Student sets out to review everything in existence. Fails miserably.
Breaking Bad started its fifth and final season recently, and my, it’s a cracking bit of telly isn’t it? Following Walter White’s journey from quiet chemistry teacher through to bald drug dealer with a beard, and all that drama with his brother-in-law who leads the anti-drug squad. I’m so glad that after all this time nothing bad has happened to him. What kind of TV show would let bad things happen to their lovable protagonist?
(I have no idea what this picture is doing here.)
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’ve only actually watched the first episode of season one, and beyond what I’ve gained from pop culture osmosis, I know absolutely nothing else about the show. However, that’s all about to change. I’ve got my Netflix free trial, I’ve got a few weeks to kill, and I’m going to catch up on my TV. Here are a few reasons why it’s going to be fantastic.
I’ve never been very good at joining in with popular things on time. I started watching Game of Thrones on my flatmate’s recommendation long after season 2 had already finished, and it took me until a few weeks ago to realise that this ‘Die Hard’ thing might actually be worth a watch. As a result, whenever my friends start discussing what happened in their favourite show last night, I end up nodding and smiling like… well, like me in a conversation about anything other than films, it would seem. But no more. Granted, my knowledge is rather specialised, focusing entirely as it does on the pilot, but my new status as someone catching up on a TV show comes with a great privelige; I get to annoy the hell out of my friends. Now, whenever conversation turns to Breaking Bad I can just announce that I don’t want it spoiling, and either ensure a shift of topic or force them to speak in a hilariously convoluted code involving phrases like ‘you know… that guy. With the thing’. In my opinion, that is worth it in itself.
There’s more. Have you ever finished a book, eagerly looked online to buy the next instalment, and felt the soul-crushing despair of discovering it’s not going to be released for another few years? I have. Earlier this year I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire. Naturally being a geek with nothing better to do I tore through them as fast as I could, and now I find myself faced with a problem; I have no idea when the next one will be coming out. I have no idea who’s going to die, who’s going to lose everything they love, who’s going to come out on top through spectacular displays of bastardy. Put simply, I can’t wait for the next one, but because I read them so quickly and the production time is so slow, I’m going to be stuck waiting for a long time. And that, dear readers, is a special kind of evil.
(Here it is again. I really don’t know why this keeps happening.)
However, with Breaking Bad, this isn’t going to be an issue. By the time I’ve caught up with it, the show will be over and done with. There’ll be no long wait for the next series, no worrying about if it’ll be cancelled or not (*coughFireflycough*). I can simply binge to my heart’s content.
Sure, you could make the argument that the cliffhangers that episodes inevitably end on are supposed to leave you on tenterhooks for the rest of the week, but that’s purely a matter of taste. I’ve never been that patient. In fact, I’ve been known to eat half-raw meat because I couldn’t be bothered to wait for it to cook, so I don’t think this is really going to be an argument that appeals to me.
Artistically, being late to the party with a TV show is more appealing to me as well. Think of every time you’ve re-watched something and picked up on a bit of symbolism or foreshadowing that you missed the first time through. Spread over multiple seasons, things like that are easily overlooked. However, if you start watching a show like I intend to (all in one go with a multipack of biscuits and increasingly atrophied muscles), all the hard work the writers and crew put into it will be more apparent, and as a result the show should be more interesting.
And that, dear readers, is how you justify to yourself spending a week not doing anything.
Adam apologises for the poor quality of this post. He wrote it on the same day that Total War: Rome 2 arrived and as a result he has been rather distracted.