Breaking Breaking Bad

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.?

Aha!

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.

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8 Comments

  1. Personal experience is one of the reasons that I can easily accept when reacting negatively to Breaking Bad or any other great show. When themes strike close to home, it’s likely no degree of great writing or acting or directing can overcome the individual emotions generated by our human experience. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for reading. It’s a shame, too. I can appreciate the talented writing, but I just can’t stomach it (at least not at this point in time).

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  2. I’m huge fan of Breaking Bad and I’ve recommended it to others, but based on what you said, I can see why you wouldn’t want to watch any more of it than you have. I have a few friends who wouldn’t watch it either, and my wife started it but jumped ship as well.

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