Congratulations on the mess you made of things.

September 11 : DLZ – TV on the Radio

I am obsessed with Breaking Bad right now. Obsessed. I started watching last Monday, and in the past week I’ve watched 30 episodes. I love everything about it – the writing, the acting, the cinematography, the music. I wasn’t quite expecting this, but the music is done really, really well on the show, from the original score to the selections playing during key scenes.

This song appeared in season two, and I just really liked it. Enough to look it up. The scene it was playing under was pretty badass as well, but to not spoil anything, I’ll just leave the song here without any commentary. Other than I like it, and you should watch Breaking Bad.

I should also note that yesterday marked the 20th (!!!!) anniversary of the premiere of The X-Files, a show that would become the first pop culture obsession of my life. In the dark days before Netflix and Hulu, I completely devoured video cassettes that I borrowed from a classmate and recorded episodes on my VCR to watch over and over again (thank God for the annual Thanksgiving Day marathons on FX). I lost hours on dial-up internet in message boards and fansites and mythology theories, working my way through web rings that took me from Geocities to Tripods to Angelfires and back again. I subscribed to listservs (at <xphile1919 at hotmail.com> naturally). I don’t care how nerdy you think I am – I can assure you, I was even worse than you’re imagining, and I’m ok with that.

What does any of this have to do with Breaking Bad? Well, for starters, Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, got his start on The X-Files many years ago and wrote one of my favorite episodes: “Pusher,” a brilliant, suspenseful hour about a man who can convince you to harm yourself simply by talking to you. I was captivated by the episode the first time I watched it, and I was captivated again this spring when I used some unemployment time to re-watch some of my favorites from the beginning. “Pusher” was, amazingly, only Gilligan’s second writing venture with the show, and he went on to write numerous more classics before creating his own pop culture phenomenon.

I knew all of this before I started Breaking Bad. I should have known I’d love it.

But the other way The X-Files has to do with all of this is that watching that show was the first time I felt part of a viewing community. All of those message boards and newsletters, obsessing over details and cliffhangers, trying to figure out the mythology and what would happen next – that was half of the fun of watching the show. I had that with Lost. I have it right now, to a certain extent, with Homeland – a show created by (ding ding!) more X-Files alums.

I wish I had it with Breaking Bad.

I had to keep myself off of Twitter Sunday night, because everyone went batshit crazy about however the episode ended. I bookmarked at least ten articles I’ll want to read when I’m caught up, but right now I’m in a vacuum where everyone I know who has watched the show is completely caught up and would rather discuss the current storyline, not one from three seasons prior.

Netflix is amazing in so many ways, but I miss that community experience. So please, someone out there, start watching this show with me so I can talk about it with someone.

And enjoy the music.

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One thought on “Congratulations on the mess you made of things.

  1. I had been thinking about starting to watch Breaking Bad for some time now, and this post gave me the needed incentive to reactivate my Netflix and finally start. I’m only 2 episodes in, but I can already see how it can be tough to turn away from. We’ll see how much of my time it manages to devour; somehow I see my piano repertoire taking a back seat for a few weeks. Off to watch episode 3…

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