The parade of black-eyed Susans in the creek bed is the parade I should have been following today. Instead, I’ve allowed satellite TV and Twitter to invade my brain, leaving me with a headache and a digital quiver.
I thought I should better understand “Breaking Bad,” having not watched it until nearly the series’ end. It’s been shot in Albuquerque, after all, and I remember a few years back when it lit up the ridgetop above me while filming at night in Placitas. There’s been a lot of talk about it in the office for years. Then I read a Forbes’ piece that compared its 62 episodes to a Russian novel and got really curious: “Why ‘Breaking Bad’ Is The Best Show Ever And Why That Matters.”
I stayed up until 3 a.m. today, watching five shows from the last season. I was left wondering whether the best fiction writing and story-telling of the day is going into television productions. And even I have begun to think my attention span might be adjusted in the digital age to 90-minute bursts.
I take back my hasty and ill-informed comment a while back, after watching just one show, that it seemed long on ponderous camera work and short on story. I now am in awe of both. Congratulations, Vince Gilligan. I’m still trying to figure out what train that was that just blew by.
I will watch the series’ finale tonight. It’s hard to imagine the end breaking well, but I will be disgusted if Skyler is any more victimized. Maybe I am stepping in another hole, but Anna Gunn’s portrayal of her in “Fifty-one,” the fourth episode of the fifth season, moved me to her side. I am rooting for her and a survivor’s tale.
Gilligan impressed me again this morning when, reading a profile of Bryan Cranston in The New Yorker, I encountered this description of how he (Gilligan) shaped the Walter White character: “a good man beset from all sides by remorseless fate.” I wish I could define characters as concisely.
So, this perennial slow learner is catching up with the rest of the world. And it feels like a train wreck — at least in terms of my time — that I have simultaneously started to wiggle my toes in the deep waters of Twitter.
Back out into the fields of fall flowers for now. But even out there, I am slightly confounded. Why do the black-eyed Susans crowd the arroyo and the Perky Sue’s stick to the road? (They look almost alike. And don’t the Perky Sue’s usually come in the spring? September deluge at work?)
Too many digital signals running through your brain will make you grumpy, you see. No question, though, that fall is the best season of all in New Mexico and things are exquisite today, even it they aren’t on TV.
I’m not even going to get into politics in Washington in this Sunday thought parade, although with U.S. House bomb-throwing in mind I posed the question earlier on Twitter: “This weekend’s scariest show: Breaking Bad or Congress in action?”
Meanwhile, in case you haven’t seen the latest New Yorker cover, “Bad Chemistry” by Barry Blitt, check it out here.