falafel_musings: (breaking bad 3)
[personal profile] falafel_musings

"Everyone dies in this movie, don't they?"

Yay for an onscreen 'Scarface' reference! I really don't want everyone to die though. Damn. Poor Skyler. This is painful to watch. Her "shut up!" breakdown was heartbreaking but even sadder was that Walt had such an easy excuse for it. He doesn't even need to lie. Skyler did have an affair with Ted and she was shaken up by his accident so all Walt had to do was omit a huge portion of the terrible truth and he's made Skyler look like the bad guy to her own sister. Or maybe not. Marie can have good instincts about this kind of stuff and even if she doesn't smell a rat, Marie tends to tell Hank everything and it can only help to have Hank watching Skyler a little closer. That said it's harsh that Skyler is now the one under scrutiny from her family for her strange behavior as Walt used to be in the early seasons. I'm actually hoping Skyler doesn't need to be rescued by anyone but finds her own way to regain control and stick it to Walter. 

Phew. I'm rather relieved that Jesse has split with Andrea. I know I should want nice things for Jesse, but she and Brock are too thinly-written characters to be on the show any longer. They've served the function as plot devices but I honestly never believed that Jesse would get an easy happy ending with them. I never felt like Jesse was in love with Andrea the way he was with Jane, but I buy into Jesse yearning for an "instant family" of his own. Walt was so crafty in the way he reminded Jesse that he's damaged goods and he can't marry Andrea without being honest with her. It was a fairly safe gamble. Even if Jesse had told Andrea the truth she'd probably have broken up with Jesse herself (I remember she wouldn't let Jesse near Brock after the ricin slip) and still kept her mouth shut since her house was bought with Jesse's money. But Walt knows Jesse well and knows how much shame and self-loathing he feels for the things he's done. No way was Jesse going to confess his dark secrets to his girlfriend or face the prospect of Brock knowing one day. Speaking of Brock - I could not stop my shivers when Walt praising the kid for being brave in the hospital. Every episode Walt gets a moment creepier than the last.

To be honest, I was more upset by Jesse distancing himself from Badger and Skinny Pete. I love those guys but I fear that if they keep sniffing around Jesse's new business they are going to end up dead. Pete's beautiful playing on the keyboards was a wonderful if saddening moment. I felt the same looking at all Jesse's drawings of the new meth lab set up and remembering Jesse's talent for art and design. So much wasted potential and wasted good nature in these guys.  

Ooh, oh! I love the new moving meth lab hidden in the pest control tent! I might have to write a separate post just to rave over how much I love that idea. I'm also enjoying the combination of Walt, Jesse and Mike (and Saul) working together. The bickering is really entertaining. I find super!arrogant Heisenberg hilarious sometimes - "We take a vote?" "Why?" - though by the ending, I'm back to being creeped out. I've heard different theories on Walt's little reflection on Victor and Icarus. Some people have taken it as a veiled threat to Jesse, but I thought it was directed at Mike and perhaps Mike's nine guys who Walt only considers to be 'Victors' in his operation. I noticed Lydia and Jesse together in the promo for next weeks episode but I'm really keen for Walt to meet Lydia. I'm sure he'd be up for her 'kill everyone who might talk' plan.

More Breaking Bad meta and tributes to come soon from me. Though beyond my current core obsession, I have been looking towards new shows. I finished The Walking Dead S1 last night and while it feels like a bit of a, well, zombie soap opera I am really taken with the visual look of the show and I tend to like post apocalypse survival stories, even if that's all they are about - survival. I need to see if I can borrow S2 DVDs from somewhere.

Also has anyone been watching The Newsroom? I feel like I want to like this show more than I do. It's not badly written by any means but it does feel like it's grasping to repeat The West Wing, especially by casting Jeff Daniels in the host role, using a well regarded aging movie star in the anchoring role like they did with Martin Sheen as the President. But it's really all about the news team. The characters are okay. I like McKenzie. I just don't know if I want to commit to watching an obvious West Wing substitute show. The West Wing was great but there should be no substitute. It's like trying to watch Caprica after finishing Battlestar Galactica.

Lastly, I've realized that my library finally has the first three Big Love seasons on DVD. So I've ordered S1. [livejournal.com profile] lenina20 reminded me recently that I've been promising to watch that show for years.

Date: 2012-07-30 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daybreak777.livejournal.com
Hey, I watched Caprica after BSG! Hee! That said, I didn't even try with The Newsroom. I tried with Studio 60 and that was enough for me.

Big Love! I would love to hear what you think of that show. Do post about it!

Date: 2012-07-30 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
The Newsroom was closer to West Wing than Studio 60 but both shows just lack the magic of Sorkin's original show. He should stick to writing movies. I loved The Social Network.

