife) more involved again because their husbands are more interesting when they are trying to deal with their crime/crimefighting AND their wives, rather than just one or the other. (I'm thinking Skylar, particularly, isn't getting a lot of playing time.)

    Just like with Mad Men, I am always interested to see how BB is going to find new riffs.

    I can see Hank breaking bad before Skylar does, but maybe that is just me.

    Robin F. wants Walter to get more criminal. But:

    Spoiler for Walter's recent crime::
    What Walter did to his lab assistant was so unconscionable (though necessary) that it temporarily satisfies my desire to seem behave like a criminal.


    Love BB (though not as much as MM).
    Last edited by COUGALICIOUS; 05-13-2010 at 10:55 AM.
    "I wouldn't give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."

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    I wonder what Walter is going to do when he finds out that...
    Spoiler for Prediction:

    ... in firing his lab assistant, the Chicken Man had to have him killed. The lab assistant would have obviously known way too much. Maybe by this point Walter is beginning to accept all of the collateral damage that he is causing, but I think when he finds out about the lab assistant it will be a bit different, because he could see a lot of himself in that guy.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFinderson View Post
    I wonder what Walter is going to do when he finds out that...
    Spoiler for Prediction:

    ... in firing his lab assistant, the Chicken Man had to have him killed. The lab assistant would have obviously known way too much. Maybe by this point Walter is beginning to accept all of the collateral damage that he is causing, but I think when he finds out about the lab assistant it will be a bit different, because he could see a lot of himself in that guy.
    Spoiler for lab guy:
    Do you think that's the last of the lab guy? I get the hunch that there's more in store for him.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    Spoiler for lab guy:
    Do you think that's the last of the lab guy? I get the hunch that there's more in store for him.
    Spoiler for Lab Guy:

    I figure they could go either way with Lab Guy. On the one hand, they had him articulate a philosophical position (libertarian), he is played by a decent character actor, and we got to know him (none of those holds for the two brothers). On the other hand, per my original guess, he knows too much about Chicken Man's operation, and all of that 'getting to know you,' could have just been an emotional setup for his murder. I guess the latter.

  6. #36
    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this little article, because whenever I recommend BB to anyone, I'll always tell them about the level of artistry in the show. I swear this show has more shots that look like they could be hung on a wall than any other show I've ever seen. I was trying to get a couple in our ward to watch the show just this Sunday and mentioned to them that whoever the cinematographer and artistic directors are on the show they need a raise.

    Do you notice cinematography on TV? Perhaps if you’re a cinematographer. And yet you can’t not talk about it when you watch Breaking Bad—and particularly in its third season. The creative team behind AMC’s grim (a)morality tale squeezes as much emotional juice from the production’s often breathtaking camerawork and location as they do from their justifiably lauded actors and writers. “The big skies and stark beauty of New Mexico have become characters all their own,” says Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

    The story follows chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who, after a financially ruinous cancer diagnosis, “breaks bad” to save his family, cooking up and selling pure crystal meth. It’s the American dream squashed to a cow patty, and the shots are appropriately wide and flat. “One of the first things we did before doing the pilot was look at what everyone else was doing,” says Gilligan. “We shoot the show a little wider than most.” And in the service of the show’s oppressive sense of free-floating anxiety is the production’s location, a choice originally driven by a tax break. Gilligan has made copious use of New Mexico’s desert environs to put a Sergio Leone spin on Walt’s Job-like struggle. “I love these images that you find in old Westerns of a solitary man against the sky, against this wide empty backdrop,” he says. “It’s wonderful to pull our cameras back and have our actors be tiny little dark figures against this endless landscape.” Michael Slovis, the show’s director of photography, says, “We are not only encouraged, we are mandated to give imagery evocative of what the characters are going through at that moment.” The result is a powerful “sense of removal.”

