Hauntingly Effective, but Not My Taste

BREAKING BAD: 1.02 “The Cat’s in the Bag”

So, the promos pulled me in. The show pulled me out.

I tried to sit down and watch AMC’s Breaking Bad last night, but at 10:58 (I thought it was the pilot, but I guess I missed that by one episode, so take that into account as you read), I had to turn it off. This was after about 45 minutes of trying to decide whether to turn it off in the first place.

Let’s go through it: I first started off confused, intrigued. Really, it was a decent beginning. Then I started to get a little put off because we were going a long time without figuring out what was going on except that there was one dead man in the truck and another almost-dead man that needed to be…taken care of. So while I was in this state of moderate confusion, I was getting frustrated and bored–yet I still wanted to know what would happen.

Then came the tortuous part: watching this almost dead man attempt to wheeze and breathe for the rest of the episode. It was almost physically painful to watch–so kudos to the poor man acting this role to make it so believable.

Then gore. Not only do we have to see the acid-blood mix in the tub, but we have to see raw meat, blood, and other liquids fall from the ceiling.

*Click!*

That’s when I lost my patience to find out what would happen. I hit my “ew” moment. I considered that maybe I’m just not ready for non-network primetime, but I was watching it with a Sopranos fan, and even he was having a hard time with this one.

I’m not entirely sure what the problem was. Perhaps it was just too much to put in one episode. Or too much to put in an early episode. If I had seen this in a film, I would have not have gasped or been as bothered, but seeing it on Sunday at 10:00 at night…just no. And I used to watch The X-Files. I’m not new to raw meat falling from various things.

Anyway, I have to say it was effective. In order to get the haunting images and plot lines out of my mind, I had to watch How I Met Your Mother’s “Slap Bet,” featuring Robin Sparkles. It bothers me how the only thing to get that out temporarily is a 1990s Canadian popstar dressed in ’80s garb.

The one point that I really would find this show worth watching for is discovering more about White’s family. Clear from his class lecture, there was obviously a chemical/medical mistake that gave his son the physical deficiencies that makes him walk on his crutches. I was really curious to see how that progressed–where it came from, whose fault it was, whether marital tension had that as its basis.

But I don’t think I can sit through another episode when I couldn’t even make it through one.

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