So I like Breaking Bad. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. Tonight I watched the season premiere of the final set of episodes. I haven’t seen the show in about a year since the last episode aired & I actually haven’t seen any of the episodes besides as their original airings. So my ideas of the show are pretty tied to where I’ve been in my head as they came out.
Back when the show premiered I was working third shift loading mail at the airport & I’d get off work & stop home to shower & eat breakfast, than go to the old folks home to make sure my grandmother was given a shower & got her medicine & ate her breakfast & do exercises with her & then hangout with her until lunch. Then I’d get home & work on the record label & comic stuff for three or four hours. Then read a little bit & sleep for three hours & start the day over again still exhausted from the day before. It’s also probably worth mentioning that I’d just had the final breakup with a girl I went out with on & off for 20 years. So I was in a pretty bad space & needed something to help me fantasize about having power over my life situation. So Breaking Bad was great. Here’s a guy with two shitty jobs & a semi-dysfunctional relationship with terminal cancer deciding to take control of his life. Not to mention that in my drug riddled teen years I wanted to become a chemist because I thought it would be a way to help people (me & my crazy teen thoughts on the benefits of illegal drugs). Also Walter’s mix between pussy & bad ass was pretty much how I felt with my combination of feeling totally weak & trapped in my life situation & my anger & frustration over not having any ideas what to do to improve it.
When season two came out, I’d left my third shift job & pulled my grandmother out of the old folks home & was taking care of her full time while trying to get my comics & music going a little bit more. Over the next two years (seasons three & four) my grandmother needed a little more care each day & my label kept making less & less money (as did the entire music industry). So as Walt headed into being more & more in control & being a bad ass, it fit well with my power fantasies over my growing frustration with my life situation with me eventually needing to give up working entirely as my grandmother’s health decayed. Also Jesse’s para-suicidal behavior & just lack of care if he lived or died was kind of where I was at as well. Hank being literally paralyzed & obsessing over minerals was another thing that was totally relatable – not having the ability to do the work I wanted to do & trying to find something to throw the small amount of passion for life I still had into (for me it was comics).
My grandmother died before season five started. I was at a point where I alternated between being completely numb & spontaneously crying. I couldn’t really relate to Walt anymore because he seemed to become a cartoon of himself by his level of superhero bad ass. Jesse seemed like his life had somehow been generally redeemed by love & I couldn’t relate to him either. So the whole season kinda felt like hanging out with a friend you no longer care for, but have no reason to actually break up with.
Now the second half of season five finally started. I really wanted to like this season. I was glad to know that things were coming to an end. I watched some of the interviews with the writers. I was genuinely excited about it. & I know I shouldn’t judge it based on just one episode. But watching it reminded me of when I’ve tried to revisit some of my favorite music from my teen years, it just takes me to a dark space I don’t need to be in anymore. By a lot of people’s standards, I’ve had huge portions of my life where I was in a dark place that I couldn’t get out of & be the kind of person I want to be. But now I’m at a point where I can choose to change things. I can choose to be happy for the first time in God knows how long. I will always love you Breaking Bad. I’ll probably even stick it through & watch these final episodes. But I don’t need to be sad or angry or bitter anymore. I’m ready to be happy & I hope that some other people are too.