Breaking Bad Review for the Non-TV Viewer

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Let me begin by saying I do not ordinarily watch network television programming. I find regular network shows to generally be unimaginative and insipid. In the last five years, I can count the number of television shows that I have watched more than once on one hand. But I have seen and heard with interest the conversation surrounding Breaking Bad over the last few years. So be aware, as my story goes on here today, if you haven’t seen it, there will be spoilers galore. So if you haven’t seen it, you should probably stop reading now. But before you leave, head to the bottom of the page and give it a “like.”

Breaking-Bad-Censorship [Read more…]

Breaking Bad Series Finale Recap: ‘Felina’

By Robert Murphy
PSDC Writer

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really…I was alive.”

breaking-bad-felina-2

In one of the final moments of the final episode of the experience that was ‘Breaking Bad,’ Walt finally confirms what we all knew for a very long time. He admits to Skyler, himself, and the rest of us that the two years of misery he has put his family through were to support his own selfish desires. All the death, destruction, and the emotional scars they have created were never done in the name of “family.” They were all in the name of “Walt.”

The jury is still out on whether or not people are “happy” with the manner in which Vince Gilligan chose to make the final stroke of his brush on the masterpiece that was ‘Breaking Bad.’ Some, like me, think it was incredible. Some think they tied a bow on it that was a little too neat. Some, who are the shameless trolls that will never praise a show not named “The Wire,” thought it sucked.

I can see how some might think the show ended with everything working out a little too well for all involved. I must respectfully disagree. Admittedly, a lot gets resolved in the final episode. The Nazis, Todd, and Lydia all die. Jesse lives. Walt, we think, is able to set up financial security for his family, before he ultimately dies. If you think about the future of those still breathing; however, the bow doesn’t seem quite as neat:

– Jesse: Yes, Jesse is alive, but that’s the only thing he’s got going for him. Before getting involved with Mr. White, Jesse was most likely going down a path that would’ve ended in a death very similar to the one given to his friend Combo. If he had the choice between that and the past two years of his life, I think it’s at least a 50/50 chance Jesse would rather have died. He witnessed the deaths of the two people he cared about most, Jane and Andrea. He murdered a helpless man, Gale, as he begged for his life. He spent six months or so as a Nazi slave, living in a dungeon, cooking meth, and begging for death. I wouldn’t go so far as to say things “worked out” for Jesse.

– Skyler: Assuming Elliot and Gretchen follow through, Skyler and her children will have financial security. Yes, Walt was able to kill all of the Nazis, but does anybody think Skyler won’t spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder after they threatened Holly? She has no idea that all threats to her are gone. She will spend the rest of her life with the guilt of Hank’s death, her broken family, and the knowledge that she potentially could’ve prevented it if she hadn’t gone along with Walt’s plans. We also don’t know for sure that having the location of Hank’s and Gomez’s bodies will completely solve her legal issues. In my opinion, that’s a stretch.

– Walter Jr. (Flynn) & Holly: Walt Jr. idolized two men: his father and his uncle. Both are dead. He never got the chance to say goodbye to his uncle Hank, and never reconciled with his father. Someday, he’ll learn about the final moments of his father’s life, if Skyler chooses to share it with him, but we don’t know. With his disability, Flynn was already dealt a very tough hand. Living with the knowledge that he is the son of an infamous meth dealer responsible for many deaths, including his uncle Hank, is more than Flynn should have to bear. As for Holly, she will never know her father outside of what she hears from her mother and what she reads on the Internet. Anybody who thinks she isn’t destined for a life of drugs and/or stripper poles is insane.

– Marie: Hank is dead, buried in an unmarked grave in the New Mexico desert. Skyler and Marie’s phone conversation regarding Walt being back in town leads us to believe that they are on the path to reconciliation; however, no matter how many years go by, Marie will always know that Skyler knew what Walt was doing, and that what he was doing ultimately led to Hank’s death.

You can certainly make the argument that the right people died in the final episode, but innocent people died along the way to get us there. The deaths of the Nazis, Todd, and Lydia did not end Walt’s destruction. The damage done by his actions will permeate his loved ones’ lives for as long as they live. For me, the finale was perfect. I wanted justice, and we came as close as we’re gonna get. Since when does it take away from a series finale if it ends in the way the majority of its fans wanted? Until he says otherwise, Vince Gilligan ended his show in his way, on his terms. That’s what matters, and he earned that right. It is a testament to ‘Breaking Bad’ that the overwhelming feeling is that to be alive is to win. There were no winners in this show. There were only those still breathing when the last bullet was fired.

Follow Robert on Twitter: @CaptBobMurphy

Mad Men Orders a 7&7 for Last Call

By Josh Mosley
PSDC Writer

Get it? Because they drink a lot on Mad Men?

Seriously, you people won’t appreciate my sense of humor until I’m long gone.

