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Breaking Bad
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Townhallsavoy
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Re: Breaking Bad
The list of great shows that fizzled and flopped toward the end is long and distinguished.  Kudos to Breaking Bad for accelerating to the finish unlike:

The Sopranos
Dexter
The Office
All In the Family
Battlestar
Seinfeld
XFiles
Friends
St. Elsewhere
I Love Lucy

Even shows that had decent sendoffs (M*A*S*H, Newhart, etc.) had wobbled to the finish with sub-par later seasons that felt like the actors were phoning it in or were lazy. 

Or shows jumped the shark (Happy Days, literally) or brought in aliens (Happy Days again) and simply fizzled. Andy Griffith, Perry Mason also fit this bill.   

I can't think of another series like this that finished stronger than it began.  And there's little question (to me) that these last seven episodes are among the best of the entire series.  Darker, less humor, but consistently great.

I want to say that The Sopranos may be a similar to this, but I've never seen the show, so I really don't know.

But Breaking Bad is a 60+ hour long movie.  You can watch them straight through.  It's not a procedural.    It's not episodic.  I think that's helped it stay strong from start to finish. 
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Re: Breaking Bad
Wouldn't that be a sign that she actually dies?  That would be taking on her trait, correct?  She always makes his birthday number out of bacon.  This time, he did it because that's the trait he took.
That was the old theory.

What I'm saying is, Walt always ordered his drink neat. When Mike & Walt shared a drink, Walt ordered his neat and Mike ordered his on the rocks. After he killed Mike, he started ordering drinks on the rocks.

But in Nebraska, he just ordered his drink neat again.

What I'm saying is, I thought him making 52 out of bacon was a dead giveaway that Skyler was done for. Now, having realized that they deliberately showed him taking his drink neat, he's back to "himself"?


GH2001
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Re: Breaking Bad
I want to say that The Sopranos may be a similar to this, but I've never seen the show, so I really don't know.

But Breaking Bad is a 60+ hour long movie.  You can watch them straight through.  It's not a procedural.    It's not episodic.  I think that's helped it stay strong from start to finish.

You need to watch sopranos.

It's great. Not gonna get into the comparisons, which is better etc. they are both good in different ways.

Sopranos has such a arc to it. Some kid gets killed in season 1 I think and I swear they were still talking about it in season 5. And it was for a reason. If you saw the later episode without the first ones it would make no sense sometimes. I'd say sopranos HAS to be watched from start to finish to get the best out of it.  It's that complicated with lots of subplots going on.

To me they are both by far the best two shows this millennium. Up there with the best all time.
WDE


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Re: Breaking Bad
You need to watch sopranos.

It's great. Not gonna get into the comparisons, which is better etc. they are both good in different ways.

Sopranos has such a arc to it. Some kid gets killed in season 1 I think and I swear they were still talking about it in season 5. And it was for a reason. If you saw the later episode without the first ones it would make no sense sometimes. I'd say sopranos HAS to be watched from start to finish to get the best out of it.  It's that complicated with lots of subplots going on.

To me they are both by far the best two shows this millennium. Up there with the best all time.

Sopranos was a movie.  It was shot like a long movie and minutiae from season one was critical to season four. 

But again it was like after Season Five -- a fantastic season of television, one of the greatest I've ever seen -- The Sopranos didn't know what to do. 

Chase wanted to end it in with a regular arc.  HBO wanted more.  They wanted 22 episodes -- like regular TV -- instead of the 13 that made up a normal season.  Plus there were cast problems, people didn't want to do it, wanted more money, etc. 

There were only 86 total episodes in the series.  22 of them were season six.  That's a quarter of all the episodes and the material just wasn't there. 

So they stuffed it with an outrageous Vito storyline.  They padded it with dream sequences and frivolous wars.  They added people we didn't care about and nobody wanted to see. 

If Season Six had been 13 episodes?   I think it would have been great.  Instead it was bloated, meandering and a lot was out of character I thought.   

That's the difference here.  Breaking Bad is leaving at its apex.  If AMC had gone to Vince G and said, hey you have to make this final season 28 episodes, I think it would have suffered the same fate.  We'd have had bloated arcs about Walt Jr. becoming the school bully and Marie stealing from the Salvation Army and Skyler hooking up with Saul and Huell having a gay affair with Uncle Jack.  All just to fill the space. 

Instead, the show gets to go out strong.

One more episode to cap Season 5 and The Sopranos could have gone out on top.  It didn't. 

