August 12, 2013

I'm pretty sure I could get myself fired for this, but it's time to admit it: I've never seen an episode of Breaking Bad. It's been on my to do list for ages– my friend C. loaned me his DVDs of the first season a full three years ago now, and since C. is the person who got me hooked on The Wire it's not like I had any reason to mistrust him. Though the issue isn't that I think I won't like it (oh, god, I don't think I could take the ostracism); it's just that there's never been a time in that period when it's seemed like a good idea to sit down and absord a wrenching drama about the failures of the American health care system and the depths to which desperation and fear can drive an otherwise sane and rational person. I'm twenty six and irregularly employed. I don't need any more anxiety in my life. 

And then, you know, the longer I waited the more of it there was to watch. Now part of me hopes that the last season disappoints everyone spectacularly and I can just write the whole thing off, which is how I handled Lost, but that doesn't seem fair, either, to me or the show. Whatever happens in these last eight episodes it's clearly a groundbreaking show, worth watching certainly in part if not in whole. (Though based on the scattered reactions I've seen so far they're off to a pretty excellent start.) Last night I indulged myself in my usual mindless TV shows (True Blood, which is kind of redeeming itself with campy weirdness, and which is making such spectacular use of Sara Newland that I kind of love it again, and the premiere of Bravo's new reality series Eat, Drink, Love, which we'll discuss at a later date–) but today I'm making a fresh start: I will watch one episode of Breaking Bad every day until I'm caught up. I probably won't make it in time to catch the last episode airing live, but at least I'll be back somewhere closer to the cultural zeitgeist. And I'll probably write about what I'm seeing along the way as I try to catch up on what I know perfectly well I should have been watching all along. 

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