Breaking Bad is over. It’s been a very long time since I’ve enjoyed watching a TV season this much.
Earlier this year I wrote how my son and I fell in love with the show this past spring, and as we watched all 61 episodes over the summer, we grew to love the cast, the twists and turns, the scenery, and the brilliance of the writers on this show. And along with millions around the world (10.4 million to be exact), we tuned in Sunday night to say goodbye to a chemistry teacher turned criminal mastermind, and the carnage he left behind.
Not since the Sopranos’ fade to black nearly a decade ago, have I felt such loss of a series. For fans of American Idol, or Dancing with the Stars, there’s always "next time". But for BB fans, there will be no next time. Dead meth makers don’t dance, and Mexican drug dealers don’t sing karaoke for Ryan Seacrest. But as we saw Vince Gilligan’s name flashed on the screen at the end of the show one last time, I found myself going through the stages of grief. It went a little something like this.
1. SHOCK & DENIAL
It’s Sept. 29 already? I’m not ready for this. I just got into this show. I just bought a couple of Breaking Bad shirts and my family and friends are overjoyed that I actually like something with merchandise available to help with Christmas and birthdays. It can’t end. It just can’t. The world is now watching this show. Vince Gilligan will change his mind at the last minute. Someone at the network offer the creators a mountain of cash from the storage locker. It can’t end. It won’t. Someone will have more money for the writers.
2. PAIN & GUILT
Why did we start watching this show anyways? I shouldn’t have got so invested in these stupid characters. And of all times to watch it: Summer. Spring and summer. How dumb am I to sit in front of a television instead of going outside to do something constructive? And how good is it to watch a show about a man coming undone at the hands of crime and greed and narcissism? I shouldn’t watch this with my son. I’m such a bad dad. I feel so guilty for watching it. Pain and guilt. Netflix this is all your fault.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING
Grrrrr. Why stop making episodes just as everyone is watching it? THERE IS NO GOOD TV anymore! Stupid TV. Grrrrrr. Ok, here’s what we can do. Social media campaign to keep the show on the air. How about we ask for $1 from everyone in Twitter who likes the show. If we can do this I will help fundraise enough cash to put them back on the air. Those writers can’t say no to money. Walt couldn’t say no to money, and neither will they. Do they understand how many fans they have? I promise I won’t watch another AMC show if you bring it back. This will be the only one. C’mon!
4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS
Well, this is brutal. Watching Walter White’s rise and fall into an unrelenting pit of darkness was so much fun. What now? No Walter? No Jesse? What about Saul Goodman’s neon shirts? Wait a second, someone told me there would be a spin-off. A spin-off means it’s still on right? Supposedly the show is a prequel about Saul before he met Walt but this might give me some hope. Enter Stage 5.
5. THE UPWARD TURN
Well, Sunday nights are mine again, and there is lots of football to watch. Evening football on Sunday means three games instead of two. And there is that Saul Goodman sequel/prequel to look forward too. And by talking about this show on the radio and writing about it, people who may not have ever given this show a chance are now watching it on Netflix. This is a good thing. We’re gonna be alright.
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH
It’s a plus I drive an Aztek just like Walter did. I can drive around in my car playing Baby Blue by Badfinger, reminiscing about the good times, and just move forward. (A kid at my son’s high school even said my car was cool. When will having an Aztek ever be cool again? Never that’s when.) It’s time to look for another show that gives us the twists and turns and the "it was sooooo obvious" feeling that comes during an "OMG I can’t believe he thought of that" scene. That ridiculously gorgeous New Mexico scenery makes me want to pack my bags for Albuquerque. Who would have ever thought of visiting there? But apparently there are now Breaking Bad tours of the city, and the tourism in the state is going through the roof.
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE
Well "Malcolm in the Middle Dad" I would have never thought you would ever be anything else that Malcolm’s Dad. In fact the first time I watched the show, I thought "this isn’t gonna work, he’s Malcolm’s... oh my god why are they driving without pants, wearing gasmasks?" Yea, the Malcolm thing didn’t last long. In fact the big lesson here is you are only typecast when something better doesn’t come along. And for something better to come along, you have to embrace change and take risks. Bryan Cranston did both with the character of Walter White. And Vince Gilligan will no longer have "The-X Files" as his marquee accomplishment. They will both forever be "Breaking Bad". Until the next big thing comes along. Thanks for the ride, and goodbye guys. It was a twisted, ugly, disturbing, and riveting adventure that had us on the edge of our seats. Yet another "cable only" show that leaves traditional TV scratching their heads, asking "where can we get a show like that?"
JOKE THIS WEEK
As a guitarist, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my guitar and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for 20 years." Apparently, I’m still lost…
Evelyn Smith Gauthier
» Tyler Glen is a radio DJ on Star-FM. He writes a weekly column for the Brandon Sun.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 5, 2013