So you watch Big Love then? What do you think of it? I've always been a big iffy about the premise but I'm a fan of Chloe Sevigny and her character is supposed to be great.

Date: 2012-07-30 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daybreak777.livejournal.com
If you are a fan of Chloe Sevigny, you'll really enjoy the character of Nikki Grant. The show is very female-centered, in my view. But you might like it!

I watched it up until season 4 when I heard that season 5 went off the rails. Definitely a show worth watching, but does get a bit far-fetched after season 3. Seasons 1-3 are very good.

Date: 2012-07-30 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
I've been watching The Newsroom, and I'm not feeling it. I've always kind of raised a bit of an eyebrow at the accusations that Sorkin hates women because CJ Cregg, Abby Bartlett, and Donna Moss all are awesome, but I have not liked what he's done with the female characters in The Newsroom at ALL, especially last night. (Did you see the most recent episode yet?) To be fair, I haven't liked a lot of the male characters, either. Dev Patel's character is about the only one I'm really feeling right now, not helped by my realization that he's sort of the Gaeta of the Newsroom. Oops. But yeah- it's nowhere near as good as The West Wing- not even close. But Howard still likes it and I'm willing to have my mind changed, so I watch.

Date: 2012-07-30 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I've only seen the first two episodes of Newsroom and I liked McKenzie to start with. The other main girl character (Maggie?) seemed rather a lot like a plucky young Donna Moss type, especially since she started as an intern and kept getting promoted. I was pleased to see Dev Patel too. He's come a long way from Skins! I also realized the actor playing Jim was in my favourite episode of West Wing - he's the kid who drives Josh, Toby and Donna to the station after they get left behind by the motorcade!

Yes, my main issue is just - not feeling it.

Date: 2012-07-30 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
Dev Patel is definitely my new favorite. (Also, I have to admit I'm shipping him and Jim. I hate the way they've set up Jim/Maggie.) I didn't realize he was in Skins- I just recognized him from Slumdog Millionaire. And I didn't realize that was Jim! That's one of my favorite episodes, too. I'll have to rewatch that one.

And yeah- you mentioned upwards that it's lacking the magic- I totally agree. I've been watching that and Political Animals, hoping somehow it will average out to The West Wing in my head, but so far, no luck.

Date: 2012-07-30 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frenchani.livejournal.com
Now that was an episode close to perfection!!!!

And I loved Caprica, it could have been so brillant, and I would have followed Daniel Graystone for years...

Date: 2012-07-30 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I should point out that I've not actually seen Caprica. I watched the previews but I figured it couldn't replace BSG for me. I'm not good at warming to spin offs. I had major withdrawals at the end of my Buffy marathon but I really didn't want to watch Angel.

Are you posting an BB episode review this week?

Date: 2012-07-30 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frenchani.livejournal.com
Caprica wasn't flawless but had potential. The series had layers, some wonderful actors (especially Eric Stoltz who was amazing), and the birth of the Cylon was quite fascinating. The problem is that they tried to get a wider audience, mixed genres, and by doing so ended up disappointing everybody.

I will post something on "Hazard Pay". Not today, though. I am not well, and needs to be in better shape to write down a review in English.

Date: 2012-07-30 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
It's interesting how Jesse is like the peacemaker between Walt and Mike - offering solutions neither has thought of (magnets, bitch! :P ), or agreeing to sacrifice his share of the money so Walt can have his hissy fit about a hundred grand a cook.

It's also kind of sad how Jesse still craves approval from Mr. White; he was surprised when Walt congratulated him on some good ideas for creating the portable lab apparatus.

And :( Jesse and Andrea are no more! She seems really nice, and it doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes, heh.

Date: 2012-07-30 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Yes, Jesse is the diplomat who is holding the new business together at the moment. Walt and Mike blatantly want to kill each other and Saul just wants to run away screaming. I think Jesse is just wanting some respect and to do a good job in the only business he feels he can succeed in. Jesse doesn't seem to have much use for the huge amount of money he's earning so I like that he can shame Walt over his greediness.

The actress who plays Andrea is beautiful! I wish they'd developed her character a little better. Jane was kind of a bitch but I had a stronger sense of who she was. But anyway, it seems like Walt's not keen on letting Jesse have a girlfriend. But who knows? Maybe he'll hook up with Lydia.

Date: 2012-07-30 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
Oh yeah, the whole "I like MILFs" thing from the first season. Huh, maybe his sexual relationship with her will be what keeps her grounded a little more and also out of Mike's hair (such as it is *snerk!*)

Also, is it just me or is Jesse getting a little proto-goatee? I kinda think it'd ruin Aaron's good looks, but oh well.