I love The Sopranos.  If Tony hadn't existed, Walt wouldn't either.  But I won't watch any of the sixth season again.  It ends after five for me. 
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Re: Breaking Bad
Sopranos was a movie.  It was shot like a long movie and minutiae from season one was critical to season four. 

But again it was like after Season Five -- a fantastic season of television, one of the greatest I've ever seen -- The Sopranos didn't know what to do. 

Chase wanted to end it in with a regular arc.  HBO wanted more.  They wanted 22 episodes -- like regular TV -- instead of the 13 that made up a normal season.  Plus there were cast problems, people didn't want to do it, wanted more money, etc. 

There were only 86 total episodes in the series.  22 of them were season six.  That's a quarter of all the episodes and the material just wasn't there. 

So they stuffed it with an outrageous Vito storyline.  They padded it with dream sequences and frivolous wars.  They added people we didn't care about and nobody wanted to see. 

If Season Six had been 13 episodes?   I think it would have been great.  Instead it was bloated, meandering and a lot was out of character I thought.   

That's the difference here.  Breaking Bad is leaving at its apex.  If AMC had gone to Vince G and said, hey you have to make this final season 28 episodes, I think it would have suffered the same fate.  We'd have had bloated arcs about Walt Jr. becoming the school bully and Marie stealing from the Salvation Army and Skyler hooking up with Saul and Huell having a gay affair with Uncle Jack.  All just to fill the space. 

Instead, the show gets to go out strong.

One more episode to cap Season 5 and The Sopranos could have gone out on top.  It didn't. 

I love The Sopranos.  If Tony hadn't existed, Walt wouldn't either.  But I won't watch any of the sixth season again.  It ends after five for me.

The Vito storyline was forced indeed. It was just plain weird. I'm glad BB is going out on top. Of course the flip side of it is fans will want to see more now. This is the end of it. It's good in a way but bad in another. Good shows are rare now and after Sunday there will be one less on the air.
WDE


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Re: Breaking Bad
I'm more inclined to believe his side more. His pure meth proves his chemistry skill level. He is no doubt brilliant in that realm.

There was an interview from 2009 with the actress who plays Gretchen.  She said that Vince explained to her and Bryan Cranston the history behind the two.

Basically, Walt and Gretchen were in love and were to be married.  Walt meets Gretchen's family, and he gets an inferiority complex about how wealthy her family is.  Walt just up and leaves Gretchen for that reason, and she's devastated.  Then she marries Elliott, the other co-founder of Gray Matter, and that perturbs Walt.

If they do reveal anything further about his departure from Gray Matter, I think it's going to be learned that Walt's ego and temper are what caused him to impetuously leave, but that he told people another story in order to save face.
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." - Dean Martin


Townhallsavoy
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Re: Breaking Bad
There was an interview from 2009 with the actress who plays Gretchen.  She said that Vince explained to her and Bryan Cranston the history behind the two.

Basically, Walt and Gretchen were in love and were to be married.  Walt meets Gretchen's family, and he gets an inferiority complex about how wealthy her family is.  Walt just up and leaves Gretchen for that reason, and she's devastated.  Then she marries Elliott, the other co-founder of Gray Matter, and that perturbs Walt.

If they do reveal anything further about his departure from Gray Matter, I think it's going to be learned that Walt's ego and temper are what caused him to impetuously leave, but that he told people another story in order to save face.

That. 

Or he found out something about Gretchen's family or something that Gray Matter was getting into that was against his moral compass. 

Could be anything I guess.  One thing's for sure, after this weekend, we'll know everything we need to know about this story. 
The Guy That Knows Nothing of Hyperbole


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Re: Breaking Bad
That. 

Or he found out something about Gretchen's family or something that Gray Matter was getting into that was against his moral compass. 

Could be anything I guess.  One thing's for sure, after this weekend, we'll know everything we need to know about this story.

The writer of the last two episodes said grey matter will play big in the finale.

Any chance Walt frames the rednecks with everything-meth and dea deaths, kills off the grey matter folks, takes over grey matter and rides off into the sunset?
WDE


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Re: Breaking Bad
The writer of the last two episodes said grey matter will play big in the finale.

Any chance Walt frames the rednecks with everything-meth and dea deaths, kills off the grey matter folks, takes over grey matter and rides off into the sunset?

That would be the quite the feat in a 75 minute episode...


GH2001
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Re: Breaking Bad
That would be the quite the feat in a 75 minute episode...

