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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So Long, Mr. White

So long, Mr. White.
It is a very strange thing, when the defeat of a “monster” like Walter White—meth king, murderer, child-poisoner, destroyer of lives—evokes regret in us, the viewers. We feel sorry that his “empire,” his life, his world as he knows it, goes up in wisps of smoke like burned-off crystal meth on a strip of aluminum foil.

It’s to the credit of everybody involved in the production of the TV show Breaking Bad—the writers, production staff, directors, show creator Vince Gilligan, and of course the actors—that this show can make us empathize with a man like Mr. White (played by Bryan Cranston, who was ridiculously, stupendously good in portraying the rise of timid, beaten-by-life middle-aged high school teacher into “Heisenberg,” the brilliant, efficient, resourceful, brutal meth kingpin, and his descent into his own purgatory—eschewed by his own family, hunted by the whole world, hiding, planning his own brand of "redemption," desperate for one final defiant act that would validate all his “hard work”).  

"Say my name."

If you haven’t watched “Breaking Bad,” then you’re in for a treat, you lucky bastard. Schedule a whole weekend to watch the whole thingYou won’t regret it.
That last episode is hailed by many as one of the finest hours in TV history, although frankly, I think the episode “Ozymandias” (third from last) could also serve as the show’s last.
I like Walter White to somehow survive the whole thing.

Speaking of monsters, it’s interesting to note that George RR Martin (author of A Song of Ice and Fire, from which the TV series “Game of Thrones” is based) says that “Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros.” Now that is saying a lot—King Joffrey (a character in Game of Thrones) does not in any way inspire sympathy—he is just a straight-up monster, through no fault of his own. After all, his mother is Cersei.  (Warning: Game of Thrones spoiler ahead) His death made me feel something akin to “unholy glee.”

Also, now that Mr. Martin has finished watching TV, maybe he can now finish writing Book Six of A Song of Ice and Fire.  

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