Giving It A Second Chance: Breaking Bad
I watch just about every TV show. I hesitate to tell people that watching TV is one of my top hobbies, but it's true. I love it. I see television shows as a great form of escapism - a chance to live through a character's life and leave your own boring, anxiety inducing, or just plain crappy life behind. My favorite shows are the ones that are the most ridiculous, premise-wise, because they offer the greatest escapist payout. Some examples include The OC, Arrested Development, True Blood, Weeds, and the most bonkers of all, Boys Over Flowers. Naturally, I shy away from reality shows and fictional shows that try to show "real" life. I don't watch TV to see reality. I'm watching TV to escape reality. This aversion to "real" TV is what, on my first viewing, made me dislike Breaking Bad. I'll give you a second to gasp in awe and cure my existence for not worshiping this most holy of television shows. I know. I'm crazy. But hear me out: That show is a BUMMER. In case you're not familiar with Breaking Bad, here's the breakdown. A high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with lung cancer. His family is broke. He has a son with cerebral palsy and a pregnant wife. He turns to cooking meth to make enough money to keep his family comfortable (comfortable meaning not homeless and starving) after he's dead. Are you thoroughly depressed yet?
I watched the first season of Breaking Bad about a year or two ago, and it was definitely not for me. My drug dealer show of choice is Weeds, where a woman sells pot to keep her family in their McMansion and maintain their above-average lifestyle. I'm not really interested in a show where a dying man has to resort to selling drugs to make sure that his family stays above the poverty line. I watched the entire first season, waiting to see if things would ever get a little bit better (or just crazier. I'd settle for an incredibly unlikely or insane plot twist). Sadly, I was still depressed, and I gave up on Breaking Bad.
Cut to about a week ago. I'd been having a series of fibromyalgia flare-ups, which left me lying in bed for a considerable amount of time. I'd been through just about every TV show on Netflix Instant, and was looking for a new show to watch while I was resting up. I noticed that Breaking Bad was available, and I thought, "Hey, why not give it a chance?" I decided to re-watch the first season, not only because I didn't remember much of it, but also because I wanted to give the show a second look from the very beginning. Maybe I was temporarily insane during my first viewing, and now I would love it and become completely obsessed. I've now watched the first season in its entirety for the second time, and I have to say, not as bad as I remembered it. Do I still think it's depressing? Oh hell yes. But is it watchable and interesting? Yes, yes it is. I even changed my Netflix rating from two stars to three. I'm going to keep watching, and maybe I'll bump it up to four stars. You never know when it will pay off to give something a second chance.
Breaking Bad Seasons 1-3 available on Netflix Instant Watch (and DVD)