[Read more…]

Breaking Bad: What Will Happen in the Final Three Episodes…or Not

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

From the opening episode of Breaking Bad this season, we’ve been wondering where Walt’s been, why he needs heavy weaponry, and what’s happened to his house. Now that we’ve seen last week’s episode, we’re also wondering who’ll still be alive on his birthday when he comes back to town.

What’s going to happen, and more importantly, how dark is this dark, dark show going to get before it’s all over with?

I’ve got a pretty good idea. I’m leaving spoiler space here of course, for those of you who haven’t seen it, or don’t even want to read speculation on it.

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Here’s The Thing – Jameis Winston 9/3/13

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

Stephen Thomas’ brand new CD “Magic Wife Dust” is now available HERE! His sports-humor commentary can be heard nationwide, weekdays on The Nick Bonsanto Show on the Sports Byline USA radio network. You can subscribe to the Here’s The Thing podcast on iTunes and/or Podbean for free.  The transcripts will appear here.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Yesterday was Labor Day, a day when we celebrate working exceptionally hard for some reason.  Yeah, I don’t get it either, but hey, it’s a day off and booze is still legal, so who am I to argue? The point is, most of us were off yesterday, and those of us who are football fans got to watch the debut of Florida State’s highly touted freshman quarterback, Tim Tebow. I’m kidding, of course, it’s Jameis Winston, but like Tebow, Winston has been touted as the second coming. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing: NFL Barbies 8/19/13

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

Stephen Thomas’ brand new CD “Magic Wife Dust” is now available HERE! His sports-humor commentary can be heard nationwide, weekdays on The Nick Bonsanto Show on the Sports Byline USA radio network. You can subscribe to the Here’s The Thing podcast on iTunes and/or Podbean for free.  The transcripts will appear here.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Von Miller has been suspended for 6 games, for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.  Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211 game suspension for PED use, even though   he and his new lawyer – a guy only slightly less likeable than Saul Goodman – seem to be the only people  on the planet who believe a word he says. Ryan Braun will apparently soon admit that he’s a guilty little lying scuzzbag. My new CD “Magic Wife Dust” is selling like crazy on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com, which has nothing to do with the other items, I just wanted to mention it.

See, Here’s The Thing; Rodriguez, Miller, Braun, and the rest of the PED users are the male versions of a Barbie doll. Yes, I just called men twice my size – who could easily rearrange my limbs and replace one of them with a tree branch or a Chihuahua – Barbie dolls, because A) I’m not afraid of them, and more importantly B) The odds I’ll ever run into them are very, very small.  I do believe the comparison is accurate though, with ripped muscles and blazing speed being their man versions of Barbie’s giant, fake boobs and 14 inch waist. Seeing the way these guys play, and achieve on the professional level, with their multi-million dollar contracts, endorsement deals, and hordes of women who look like Barbie dolls, sets unrealistic expectations for young men playing in college or high school. These young men look at themselves, evaluate their ability to measure up to that impossible standard, and some will cave to PED use themselves, thinking there is no other way and feeling bad about themselves. It’s kind of like when I watch a Seinfeld or a Louis CK perform, and consider the vast array of illicit drugs I’d have to take to become that creative, except that young people aren’t trying to emulate me. I hope.

Look, as long as these guys keep making Dirk Diggler sized piles of money for everyone involved in pro sports, the cycle of PED use will continue.  Bottom line is, giant muscles and giant boobs sell tickets. Now I’m off to work on the follow-up CD to Magic Wife Dust, so I have to drive to Colorado to buy some special brownies.

Find me on the web at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com, Facebook as Comedian Stephen Thomas, or follow me on Twitter @15Stephen15.  For The Nick Bonsanto Show, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

Breaking Bad: Walter White Finally Turns Heel

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

Since Walter White’s first described chemistry as the study of change in substances and compounds to his class of wholly disinterested high school chemistry students in Breaking Bad’s pilot, showrunner Vince Gilligan and his fellow writers on AMC’s hit drama that returned last night have continually showed just how much change is possible. Gilligan has repeatedly described Breaking Bad as the story of how “Mr. Chips turned into Scarface,” but it’s also the story of a suburban mom becoming a money launderer, of a young, low-level drug peddler becoming a murderer, and of a family breakfast table gradually becoming empty.

Yet, it’s arguable that Walt has barely changed at all. The onset of cancer and the plunge into the meth business simply unearths the dark tint of his soul that has been present his whole life, buried by professional disappointment, the unsatisfying grind of a lower middle-class life, and general apathy. Especially at the beginning of his foray into the drug trade, many of his sins may have been circumstantial and unavoidable, enabling him to justify them. Although quite traumatized, his murder of Krazy-8 is brushed away with the undeniable logic, “it was him or me.” At this point, Walt is still the stressed, overmatched chemistry teacher trying to fund his chemotherapy and ensure his kids can go to college. Still a sympathetic figure, the rationalization checks out with the audience. [Read more…]

Breaking Bad: What We Learned From “Blood Money” and the Final Season

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

It was a legitimate big-time moment as “Breaking Bad” returned Sunday night to AMC for the final eight episodes of the season.  Read the full Breaking Bad “Blood Money” recap here, but here’s what you need to know about how the final season sets up.