Date: 2012-07-30 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
That Lydia does need to unwind in some fashion.

I don't know. Jesse's facial hair looks the same to me. I do miss his head hair though. I'm not a fan of the buzz cut. And there are way too many skinheads on this show!

Date: 2012-07-30 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readishmael.livejournal.com
So happy to see Skinny Pete and Badger. Skinny Pete playing the keybpard was one of my favorite things in the episode. Hidden depths, yo.

It's so interesting to see Walt acting on the surface the way I've always wanted him to whewre Jesse is concerned, while he's really just fucking with him constantly. Such ambivalence.

Date: 2012-07-30 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
*sigh* I wish Jesse could still hang out with Badger and Skinny. He needs some genuine friends, even if they are just two lovable idiots. I'm so afraid that Badger and/or Skinny Pete could get killed off this season though.

I feel the same about Walt/Jesse. It's sad to think that in the early days when Walt was constantly berating and insulting Jesse, he was actually a better friend to Jesse than he is now. Yet I can't help but love it when Walt/Jesse are united.

Date: 2012-07-30 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lenina20.livejournal.com
I'm back! (Barely!)

Yay Big Love! I hope you like it. The last two seasons were a bit flop, but I think S3 is one of the most amazing tv seasons I've seen.

Date: 2012-07-30 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Yay! Lenina is back! Good break?

I'm unsure if I'll like it, if only because the young polygamist girl was maybe my least favourite character in Shameless. But I usually like anything recced by you and elliot.

I'd struggle to watch it before because the DVDs hadn't got a UK release. Now it looks like 1-3 are available so I might only be able to watch up to S3.

Date: 2012-07-31 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajam.livejournal.com
Glad you're enjoying TWD ;-)
Yeah, it's totally a Zombie soap opera *lol* but the characters are great and there are some real jaw-dropper moments, especially in the second half of S2. The game changes quite a bit there, too, as the survivors begin to realize that it's not just the Dead they should be fearing - it's the Living as well. It looks like this will also be the "main theme" for S3.

As much as I love this show though, I'm a bit worried how long it's gonna last until people start losing interest? I'm afraid it could be like Lost where the story didn't make any real progress anymore from S4 onwards... and once you've lost your favourite character you don't have much left to be holding on to.
Speaking of which: I really hated losing Jacqui in S1!! She wasn't around long enough to be a favourite of mine, but I really liked her and she still had a lot of potential, don't you think?

Date: 2012-08-01 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
These days I'm quite wary of shows with high death counts because it just annoys me to get invested in characters only to have them killed off the show. With Game of Thrones I've been pretty lucky because most of the characters that have been killed so far are my least favourite characters anyway. It depends - my favourite Sopranos character got killed off but her death was so well-written and so perfectly heartbreaking that I accepted it as a necessary part of the storytelling.

Jacqui was the woman who stayed for the explosion, right? Yes, I liked her, but I didn't get to know her well enough. I was more worried about Dale and Andrea. Though I think like BSG it's the survivors who maybe have it worse than the ones who decide it's best to give up and die.

Date: 2012-08-04 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajam.livejournal.com
These days I'm quite wary of shows with high death counts because it just annoys me to get invested in characters only to have them killed off the show.

I know what you mean :-(
I still tend to get too invested and end up being broken-hearted *sigh*
I already love Daryl, Carol and Andrea far too much for my own good.

With Game of Thrones I've been pretty lucky because most of the characters that have been killed so far are my least favourite characters anyway.

Same here... although I lost one favourite in the books, but he was one of the minor characters and not that important for the overall arch. I was sad about Ned's death, but not so much because of the character himself but because I really like Sean Bean as an actor. Apart from that I've been lucky, too, even though there are some pretty shocking deaths yet to come.

Though I think like BSG it's the survivors who maybe have it worse than the ones who decide it's best to give up and die.

Yeah, I agree. So far, it doesn't look like there's so much to be hoping for and holding on to for the survivors.

Date: 2012-08-01 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elliotsmelliot.livejournal.com
I agree with the others. Big Love 1-3 is interesting and well done, but 4-5 is pretty terrible. I have never seen such a drop in quality so fast, and they did not ever change the creative team. I think you would enjoy it.

I love The West Wing, but have disliked everything else I've seen by Sorkin. I did not bother with the Newsroom. I especially disliked the writing of women in the Social Network. They only serve the story to ask questions to set up the male characters or are just sexual bodies.

Speaking of new shows, will you ever give Angel a try?

The Walking Dead bored me to pieces.

