Breaking Bad is done, but if you want to have great insights into where a show like it came from, read Brett Martin’s book Difficult Men. It is a history of what is being called the third golden age of television. An age ushered in by shows like Oz, The Wire, The Sopranos, and continued by Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I listened to the audio version and drove out of my way some days so I could hear an extra 15 minutes.
Trying to catch up on some details of Breaking Bad before last week’s finale, I ran through several episodes on my Apple TV. One of the episodes was “Hermanos” in which a young Gus Fraim is forced to watch his friend and benefactor murdered by a drug lord. The scene is pure brutality. The victim shot in the head at point blank range, blood spurting everywhere including onto Gus, who is shoved to the ground next to the open-eyed corpse. I did not actually notice my wife sitting next to me. She came in and sat down working on her computer silently. Then she said, “I can’t take this, Bubba.” And I looked up to see tears streaming down her face. “I can’t watch something like this…”
I realized that of all the many people watching Breaking Bad, this one had the proper response to the whole story. I love this person and her true heart.