As promised, I watched both On Story and the first few episodes of Breaking Bad. My opinions speak volumes to the importance and greatness of On Story because I wish I had watched the interview with Vince Gilligan before the episodes. Hearing a creator touch on the relationship to his or her creation is, perhaps, the best way to glean new viewers and attract people to your show. For fans, these interviews are a cherry on top and I would imagine anyone who watched On Story felt the urge to watch the series all over again. Interestingly, I felt the urge to give the series a second chance as the episodes I watched were too gory, sexual, and crime based for my liking.
There is a fascination in our society with “breaking bad,” as they say. Consider Mary-Louise Parker’s role in Jenji Kohan’s Weeds. The series deconstructs the lifestyles of wealthy people for those incapable of achieving that level of status. Nancy Botwin (Parker) is a continuous failure (to the point of inciting my general dislke the series four seasons in) and a “good” woman chooses a “bad” lifestyle. Breaking Bad creates the same effect: Walter White exposes the falsehoods of people considered to be normal in society, such as our middle or high school instructors. I remember sneering in middle school when I saw a substitute teacher smoke a cigarette outside the building. Surprisingly, I learned, teachers have lives. Despite my dislike for Weeds, I will always love the theme song:
All in all, I may give Breaking Bad another “go” based on the impression I gained from watching Gilligan’s interview. And, darnit, if he doesn’t have a charming Southern accent — I may be a little homesick! If you, like me, have never seen Breaking Bad, do not let this deter you from watching the episode of On Story as there are no revealing spoilers and I believe it will benefit your television knowledge and increase your cultural lexicon. The question remains: to watch a series about crystal meth, or to not watch a series about crystal meth?