    Slovis has fallen in love with the desert palette. “You get drawn into the browns and the golds,” he says—and especially the yellows. A color often associated with optimism and happiness, on Bad it’s deployed with relentless cheek, from the hazmat suits donned by Walt during the “cooking” process, to the pastel buttoned-down shirt worn by Giancarlo Esposito’s drug kingpin, Gus, to, most ubiquitous, the deadly sun. “I’ll often counterpoint what’s going on narratively,” says Slovis. “It’s ironically pretty.”
    http://nymag.com/arts/tv/goodtvguide/66080/
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    I enjoyed this little article, because whenever I recommend BB to anyone, I'll always tell them about the level of artistry in the show. I swear this show has more shots that look like they could be hung on a wall than any other show I've ever seen. I was trying to get a couple in our ward to watch the show just this Sunday and mentioned to them that whoever the cinematographer and artistic directors are on the show they need a raise.


    http://nymag.com/arts/tv/goodtvguide/66080/
    This is totally true. I love the cinematography in BB, and have noticed a similar lusciousness in the cinematography in Mad Men (MM? maybe they are going to complete the alphabet with double letter titles.)

    Sometimes a shot seems to be set up more for the cinematic effect than for how it contributes to the story.

  8. #38
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    What do you think of Friday Night Lights? That article mentions BB's great shots of the desert, and I think for me the only show that rivals it in terms of panoramic landscapes is FNL. Those guys get some just drop-dead stunning shots of Texas.

    EDIT: desert, not dessert!
    Last edited by MarkGrace; 05-20-2010 at 01:52 PM.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    What do you think of Friday Night Lights? That article mentions BB's great shots of the dessert, and I think for me the only show that rivals it in terms of panoramic landscapes is FNL. Those guys get some just drop-dead stunning shots of Texas.
    Sure, I see the same eye for color and photographic excellence in FNL as well. Those three shows all stand out in this way: BB, FNL and MM. The look is 'cinematic.' Reminds me of David Lean, or how the city was shot in Lost in Translation, or any number of stills from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

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    Uggh... last night's episode, in which Walter and Jesse kill a fly, was a total freaking waste. With only three episodes left in the season, they ware wasting time with crap like that. There is still a lot of fertile territory to mine with this story, but with episodes like that, the viewers are going to leave, and the show will get canceled. That was a mess.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFinderson View Post
    Uggh... last night's episode, in which Walter and Jesse kill a fly, was a total freaking waste. With only three episodes left in the season, they ware wasting time with crap like that. There is still a lot of fertile territory to mine with this story, but with episodes like that, the viewers are going to leave, and the show will get canceled. That was a mess.
    Amen and amen. If it had been a really tightly-written episode that would be one thing (e.g., there are some Mad Men episodes that (in my memory, at least) take place between 2 people and work quite well), but I felt it was just indulgent and so so slow. Did it even advance the plot at all? I am thinking it didn't. There's gotta be a story as to why it sucked so bad.
    "I wouldn't give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."

    -Kyle Whittingham

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    Quote Originally Posted by COUGALICIOUS View Post
    Amen and amen. If it had been a really tightly-written episode that would be one thing (e.g., there are some Mad Men episodes that (in my memory, at least) take place between 2 people and work quite well), but I felt it was just indulgent and so so slow. Did it even advance the plot at all? I am thinking it didn't. There's gotta be a story as to why it sucked so bad.
    I'm sure it was one of those episodes that just saves money because of other episodes being over budget. It was definitely a weak show, but I think it advanced things along a bit, mostly with the relationship between the two main characters and Walter discovering that Jesse is skimming. The fly thing was really annoying though, and the way Walter was smashing his stuff up trying to catch it was extremely out of character. That may have been the point, I guess, since he's feeling trapped in the new contract he just agreed to with Gus. Still, throwaway episode.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by woot View Post
    I'm sure it was one of those episodes that just saves money because of other episodes being over budget. It was definitely a weak show, but I think it advanced things along a bit, mostly with the relationship between the two main characters and Walter discovering that Jesse is skimming. The fly thing was really annoying though, and the way Walter was smashing his stuff up trying to catch it was extremely out of character. That may have been the point, I guess, since he's feeling trapped in the new contract he just agreed to with Gus. Still, throwaway episode.
    You're right about the skimming discovery. I forgot about that. The fly was the kind of symbol I didn't like, because I didn't care. I felt like they were all, "you should care about this evocative symbol: the fly they just can't kill." Well, I didn't care. I assumed that his inability to kill the fly represented the futility of his efforts to be happy. His happiness is evasive, pesters him, drives him to obsessiveness. Maybe it could've been a few things.
    "I wouldn't give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."

