Breaking Breaking Bad

by Christian Thomas Golden

I love a good story with an antihero. There’s something about Breaking Bad, however, that just turns me off. I can’t even say that it’s the decline of the antihero. I love Sons of Anarchy, and there’s plenty of decaying antihero there.

So, what is it? Why am I so turned off by Breaking Bad (I’m honestly trying to figure it out as I type this).

I’ll have to admit (disqualify and boo me if you must) that I’ve only seen the first few episodes of the first season. I just couldn’t shake the pit in my stomach. Why? Why don’t I feel the same way about Sons of Anarchy, The Sopranos, The Godfather, etc.?


I got it!

What’s the main difference between Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad? They are progressing in opposite directions (to some extent). Sons of Anarchy features the antihero who’s already mixed up in the bad stuff, is trying to get “legitimate”, but is really struggling (even worsening) along the way.

Breaking Bad, however, features a “legitimate” guy who turns to illegitimate means to accomplish a legitimate goal. The downward spiral ensues.

I think my discomfort when watching this is rooted in personal experience. I’ve seen people I love and respect fall down very dark paths. It’s the worst emotional pain I’ve ever experienced. It’s the last thing you want to see for entertainment. At least that’s the case for me.

No judgment on those who love the show. It’s just too hard for me to watch.