WDE


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Re: Breaking Bad
On Conan



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Re: Breaking Bad


Vandy Vol
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Re: Breaking Bad
THS will probably enjoy this...the "I Am The One Who Knocks" speech as written by various famous authors.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/walter-whites-i-am-the-one-who-knocks-speech-as-written-by-other-authors

Some of my favorites:


Quote
Jane Austen

“I’m the person who gentle folk hear after dinner, what strikes fear in their drawing rooms,” our heroine overheard the balding gentleman in the dark hat and spectacles remark to his astonished wife. “Perhaps we should take to Bath this summer,” the wife replied, changing the subject.


Edgar Allen Poe

“And so I come, heartily rapping, not at all gently tapping, tapping, upon the chamber door. Tis I,” he blustered, “and no one more.”

. . .

Ernest Hemingway

“I knock,” Walt said. That was all.


John Steinbeck

Toast crumbs mingled with butter and the Albuquerque sand in his beard. The auburn hairs engulfed the particles in a flame that would never breathe or grow. He had taken his glasses off but they left marks on his temples, like the skid marks of a teenage drag race in the Dog House parking lot. “I’ll be the one who’s comin’ round to ‘em,” he said, his spittle dripping into the carpet fibers.

. . .

F. Scott Fitzgerald

He glared into the vast obscurity of her eyes with an aggressive intimacy. He needed to hold onto this dream for which he’d paid so dearly. “Are you worried about me, dear girl? Don’t worry about old Heisenberg. He’s the fella who knocks!”

. . .

Dr. Seuss

“What do you think that it could be?

A horse, a cow, a tree, a bee?
You silly lady, don’t you see?

There is just one hand that can knock

It’s not a whimdingler come out of its flock
Nor a wackzinglit in a tick-tock clock

It’s a human hand and it’s on a spree
That hand is free and belongs to me.”
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." - Dean Martin


Townhallsavoy
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Re: Breaking Bad
My favorite:

Quote
Ernest Hemingway

“I knock,” Walt said. That was all.

Because it's dry and pointless, just like all of Hemingway's writing outside of Hills like White Elephants. 
The Guy That Knows Nothing of Hyperbole


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Townhallsavoy
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Re: Breaking Bad
Jesse Pinkman has lived the worst life imaginable.  (Serious spoilers!) 

Mash it:

http://mashable.com/2013/09/27/jesse-pinkman-supercut/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=rss 

At first I was laughing but by the end of the video, I started to really feel fudgeing bad for him.
The Guy That Knows Nothing of Hyperbole


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Re: Breaking Bad

Interesting read. The Shield was an epic show.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/09/breaking_bad_finale_is_poised_to_echo_the_great_fx_show_the_shield.html

My favorite TV show is a Shakespearean tragedy in which the antihero’s sins, spinning out from a fatal decision he makes in the pilot, slowly destroy everyone around him. The main character insists he’s doing it all for his family—but he’s lying, especially to himself. There’s a lot of collateral damage, but this murderer’s worst crime might be the corruption of his vulnerable younger partner. The show maintains a remarkable level of quality throughout its run, and helped put its network on the map. It was largely carried by a great performance from its lead actor, a man previously known mainly for comedy who transformed himself into an Emmy-winning badass.

Of course, I’m talking about The Shield.

As Breaking Bad winds down, conventional wisdom says it’s a contender for Best Show Ever, along with The Wire and The Sopranos. No argument there. But major argument here: The Shield should be in that conversation, too. Shawn Ryan’s saga of Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and the Strike Team, which aired on FX from 2002 to 2008, remains—pardon the expression—criminally underrated. It was every bit as riveting and consistent as Breaking Bad. And the two shows are also remarkably similar. In many ways, The Shield was Breaking Bad before Breaking Bad.

There are notable differences between the two shows, of course, but these are fairly obvious and largely superficial. The deliberate pacing of Breaking Bad is a long way from the frenetic action of The Shield and its shaky-cam visuals (developed by director Clark Johnson in the FX series’ pilot). The Shield is a cop show, and Breaking Bad is a criminal show—though you could argue that both are criminal shows when you really get down to it. The Shield also had more simultaneous storylines going on than Breaking Bad has. (The best of these plots were usually the cases worked by Jay Karnes’ Dutch and CCH Pounder’s Claudette—the show’s good cops, who were no less complex than the bad ones.)

