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Old October 10 2013, 08:55 PM   #923
stj
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Re: Breaking Bad Final Half Season

Insofar as Breaking Bad approached tragedy, it was the tragedy of a normally good person breaking and becoming an evil one. Turning it into a story of a normally bad person becoming a somewhat worse person, but for understandable reasons? That's pulling punches, triviality.

This country has two kinds of popular secular morality, one of which is informed by nondenominational religions leavened with Enlightenment thinking. The other is bottom-line, winner takes all, anarchist/libertarian thinking which denies society, seeing only a jungle, or at best, a marketplace. Breaking Bad tried to service both visions. But here at the climax, you just can't do it without chickening out.

I never cared for Scarface, but if Al Pacino's character had as many wins at his end as Walter White did, people would have rolled in aisles of the theater, laughing hysterically. As near as I can determine, people who do like Scarface enjoyed the win, win, win fantasy, then enjoyed denying it by ritual comeuppance. Conquering hero becomes scapegoat.

I've seen elsewhere the claim that Team Walt just watches wrong. It's really hard to dispute that I think.
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