A Serious Addiction to ‘Breaking Bad’

Lacking a budget, my “prize” for the Jim Cramer-Martha Stewart caption contest was to allow a reader to determine and contribute part of an upcoming post. Scott Killinger, an aspiring writer in Brentwood, was the winner (see related post), and he opted to devote his space to the second-year AMC series “Breaking Bad.”

Scott writes as follows:

“Since the final episode of ‘The Sopranos’ aired in June of 2007 there has been a gaping void in my life. Over the course of eight years David Chase and company took me on an epic emotional journey that made me both laugh uncomfortably and hysterically, cower in fear and jump for joy all in an episode’s time. This Sunday night ritual was capped off by what I consider the true test whether a drama is worth planning my life around — constantly rewinding and re-watching the cryptic previews for next week’s episode. If you are partaking in this futile act then you know you have hooked into something special.  (Side note:  if you have a Time Warner DVR and are using one of their remotes then you REALLY understand the pain and frustration this causes, but still we try).  For the past two Sunday nights I have found myself doing just this.

There have been many suitors who have attempted to restore Sunday night as event television in my life. Along the way I’ve kissed many frogs like ‘John from Cincinnati’ and had my heart broken in ‘Rome,’ but at last the void has been filled by none other than a meth-making, terminally ill, high school science teacher. ‘Breaking Bad,’ you have finally restored meaning to my Sunday nights. I could list countless reasons why you’re so great, how you’re an allegory for capitalism going off the rails or the layered, ultra-nuanced performance by an actor who I best knew as Jerry Seinfeld’s dentist (sorry ‘Malcolm,’ even a bit part on ‘Seinfeld’ trumps being a regular on your show).  But the main reason you have stolen my heart is simply because you are truly compelling and original television. The only missing element is an east coast feed so I don’t have to wait until 10 p.m. for our weekly meeting.”


Thank you, Scott. Personally, I’m not sure that I’m prepared to elevate “Breaking Bad” to quite that level yet (and it sounds like I enjoyed “Rome” far more than he did), but I have found the AMC show equally addictive — a series that, like it’s main character, appears to be hurtling out of control, which when it’s done right is pretty thrilling to watch. Plus I’m absorbing all kinds of useful information about how to cook drugs, and as a journalist, having a fallback career sounds like an increasingly good idea. Having already seen this weekend’s episode, I can assure you that it doesn’t disappoint.

Oh, and one anecdote about the show’s star, Bryan Cranston: Years ago I went to an open house in my neighborhood and noticed that there were several pictures of him on the walls. Being the intuitive reporter that I am, I immediately assumed that the home was occupied by a big Bryan Cranston fan — until I got into the bedroom, saw a bunch of family photos, and realized it was actually his house.

Moral of the story: If you are on a hit Fox comedy that’s fortunate enough to go into syndication, you will be moving out of my neighborhood.

Anyway, when we were actually introduced awhile later at I think a charity event, the exchange went like this:

Cranston: Nice to meet you.

Lowry: I’ve been inside your house.

This explains why I do better work when I stay away from people.

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