The similarities, on the other hand, are much more extensive—and downright uncanny. They start with the backgrounds of their creators, Shawn Ryan and Vince Gilligan, who each learned the ropes of the TV business in the geekier parts of town (Ryan on Angel and Gilligan on The X-Files). Their stars also share unlikely career paths and transcendent skills. Like Bryan Cranston, Michael Chiklis won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series after his show’s first season, impressing the award’s voters with his versatility after years doing lighter fare. Cranston won two more and counting; for reasons I’ll never fathom, The Shield fell off the awards radar after a while. Both Chiklis and Cranston have a remarkable ability to convey the fundamental humanity of their characters, even while doing horrible, terrible things. We see Walt let a choking woman die and watch Vic burn a guy’s face on a stove, and yet it is nearly impossible to turn on them completely.

Similarly, Vic’s and Walt’s second bananas—rogue cop Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins) and meth cook Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)—evoke our sympathies despite engaging in many of the same gruesome activities as the big kahunas. Pinkman is so sympathetic and long-suffering you forget that the show’s “moral center” is a drug-making, drug-selling, murdering junkie. On The Shield, Shane Vendrell was even worse; he eventually murders team and family members. Yet his vulnerability, much like Jesse’s, never allows you to write him off as a human being.

These characters retain much of their sympathy for us in large part because they are manipulated and warped by their older partners. The two cops on The Shield have a big brother–little brother vibe; the meth cooks are more of a father-son duo. But in both cases the older partner ends up destroying the life of the younger, more fragile member of the team. Shane’s sins are, to a significant degree, Vic’s fault, just as Walt is largely to blame for some of the worst things Jesse’s done. And on both shows, the younger partner is more damaged and consumed by guilt than his mentor.

There are smaller similarities as well. Bumbling Detective Steve Billings on The Shield provided comic relief in the manner of Breaking Bad’s sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman. Breaking Bad had a severed head on a turtle; The Shield had severed feet all over the place, thanks to the foot-chopping Armenian maniac played by eventual Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. Vic and the gang burned corpses; Walt and Jesse dissolved them. And Vic’s wife Corrine (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) was at times loathed by misogynistic fans, much as Walt’s wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) has been.

Lastly, both shows hit it out of the park in their final seasons. (Granted, the ball hasn’t reached the stands yet for Breaking Bad, but the trajectory is good.) “I’ve said for a long time that the best final season of any one of these kinds of shows is The Shield,” Alan Sepinwall recently told Bill Simmons, “and it’s such a good season that it kind of drags The Shield into the pantheon all by itself.” I disagree that The Shield needed to be dragged anywhere, but I can live with Sepinwall’s assessment of the current Breaking Bad season: “I think this year is a better version of that so far.” Both seasons are brutal, logical culminations of a series’ worth of conflict.

The reason these final seasons are spectacular is that they fulfill the Shakespearean promise of the shows’ pilots. Both protagonists doom themselves the first time we meet them: Vic shoots another cop in the face, and Walt starts cooking crystal meth. All the catastrophes that follow spring from these acts. Whatever comes next, Vic and Walt have only themselves to blame for their downfalls. For my money, this makes their stories more satisfying and rich than those of Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan, Jimmy McNulty, Jax Teller, and so on—who all make terrible mistakes but seem fundamentally screwed by a set of institutions, their families, a personal trauma, or some combination of the three. Vic is a victim of Vic; Walt is a victim of Walt.

After Sunday night, we’ll be able to compare their fates and the shows’ finales. The Shield ended with a cathartic, karmic hellstorm that finished off the series unpredictably yet fittingly. We still don’t know if Walt will go to Belize or how he might get there. As with The Shield, I suspect the fate of the lead’s partner may be even more devastating than the fate of the lead. I just hope it works out for those crazy kids Lydia and Todd.

Whatever happens, Breaking Bad will have a spot in the TV pantheon—right next to The Shield.


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Re: Breaking Bad
Bravo Lurking Tiger! Tremendous top-notch analysis comparing the two series. 


GH2001
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Re: Breaking Bad
Well then. That wrapped up nicely. Especially for Jesse and Walts family. No questions to ask really. Nothing obvious anyway. Pretty much wrapped up the loose ends. Bravo BB.
WDE


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Re: Breaking Bad
Well then. That wrapped up nicely. Especially for Jesse and Walts family. No questions to ask really. Nothing obvious anyway. Pretty much wrapped up the loose ends. Bravo BB.

It kind of surprised me.  It was the most logical way to end it given what we knew up to the series finale, but I had assumed that Vince would end it with some unexpected twist.
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." - Dean Martin