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Steve Wacksman
Breaking Bad
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Few television shows have captured my attention that way Breaking Bad has. Mrs W and I consider it appointment viewing and often discuss the show for days following it's airing.
In short, the show follows Walter White ( played expertly by Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher living in New Mexico. Early in the story Mr White is diagnosed with lung Cancer and the prognosis is grim. Taking stock of his estate, White realizes that he will be leaving his wife, 16 year old son and soon-to-be-born daughter in severe financial straits upon shaking off his mortal coil. Ever the pragmatist, he decides to put his chemistry expertise to good use - he recruits a former nee'r-do-well student as a partner and begins cooking the purest and most potent crystal methamphetamine the Southwest has ever seen.

A compelling premise, to be certain. But what makes the show stand out is it's unerring complexity. Life, as they say, never travels in a straight line, and Walter White's life takes him on a jagged, looping and often harrowing path. His resolve is tested; he is forced to confront disorder, chaos and fear. In short order the experience becomes transformative, and he is made to face the duality that is beginning to define him: A man who wants to educate young people yet provides them with addictive poisons. A man who wants to provide for his family yet strains the familial bonds with deception and emotional distance. A man with a moral compass gone haywire driven by greed and desperation.

This image is one I was inspired to do after last week's episode. It depicts Walter and Jesse and references their Winnebago which serves as their mobile meth lab.


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