    -Kyle Whittingham

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    I really thought that Walter was going to let it slip that he could have saved his girlfriend, or at least that he was in the apartment. I think it may come out at some point.

  15. #45
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    Finally saw this and didn't hate it as bad as the rest of you. Perhaps I had the benefit of reduced expectations and knowing a bit about why they did it -- I had read Sepinwall's explanation before watching the show. Here's what he said:

    I am going to talk to you for a few paragraphs about how the sausage gets made in television. If you'd rather not think too much about production logistics and budgets and whatnot and just focus on why "Fly" was such an unusual, incredible hour for this series, just skim until I start talking about "The Sopranos."

    But I want to start off with sausage-making because it was clear to me that "Fly" was what's known in the industry as "a bottle show" - that is, an episode of the series shot almost entirely on existing sets, with a minimum of guest stars. The idea is to keep the budget as small as possible, so that you can then spend whatever money you saved on another episode down the road. (Or, in some cases, so you can compensate for a previous episode that cost more than anticipated.)

    Last year, "Breaking Bad" tried to do a bottle show with "4 Days Out," the episode with Jesse and Walt trapped in the desert after the RV's battery runs down. The idea was that it would only feature Cranston and Paul and take place largely on the standing RV set and therefore be dirt-cheap. Instead, it wound up being one of that season's most expensive episodes, as more and more of the action began creeping outside of the camper and into the desert itself, which meant lots of location filming, often at irregular hours (a lot of that episode, you may recall, took place around dawn and dusk to get a particularly beautiful light quality), and that costs man-hours, it costs crew overtime, and it costs simply to transport all the men and materials back and forth from the studio to the desert.

    Still, the basic idea of that episode went to the core of "Breaking Bad" - that of teacher and pupil stuck together, getting on each other's nerves, and revisting all the damage they've done to themselves, to each other, and to the world at large since they teamed up. So it wasn't surprising that the show would try to revisit the basic conceit - nor that Vince Gilligan and company (here with Sam Catlin and Moira Walley-Beckett on script, and Rian Johnson directing) would find a way to do a bottle show as a bottle show. Having already spent the money to build the huge Walt-cave set, they were able to dwell inside it for 95% of an episode, with no castmembers other than the two leads (which is valuable, since most TV shows these days can only sign a few regulars to appear in every episode), and no other speaking parts.
    http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...ttle-show-ever
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    I'm 3 episodes in and wishing I had never started, while jonesing for the next episode at the same time.
    Prepare to put mustard on those words, for you will soon be consuming them, along with this slice of humble pie that comes direct from the oven of shame set at gas mark “egg on your face”! -- Moss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuthole View Post
    I'm 3 episodes in and wishing I had never started, while jonesing for the next episode at the same time.
    Ha. That's pretty much how you feel the whole time. What an awesome show!
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Thank goodness. Things are back on track. I caught up on the last two episodes last night, and the show is once again up to its usual standards, and looks to finish strong.

    I'm happy to see the direction they are taking the Skyler character. It is a great direction for the show, and will definitely differentiate her character from other memorable crime wives, say Carmela Soprano.

    Also, I really like the Gus character, and I am afraid for how they are setting him up. I would really like to see him around next season. And for crying out loud, when is Walt Jr. going to become a character instead of just a prop?

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    Last week's episode was still pretty week, I thought, and reminded me of the hazards of not waiting until the end of a season before getting into a show.

    So far the most recent episode seems pretty good though. That montage at the beginning was gold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woot View Post
    Last week's episode was still pretty week, I thought, and reminded me of the hazards of not waiting until the end of a season before getting into a show.