1) The product suffers. It’s only been a month since Walt walked away from his meth empire, and already Lydia is trying to lure him back because the quality has dropped so badly.

2) Jesse knows. Jesse’s high but he’s no dummy, and he knows Walt must have killed Mike, otherwise he never would have been able to pull off the murder of the witnesses. What Jesse does with this information is still up in the air, but he’s well aware of the blood on his hands from being a part of it. He’s also got five million dollars he’s desperately trying to give away, which should make for some funny stories on tomorrow’s morning news in Albuquerque.

3) Hank knows. That was a fantastic final scene between Hank and Walt, with Hank confronting Walt about being Heisenberg, and Walt not really trying very hard to disprove him. Even angry, Hank seemed tired and shaken in that exchange. And why wouldn’t he be? If Walt’s the super-villain, that means he’s been operating under Hank’s nose the entire time. If Hank’s previous boss lost his job for getting free chicken from Gus, what’s going to happen to Hank when they find out Heisenberg paid for his physical therapy?

4) There’s some changes afoot for Walt. The opening flash-forward shows about a year into the future, where Walt is still alive, but alone. His house is fenced off, and “Heisenberg” is spray painted on the inside. His double life is going to come out in the next seven episodes, and he’s going to go on the run. At least he’s going to get his hair back.

Reid Kerr thinks it would be good for AMC if the meth winds up being the thing that starts the zombie apocalypse on “The Walking Dead.”

‘Breaking Bad’ Top 10 Moments, Thus Far

By Robert Murphy
PSDC Staff

The final season of ‘Breaking Bad’ begins this Sunday night on AMC. In eight episodes, we will know the fates of Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Hank Schrader and the rest. In 54 episodes, show creator Vince Gilligan has given us many memorable, “Oh Shit” moments. These are my top 10:

10. Hank realizes it’s Walter (S5/E8): The closing moment of the last episode we’ve seen set the table for what to expect in these final eight episodes of this amazing show, experience, phenomenon, etc. Walt’s brother-in-law, DEA Agent Hank Schrader, has felt from the beginning that there was something more to this new, blue meth. Even when Gus Fring was unmasked as a ruthless drug lord, there was a part of Hank that remained uncertain the story was over. A book collected from Gale’s apartment, containing a special dedication that Hank had previously studied, casually became the reading material for his most recent trip to the toilet.

9. Gus versus the Sniper (S4/E9): The Mexican drug cartel is upset with Gus. They want in on Walt’s product, and Gus refused them. The cartel decides to send Gus a message, to which he gives a quick response.

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Here’s The Thing 8/5/13: Meaningless

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

Stephen Thomas’ brand new CD “Magic Wife Dust” is now available HERE! His sports-humor commentary can be heard nationwide, weekdays on The Nick Bonsanto Show on the Sports Byline USA radio network. You can subscribe to the Here’s The Thing podcast on iTunes and/or Podbean for free.  The transcripts will appear here.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

The NFL is back … sort of.  The Hall Of Fame Game was last night, and how about that finish? Yeah … exciting … OK, I didn’t watch all the way to the end, just like you. The only people who did were the parents of the guys playing in the fourth quarter, and wives who didn’t realize their husbands fell asleep next to them on the couch in the third quarter and they were free to change to one of the 836 channels whose programming consists entirely of shows about how horrible it is to be married to men who watch football.

See, Here’s The Thing; That being said, I don’t agree with those who say the NFL preseason is meaningless. Meaningless in terms of wins and losses and how the regular season will go? Yes. Meaningless in terms of how Breaking Bad will wrap up? Probably, but with Walter White, you never know – I mean, the way things have gone lately, it could turn out that Gus Fring was personal friends with Aaron Hernandez. Anyway, these games are the opposite of meaningless to those guys who were fighting for roster spots in the fourth quarter. Somewhere near the end last night, a play went one way or the other by the tiniest of margins; a defensive lineman missed batting down a pass by 1/4 of an inch, a running back tripped just enough to miss a hole and not get a first down, the nuggets a defensive back ate earlier at Los Pollos Hermanos gave him bad gas right at the snap and he was beaten off the line. Whatever it was, the play was won and lost by a cosmic microsecond – which affects roster spots for the next cuts, which affects who’s an NFL player and who’s bagging groceries in a month, which affects their wives, their girlfriends, their kids, their girlfriends’ kids, their bookies, their bookies wives, their bookies girlfriends’ kids, and of course Al Sharpton. See how it’s all a big butterfly effect?

Look, like you, I thought last night’s game was boring after the first two minutes, but nothing about it was meaningless. Everything we do affects the rest of our lives, and everyone else on the planet, even if it’s just to figure out how Walter White got to new Hampshire. I can’t wait!

Find me on the web at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com, Facebook as Comedian Stephen Thomas, or follow me on Twitter @15Stephen15.  For The Nick Bonsanto Show, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.