I just saw BB. I loved seeing the detailed process to find a the new meth lab. But man, what a pain in the ass to set up and take down! It was great to see Skinny Pete and Badger again. Meanwhile poor Jesse just wants his parents to stop fighting in the money distribution scene.

I think this is the season where I no longer root for Walt. He is becoming too slick, especially in his manipulation of Jesse. This is not a bad thing, I am just curious to see if Gilligan and co. have a plan to put Walt back in my good grace.

ETA - I just had a thought. Is Walt questioning Mike about his 'guys' because like Gus tried to do with Gale, he wants to get all Mike's knowledge before replacing him? Or just he really think he can control Mike?
Edited Date: 2012-08-01 02:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-01 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I'm one of the people who've argued that the central character in the Social Network is supposed to be dislikable and that the sexism and objectification inherent in his POV is intentional. But it's a long time since I've seen the film so I couldn't argue that point in greater detail than that.

Speaking of new shows, will you ever give Angel a try?

I'm not keen too. I just always hated Angel's character on Buffy so I don't think I could put up with him as a central protagonist. I think I'd only be watching the show waiting for Buffy crossovers and Drusilla appearances. I did love Buffy, a lot more than I thought I would, but since my marathon the show has worn off me quite quickly. Though I've heard some say that Angel is a better show - what do you think?

I think Walt is meant to be the villain of the show at this point and we're meant to be rooting for his comeuppance more so than rooting for him. I don't think Walt's going to get a redemption story, though I think if Walt ends up losing everyone he ever cared about (which seems likely in the Denny's flash forward) he might feel some remorse over his lost humanity. I'd say that Jesse is meant to be the show's protagonist now or at least a central character who we can still root for and hope for his redemption.

I think Walt would've been on-board with Lydia's plan to kill all of Mike's guys rather than paying for their silence. And yes, I think Walt is probably working towards a plan to replace Mike, just as Gus tried to replace him with Gale and later with Jesse. Mike's getting a lot of screentime right now but I have a feeling he might not survive beyond these first eight episodes.

Date: 2012-08-02 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elliotsmelliot.livejournal.com
I get that Zuckerberg and his friends probably saw women as objects, and the film reflected that reality. But the lawyer played by Rashida Jones who was made up for the film by Sorkin really bugged me. Here is an intelligent woman whose every line had her either making a mistake to be corrected by Mark or asking him a question to let him pontificate or praising him.

I noticed that The West Wing sometimes suffered from this tendency. If someone admitted a lack of knowledge or made a mistake - goofy or serious - it was usually Donna or one of the other female assistants, which made sense given their different levels of education and experience. But I can also remember a number of times where CJ had to be gently tutored or corrected by Josh, Sam or Toby. Again she did have less political experience, but the incidents seem to be more of a set up for the audience to learn something about government and it became a recurring motif to have female characters represent the audience, who were then educated by the men. Of course CJ and eventually Donna were dynamic characters, but this trend is something I notice now when I re-watch. One thing I do like about the gender dynamic on the West Wing is that the men are allowed to be emotional in more positive and damaging ways.

Though I've heard some say that Angel is a better show - what do you think?

Angel is a rather forgettable show for me, especially S1-S4. There were certain strong arcs over the years, but a lot of filler and a lot of annoying plots. I hardly remember Drusilla making many appearances, probably only in some Darla episodes. Still, as someone who did not care for Angel on Buffy, he was a lot more interesting on his on show, as were Cordelia and especially Wesley. I liked the overall mythology of the series. The final season is great, as is the finale. I think you could just watch S5 and if you liked what you saw, go back for more.

Date: 2012-08-02 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
Some people have taken it as a veiled threat to Jesse, but I thought it was directed at Mike and perhaps Mike's nine guys who Walt only considers to be 'Victors' in his operation.

I agree, I was a bit taken-aback when I saw people assuming that Walt was threatening Jesse, a direct threat just doesn't line up at all with the subtle way he's been manipulating Jesse so far and trying to draw them closer together. I definitely read Jesse's shocked expression as being about his realisation of Walt threatening Mike and seeing just how corrupt and dangerous Walt is now, I'm expecting more of a focus on Jesse being torn between Walt and Mike in upcoming episodes

Date: 2012-08-02 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I think Walt's Icarus speech was definitely fucking with Jesse but not really threatening Jesse. He wasn't explicitly threatening Mike either so if Jesse freaks out over it Walt has the plausible deniability to say "What? I was just talking about Victor. I never said I was going to cut anyone's throat." I think Walt was warning Jesse to stay on his side and that Jesse even being a neutral mediator between him and Mike is a little betrayal in Walt's mind. But as much as a sociopath as Walt is these days I still don't think he's at the point where he'd consider killing Jesse as casually as Gus killed Victor.


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