    So far the most recent episode seems pretty good though. That montage at the beginning was gold.
    No doubt. It was stunning. One of the better works of genuine art I have seen on television. A whole kind of painful existence wrapped up in a couple of minutes of perfect story-telling.

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    Wow. Good episode. This has just turned into quite the sticky wicket though. Shit, as they say, just got real.

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    Ho. Ly. Shit. That was insane.

    That was one seriously intense episode right there.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFinderson View Post
    Also, I really like the Gus character, and I am afraid for how they are setting him up. I would really like to see him around next season. And for crying out loud, when is Walt Jr. going to become a character instead of just a prop?
    I know the writers have said they are hoping to take Walt through a Tony Montana like evolution. I took that to mean that at some point he's going to be head of the whole operation. I think tonight may be a major step toward getting him there.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    Ho. Ly. Shit. That was insane.

    That was one seriously intense episode right there.
    That was a good one and with one episode left this season is going to end in another huge cliffhanger I have a feeling. At the beginning of the season I was thinking that they should try and finish this off after this next season and that may still be the case. I'd like to see this go out on top, so I think one or two more seasons are in order and then they should call it quits. Great show.

  25. #55
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    Vince Gilligan has said five years. According to him, that gives them enough time to tell the story they want to tell, while leaving people still wanting more and not overstaying their welcome.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    Vince Gilligan has said five years. According to him, that gives them enough time to tell the story they want to tell, while leaving people still wanting more and not overstaying their welcome.
    That sounds just about right.

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    I'm finishing Season 1 and I'm liking this show. I'm especially impressed by the acting.

    Sometimes I feel like our country learned nothing from Prohibition.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    It was a decent final episode with a major cliffhanger (to be expected).

    Some spoiler questions:
    Spoiler for Spoiler questions!:

    It is funny that Saul seems to have some genuine professional integrity. Is that realistic, or does he simply not know the level that Gus is playing at?

    I'm glad that Gus is still alive. How long will that last?

    Did Jesse pull the gun to the side before shooting? Is Gail dead or alive?

    The next season looks like it will start strong. This was the big problem with this season, dealing with the calamity at the end of last season resulted in a slow start this season. Next season looks like it has the potential to start strong.

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    I don't understand why Jesse had a problem pulling the trigger on Gail but seems to be ready to kill other people at the drop of a hat. It looks like its going to be like Dexters new season and take off right where it left off literally. I hope it doesn't jump the shark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rx GATOS View Post
    I don't understand why Jesse had a problem pulling the trigger on Gail but seems to be ready to kill other people at the drop of a hat. It looks like its going to be like Dexters new season and take off right where it left off literally. I hope it doesn't jump the shark.
    I'm responding to Rx Gatos' post, and what follows will be full of spoilers to anyone who hasn't seen the season finale, so proceed with caution.



    At the beginning of the season, Jesse had a revelation, "I'm the bad guy," a role he proceeded to try and embrace, first by using insider information to rip off his parents, later by selling drugs. It looked like this was going to work until he he began to empathize with the girl he met at the drug abusers' meetings. Think about it, no matter how many times Jesse has been prepared to kill, he has never pulled the trigger, and the mayhem has always affected him most.

    In contrast, Walt, at the beginning of the season, clearly declares that he is a 'good guy,' yet by the end of the season he has fully embraced the dog-eat-dog world where Gail has to die so that he and his friends and family might live. In one of the great/interesting ironic arcs of the season, Jesse becomes moral center of the duo while Walt becomes the amoral figure capable of doing just about anything to save his own bacon.

    Skyler is almost as bad as Walt. She goes off and has an affair only to return to Walt and join his business, all while she pretends to maintain some kind of moral superiority. Gail's last(?) words matter here, "You don't have to do this!" Skyler, you don't have to do this! The early scene showing a younger Skyler and Walt making plans for their future, taking risks because they have no place to go but up, was a nice touch -- these two are meant for each other.

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