If you like 'Arrested Development'...
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 23:09
“Breaking Bad” was the last time I took anybody’s recommendations for television shows. “If you like Arrested Development, you’ll love Breaking Bad,” they said. How very untrue that proved to be. I think it took a bathtub, filled with the remains of another meth dealer, crashing through the ceiling of Pinkman’s house spilling blood everywhere to alert me that the two shows could not be more different. “Breaking Bad” wasn’t the comedy I expected. There were no lighthearted quips or ridiculous situations remedied by thoughtlessly comical solutions. Instead, “Breaking Bad” served up a dose of drama that television had not seen in a while. Everyone I knew was talking about it to the point where it almost became worship. In fact, I hear more about Walter White than President Obama from my peers. From what I hear, he’s gradually progressed to be more villain-like. He’s also part mad man and known as the one who knocks, whatever that means. But these things all go right over my head, because I couldn’t watch more than three episodes.
The false expectation that “Breaking Bad” would be funny was evident from the first episode. The show depicts a harsh reality of a family struggling to get by, a son who’s coping with a disability and an unexpected pregnancy. The setting of the show could not be any less conducive to a comedy. I watched as Walt Sr. beat up two boys who had made fun of his disabled son and feeling sorry for this man who was so caught up in the struggles of his day to day life. There was nothing funny about it.
After three episodes of disappointment by false expectation, I gave up watching Breaking Bad. I wanted to go on, but it was too hard to get involved in a serious drama when you thought it would have you in stitches, laughing on the floor gasping for breath. From that moment forward I felt I was on the outside in popular television.
Most recently, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that people were referencing “Ozzymandias” the famous Percy Bysshe Shelley poem. I was so excited that people were talking about Victorian Literature until I discovered that the poem had been referenced on the show. My excitement on the literacy of my peers went out the window. I thought about the reference for a while, and realized that any show smart enough to reference the cryptic work of Shelley, must be laden with witty references. I love shows that put cultural references throughout the writing, and now that the series is over and I firmly know it’s a drama of exceptional caliber, or so they tell me, I might give”Breaking Bad” another try.