I’ve been moping around lately, because I finished watching Breaking Bad over the Christmas/New Years holiday, and, since I’m that person who won’t admit it, but sort of thinks TV series characters are real, I feel so lonesome. A lot like I’ve lost my best friends.
****Attention! Spoiler Alert! Spoilers Dead Ahead!*********
I miss all of them, even Gus Fring. Even that drooly, old cartel dude in the wheelchair who had the same ringy-bell thing that my fourth grade teacher used to pound on whenever we were enjoying fractions or Wordly Wise just a little too much, PEOPLE!
On second thought, good riddance to that dude. And to you, Mrs. Kent. Making me write sentences on the board…sheesh.
I do miss Walter White. And Skyler and Walter Jr./Flynn. Oh, and Hank. (Hank, Hank, why did they do that to you? You went so nobly, it made me ashamed I’d made fun of you the whole way through the series for being an idiot. Sniff.) But most of all I miss that most endearing of all criminals — the ever-scrappy, peaches-and-cream complected, abominably-dressed, human equivalent to a Chihuahua…Jesse Pinkman. He was just my absolute favorite. I wanted to hug him, button up his coat and pack him a lunch. (And that is not some kind of coy euphemism for anything inappropriate. I really, bizarrely, want to do these things for him.) When I think of Jesse, which I do frequently, I hope he has found himself a nice brunette girl in Alaska, never touches drugs again and maybe makes a fortune writing thriller novels featuring two unlikely meth-cooks. And building that wooden box thing he fantasized about when he was chained to the dog run in the neo-Nazis’ meth lab. I wish him the best. Even though he’s imaginary.
Breaking Bad taught me many things. For example:
1. When you get a drastic haircut, it really changes your attitude.
2. We can go our whole lives lying to ourselves or others about what we really want. Putting on a happy face when you should just tell the truth about your hurts, disappointments and dreams will not lead you down a good path. You will hurt yourself. You will hurt everybody who is close to you, because you cannot pretend forever.
3. There is, actually, such a thing as too much money.
4. You should keep your eyes peeled in Home Depot. You never know what the folks are up to in there.
5. A really talented writer (or actor) can create a universe that is so specific and powerful and nuanced, at times you’ll feel like you’re really there. To the extent that after immersing yourself in it — even though you are a law-abiding, suburban mother of three — you will be vaguely nervous all day that the DEA is somehow on to you.
6. On some primal level, we all have the capacity to be bad, really bad.
As you can see, I found myself pondering the human experience a lot while watching. This of course is a testament to Breaking Bad’s talented creator, Vince Gilligan, and team of whip-smart writers. Also, it’s because I tended to binge on an average of eight episodes per sitting, which is probably a less than healthy amount. The week after Christmas, my husband took our boys on a trip and other than the exploits of the BB gang, that whole span of time is nothing but a vast, whistling black hole.
So now, as you can imagine, I’m dying to TALK ABOUT IT with somebody. Anybody. At length. But, of course, since I came to the series late, it’s old news and nobody really has all that much to say about it anymore. It’s not trending these days, you know. When, for instance, I say, “Yo, bitch,” they look at me with this patronizing look, like, “Uh-huh, yeah, that’s so 2010. Have you seen True Detective yet?”
No, I haven’t. And I won’t. Not until all the seasons (except the finale, no doubt) show up on Netflix, everybody leaves the house and I have a Mount Kilimanjaro of laundry to do.
After which, I will binge. Oh yes, I’ll binge, my friends. And then, when it’s all said and done, I’ll return to the land of the living — wrung out, glassy-eyed but conscious, surrounded by towers of spring breeze-scented, meticulously folded, boy-size undies. Happy. Once again, I’ll be pining for my friends who don’t exist. Once again, inspired to write great stories.