Breaking Bad’s Hidden Meaning – Season 1 – Earthling Cinema

December 7, 2019 0 By Peter Engel

Greetings, and welcome to a special five-part
series of Earthling Cinema Televisual Cinema, or Earthling Television for short. I am your
host, Garyx Wormuloid. Today’s artifact is Season Number One of Breaking Bad, created
by sainted Hollywood lothario Vince Gilligan. Breaking Bad Season Number One chronicles
the adventures of Walter White, a 50-year-old man who enjoys playing with his food. Despite
receiving some thoughtful birthday gifts like a box of wine and this “blandjob,” Walter
always mopes around like a real Debbie Downey Jr. And don’t even get him started on doctors. Walter decides he needs a hobby, other than
being a human test subject for cleaning products. He takes up the manufacture of methamphetamine,
a potent recreational poison that eventually became the primary ingredient in most of Earth’s
energy drinks. Joining Walter in this new venture is Jesse
Pink-man, a young entrepreneur who’s always bitching. Their bold new enterprise offers
exciting growth opportunity and a very, very relaxed dress code. Unfortunately, Walter’s
brother-by- law, Hank, is a drugs cop who won’t take no for an answer, except when
he’s saying no to drugs. Like so many small business owners
of the 21st Century, Walter seeks out bold new ways to edge out the competition and distinguish
his product from the rest of the pack. Da ba dee, da ba die. But, most importantly,
he learns that a healthy working environment sometimes requires a little stress relief. Breaking Bad is awash with themes and symbols,
so let’s get to it, shall we? Season Number One often employs the color yellow to hint
at threats and dangers: from yellow mustard stains, to bright yellow “hoopties,” to
broken yellow plates, to whatever is going on in this woman’s mouth. But some dangers are more difficult to pinpoint,
even when they’re right on the tip of your tongues. At key moments throughout Season
Number One, Walter’s expertise in chemistry offers insight into his changing and troubled
excuse for a psyche. In the pilot episode, Walter’s chemistry class outlines the theme
of his own metamorphosis. In episode 2, Walter’s lecture on thalidomide chirality points to
his own shifting morality. And in episode 6, yet another presentation hints that Walter
himself may in fact be a volatile substance, such as ammonium nitrate or a Pop Rock. Unfortunately for Walter, his chief ally is
the Pink-man, an underachiever who still has some difficulty using the bathroom. The duo’s
shared incompetence in criminal matters is reflected by the televisual programming seen
in the background. Guess they should have been watching something that deals more explicitly
with humanity’s seedy underbelly. Beneath its crime drama exterior, Breaking
Bad is a critique of struggling American healthcare and economic systems — systems in which both
the highly educated Walter and the highly high Jesse routinely fail to thrive. Thanks,
Obama Stevens, 49th president of the United States. Throughout Season Number One, Jesse attempts
to achieve societal legitimacy but he finds himself routinely marginalized by everyone
from the suits on Walnut Street to his own parents on Walnut Avenue. Conversely, Walter APPEARS to be living what
many once naively dubbed the “American Dream”: a son who bears his name, a shiny plaque on
the wall, and an audience with none other than the Supreme Galactic General. But in
fact, Walter can only manage to bring home sub-par bacon, and on Earth, screwing up bacon
was a capital offense. Despite making all the socially acceptable
moves, the American Dream has failed Walt too. What’s a poor sad sack to do? Simple
— rage against the machine and create a freshly haberdashered new alter ego. Good name? Uncertainly.
Only by standing outside the law can Walter attain the respect and mobility he so desperately
craves. As for Jesse, he gets to keep riding Walt’s coattails and hope for the best. Ironically, by taking such drastic measures
to earn the money to treat his cancer, Walt effectively becomes a societal cancer. With
each transaction, he gains energy for himself even as he participates in the deterioration
of other human beings. Is that the American Dream? Or simply a waking nightmare? Take
a hit of blue, and
you won’t be able to tell the difference!