I never like television until it was available on streaming. I was one of those anti-TV snobs, I’d stick my nose and declare, “I never watch television, I read books instead,” and let my listeners draw the inference that I was just too darned smart to spend time in front of the boob tube.
Well, I’m letting the truth out. I never watched television because I was too darned dumb. I could never remember when anything was on, I’d watch one episode and think, “Man, I’d like to see more of that,” but next week at the bat time, same bat channel, I’d have totally forgotten about it.
Well, thanks to streaming television, I don’t have that problem any more. I can watch television when I want to, not when some network executive thinks I should. And I watch a lot of it– I have years of backlog to catch up on.
Which brings me to Breaking Bad. I have just started watching the series (I just finished season one, episode five–so if anyone sends me spoilers for later seasons I will totally go all Catskinner on you, I mean it) and so far I really love it.
It makes me squirm some, and I sometimes have to pause it for a few minutes because it’s so darned intense. I go and do something else for a while and then come back. (Another reason that I love streaming television.)
I just recommended the series to a friend of mine with whom I share a love of Dexter. I described it this way–Dexter is about being a monster, Breaking Bad is about becoming a monster.
Which brings me to one of my deeply held beliefs. Everyone has a monster inside of them. EVERYONE. Most people simply never have to confront that about themselves. That’s called civilization. When you get what you need–food, water, shelter, safety–relatively easily you don’t need the monster to come out. If all you have to do is work an eight hour day fixing bicycles or selling insurance, then the monster sleeps.
But it’s there. Believe me. People tell themselves, “Oh, I could never do that!” and I think that most people believe it. What they really mean, though, is “I’ve never needed to do that.” People don’t know what they can do until they have to. They can’t.
This is why I am a huge fan of civilization. I want a world in which everyone can get what they need with a few hours of work each day. Because I want to keep all those monsters asleep. People are scary. Time and time again dictators have found out what happens when you back people up against the wall–all of sudden a flock of sheep turns into a pack of wolves.
A little deeper than I’d planned on getting this morning. To get back to my original idea, Breaking Bad is a great show, good acting, top notch writing, sharp production values. Highly recommended. Available on Netflix I know, and probably other streaming services. Check it out.