Posts tagged "Breaking Bad"

Why Does Everyone Hate Skyler White?

Why Does Everyone Hate Skyler White?

I don’t know, but even since the first season Anna Gunn’s character has been the sore taste in the mouth of Breaking Bad fans. Whether it has been the criticism that her acting is inferior, that her character is unbelievable, underdeveloped, or just plain unappealing, the criticisms have never made much sense to me. That is to say, I have understood the distaste for her, I just haven’t been able to pin that distaste on any of those sentiments. All’s I know is, America’s most famous contemporary TV villain has a partner-in-crime, and a pawn, and a nemesis, all in…

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Another Week Ends: Religious Justice, Self-Esteem Pathologies, WWE SummerSlam, and Jealous Partners

Another Week Ends: Religious Justice, Self-Esteem Pathologies, WWE SummerSlam, and Jealous Partners

1)  Well, if you planned on taking your kids to see Planes, thinking it would be the aviary of the Cars legacy, think again. As it has happened before, Pixar has created something seemingly unrepeatable, except unto itself (and unto scripture), and the Atlantic tells us what it is. Luke Epplin says it is the Charlie Brown that is missing in today’s films—and replacing it is the “magic-feather” of self-determination that any chalky character can stir up within to reach his or her dreams. It’s not that the cult of self-esteem is just the name of the game with most…

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Another Week Ends: Geistless Zeit, Tony Soprano vs. Walter White, Coach Taylor as Gentleman, Netflix’s PRISM, Marriage Apps, Hemingway, and Christianity as Marketing Label

Another Week Ends: Geistless Zeit, Tony Soprano vs. Walter White, Coach Taylor as Gentleman, Netflix’s PRISM, Marriage Apps, Hemingway, and Christianity as Marketing Label

1. To start off, Henry Allen over at The Wall Street Journal describes a contemporary cultural inertia he’s felt. An ironically self-described ex-“Ziggy Zeitgeist”, he’s now in limbo, the cultural doldrums, ht VH:

Now I am disquieted. It’s not that I see things changing for better or worse, for richer or poorer, or even not changing at all. It’s something else: The most important thing in our culture-sphere isn’t change but the fact that reality itself is dwindling, fading like sunstruck wallpaper, turning into a silence of the dinner-party sort that leads to a default discussion of movies.

Is some sort of cultural entropy…

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Bryan Cranston Reads Shelley’s “Ozymandias” (And It Couldn’t Be More Ominous)

Talk about Old Testament overtones…:

Catch up on our Breaking Bad coverage in time for the August 11th premiere by clicking here.

The Frightening Moral Logic of Breaking Bad

The Frightening Moral Logic of Breaking Bad

Where will you be when the Breaking Bad finale airs? God-willing on a couch somewhere. In anticipation of that day, the good people at Christianity Today asked yours truly to write something up about the moral vision of the show. And they kindly gave me permission to post it here. It probably goes without saying but I owe a lot of the following to pollo hermano numero uno, Ethan Richardson:

You might not expect an Emmy-nominated tastemaker to tell The New York Times, “I want to believe there’s a heaven. But I can’t not believe there’s a hell.” Yet…

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Walter White vs Raylan Givens: The Two Hats of American Law

Alright TV fans, the moment of truth (and consequence) has arrived:

You may download the recording of this session by clicking here.

Walter White vs. Raylan Givens: The Two Hats of American Law

Walter White vs. Raylan Givens: The Two Hats of American Law

You think you know me? Well, I know you Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens. I know you like to shoot bad people…I heard about you shooting that gun thug in Miami, but you know? At any point, when you were looking at that gun thug, did you see your daddy’s face?

These are the words of Boyd Crowder, longtime friend and archenemy of Raylan Givens, in the show’s pilot episode. In the modern carriage of the Western Sheriff trope, Givens represents the unbending, truth-toting hand of justice. And with this trope—of law and order and “shooting bad people”—comes the necessary prospect any…

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The Year in Television 2012

The Year in Television 2012

Since we’ve been talking so much about television this week, why not go all the way and do our annual recap? Truth be told, it was a slightly off year on the small screen, the first plateau in quality that I can remember in about ten years. A number of the top-drawer shows experienced something of a “downturn”, e.g. Justified and Louie, and new contenders were not quite as numerous. Which isn’t to say there hasn’t been plenty worth watching and commenting on. God no:

Top Twelve Television Series of 2012

12. Game of Thrones. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical after…

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Another Week Ends: Randy Travis, Prayer Book Poetry, Sanford’s Tutorial, Ethical Blind Spots, Breaking Bad, Bernie, Glorious Ruin and Cville Conf Update

Another Week Ends: Randy Travis, Prayer Book Poetry, Sanford’s Tutorial, Ethical Blind Spots, Breaking Bad, Bernie, Glorious Ruin and Cville Conf Update

1. An amazing, amazing article about Randy Travis appeared on The Atlantic, trying to make sense of the country singer’s hellish year. You may know that in August he was booked for a DUI after being found naked on the side of the road (his truck in the middle of a nearby field), and then last week he was jailed following a fistfight outside a church. Writer Anthony Easton looks at Randy’s dramatic ups and downs via the two most tried and true narratives about alcoholism in country music: you’re either delivered by God or you die. Easton notes how…

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The Lovable Lostness of Jesse Pinkman

The Lovable Lostness of Jesse Pinkman

[Spoiler Alert!] According to the Fresh Air interview with actor Aaron Paul, his character, the impulsive young Jesse Pinkman in AMC’s Breaking Bad, wasn’t supposed to make it out of the first season. He tells Terry Gross he didn’t even know that was the plan and so:

…instantly my heart kind of dropped and slowed down a bit, and (Vince Gilligan) goes, “but we don’t think we’re going to do that anymore.” And I was just – I was like, “What do you mean? What are you talking about? Like, what’s the plan?” And he’s like, “No, we just – I…

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Another Week Ends: Delta Malaise, Self-Deprecating Obituaries, The Hill and Wood, Breaking Bad, Bound Atheists, Fall Conf Schedule and more Dark Knight Rises

Another Week Ends: Delta Malaise, Self-Deprecating Obituaries, The Hill and Wood, Breaking Bad, Bound Atheists, Fall Conf Schedule and more Dark Knight Rises

1. First up, The New York Times published an eye-opening article about sorority rush in US colleges this week that’s been spreading like wildfire. It visits all the usual themes of the Law of group belonging: self-doubt, attempts at identity improvement, the need to belong, and our single-minded attempts to live up to a certain standard – no matter how much or little positive correlation it has with Old Testament/church morality. To illustrate how far the phenomenon of belonging is going:

In the early rounds, [girls] have only minutes to make a positive impression… Many aspiring sisters spend their summer working…

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Another Week Ends: Fans and Debtors, Reverse Psychology, Brooks on Merit Power, Batman and Walter White, Spousal Surveillance and Christian Technology

Another Week Ends: Fans and Debtors, Reverse Psychology, Brooks on Merit Power, Batman and Walter White, Spousal Surveillance and Christian Technology

1. From The Atlantic comes “Why Being an Obsessed Soccer Fan Can Make You Really, Really Happy,” a look into the camaraderie of fandom–which seems simple enough–but not only does fandom give purpose and an unusual chance to breach the confines of self-interest, it also provokes inclusion by way of exclusivity. People have the opportunity, despite their level of fandom, to be fans, together—to identify with something that’s not themselves, together.

The Penn State Nittany Lions Paternoville “White Out”

Trying to rationalize fandom can be a complicated, even futile process. But studies by psychologists have shown that identifying yourself with a…

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