Thursday, March 27, 2014

A World Where I Don't Belong

We've watched the first three seasons of Breaking Bad and I'm pretty sure that's it for me. After every episode, my husband I argue over every stupid thing in the episode and every argument is based on my claim that the main character is a bad, evil man. He's not "complicated." He's not "conflicted." He's selfish, prideful, and does very bad things.  After every episode, I rail against Walter White destroying the fabric of society and my husband does his very best impression of a conservative talk show host, declaring my spin as overly simplistic while talking about defending family and being the breadwinner. When we turned off the last episode, I turned to my husband and said, "I would rather be dead broke than live a life in which my husband knowingly participated in the deaths of countless people." Walter White didn't start making meth because he had cancer and needed to pay for treatments. He was going to "break bad" before that diagnosis came and I refuse to let his illness be an excuse for horrible behavior.

I want my entertainment to be entertaining. I don't want want my free time to be spent grappling with scenarios about the saddest parts of living in modern America.  I don't want my free time to be used with arguing about the merits of an anti-hero, the rules of the social pact, or why Team Walt must be composed of sociopaths. 

Enter The Walking Dead. I love this show. Yes, there are definitely some pacing problems and the first couple of seasons had some serious issues in how it dealt with women, but here's the deal. This is not  a world I will ever inhabit.  As soon as the zombie/plague/nuclear/natural disaster apocalypse happens, I am taking myself out of the game.  I will be one of those people they're always finding on the show who has taken some pills, crawled into bed, and died peacefully while reading the fourth Harry Potter book.

So all of the seriously sticky ethical situations that the people in this world find themselves in are simply thought experiments for me.  If it's a zombie survival of the fittest, the social pact has changed and I no longer have to worry about whether or not I am aligning myself with a sociopath because the only folks left walk a fine line between morally reprehensible and morally ambiguous. This is not a world in which I live. And, while I clearly do not live in Walter White's world, I do live in a world in which I watch people die in slow increments because of alcohol and drugs. 

I know that I'm not articulating this well. I appreciate that Breaking Bad is a good show. It's well directed, decently paced, and the actors are amazing.  But on the rare nights where we get to sit down together on the couch for an hour, I have found myself hoping that watching another season of Breaking Bad does not get suggested.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't like Breaking Bad either! I thought I was the only person on the planet! Finally! WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON! Besides both being awesome, that is.


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