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Breaking Bad

Amazing series.  Amazing episode last night.  Talk about a gut punch.

Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros.

(I need to do something about that).

This is the final season of BREAKING BAD.  I think GAME OF THRONES may have a shot at upsetting BB for this year's Emmy (only a shot, though, I think they are the clear favorite), which pits us against their previous season...  but there's no way in hell that anyone is going to defeat BREAKING BAD next year, when their last season is the one in contention.

Admittedly, trying to handicap the Emmys is a mug's game.  You never know.  But for what it's worth, I think this year is our best chance of actually winning one.  Given the splash the Red Wedding made, our profile is likely as high as it is ever going to be.  We had a great season.  If the Academy is ever going to give their ultimate accolade to a fantasy show (something that is by no means certain), it's going to be this year, I think.

But we'll see.  BREAKING BAD, MAD MEN, DOWNTON ABBEY, HOMELAND, and HOUSE OF CARDS will have something to say about that as well.  All good shows, I think.  A couple are great shows.  HOMELAND is the defending champ, MAD MEN's won four, and HOUSE OF CARDS has that whole "gamechanger" thing going for it.  Should be an interesting race.  We'll all know on September 22.


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Albano Calefato
Sep. 17th, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros.

Really? I think Ramsay is worse.


Edited at 2013-09-17 01:48 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC)
Is Hank Schrader the Jon Snow of the ABQ?
Incredible episode last night. With Breaking Bad coming to a conclusion my heart hurts, but knowing we have Game of Thrones for years to come puts me a little bit more at ease.

Now, the SOIAF/Breaking Bad analogies have me thinking. Walt may indeed be the Tywin Lannister of Albuquerque but who resembles his noble brother-in-law? It has to be Jon Snow, right?

Hank is driven by duty. He lives and breathes his work with the DEA and is nearly uncompromising in the pursuit of justice. When all others dismiss the chase for Heisenberg, believe it to be a fool's mission, and doubt the extent of his influence, Hank persists. Even his own pursuit of his brother is relentless. Forget all the family barbeques, forget their relationship, justice is justice. For the good of the realm, er, the ABQ, Walt had to be stopped. Last night's episode showed the extent Hank was willing to go to stay true to himself!

I think Jon Snow has similar motives. Being a part of the Night's Watch, the realm's guardian/police force of the North, he has a duty to perform. The Watch has a code and emphasizes honor and protection. They protect the realm from those beyond the wall, just as Hank is responsible for protecting his region from external forces, some of those even coming from cartels beyond the United State's borders. Snow is adamant about following the code of the Watch, he believes in their cause and will do anything to realize that commitment. He wanted to be a ranger, strives to be on the front lines, accepts and desires responsibility. When those around him doubt their cause or ignore its magnitude, like Hank's focus on Heisenberg, Snow keeps the faith, stays focused. Both of these characters suffer physically and mentally for their beliefs, yet continue on.

Sure, there are some differences, they are at odds in aspects of their personalities, have complicated motivations, and they do not obviously share each other's looks. Although Hank's glimmering bald head and his warm, stocky frame may evoke the same heartfelt sensations as the devilish looks as Kit's Jon Snow. It's all in the eye of the beholder! :)

I am certainly savoring these next two weeks of Breaking Bad, with the likes of Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and many more shows on the air, this is one of the best periods of television in a long time. Looking forward to the Emmy's.

Jeff Bunting
Sep. 18th, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
Re: Is Hank Schrader the Jon Snow of the ABQ?
Hank is not like Jon Snow, more like Eddard Stark.
John Thompson
Sep. 17th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
As nice as an Emmy would be, I believe that "Game of Thrones" will be the first example that people from here on out will use when asked why anybody should take swords-and-sorcery fantasy seriously.
Sep. 17th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
Walt redeemable for his phone call to Skylar? Then what was redeemable about him telling Jesse about watching his girlfriend die when he could have stopped it? And also revealing Jesse hiding under the car? I think Walt has lost his humanity. "Saving" Skylar with that phone call is, IMO, just the other side of the god he tries to play. Regardless, he's still the puppet master pulling all the strings.

This series is brilliant, and the darkest series I've ever watched, a psychological masterpiece. It's the only show where I refuse to be spoiled before an episode about ANYTHING. The adrenalin and roller coaster ride is just too thrilling.

That said, good luck GoT! I see you've already won a few pre-Emmys. I'm rooting for more!
Sep. 17th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
Umm Jesse totally deserved whatever he got... it was his fault they were there in the first place and his choices that caused the house of cards to start collapsing.
(no subject) - userj - Sep. 17th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Sep. 17th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
The creator of one of my favorite things just said that one of my other favorite things is awesome.

This.. is the best not a blog post ever in the history of not a blogs. :)
Sep. 17th, 2013 05:58 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, Emmy voters don't reward content and talent most of the time
While I think BREAKING BAD has greater chances next year, GAME OF THRONES season 4 will be far fresher in the minds of voters. However, the fact that a large portion of Emmy voters likely never watch the shows they are voting for, or the actors for that matter, it will all come down to who showed up to their parties most, and who spent the most to get their vote.

The most prestigious awards are also the least earned by way of talent.

Edited at 2013-09-17 06:00 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
Breaking Bad was absolutely fantastic. The best episode so far and that's saying something. TV history. And there are still two episodes to go. I'm afraid of what might happen.
Sep. 17th, 2013 08:04 am (UTC)
If you missed the significance of that last phone call... That IS Walter's redemption.
Watch it again. Watch is very closely.

For the first time it's Walt pretending to be Heisenberg, rather than Heisenberg pretending to be Walt. He's crying as he's summoning all the hate of Heisenberg he can. Watch how Skyler reacts and what she says back to certain claims.

He says Skyler knows nothing about his business... but of course she created the money laundering system. In one conversation he creates a false narrative where she had no blame in his crimes when she had long been a willing participant.

At least at that moment that phone call is not the conversation of a monster. It's the human side of a man who has done monstrous things, doing its very best to make amends.

Edited at 2013-09-17 08:07 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
BB vs. GoT
GoT just happens to be my favorite television show. The reason for this is because of the attachment that I have for the books and the length of time that they have been held so dear to me. (I have been a fan since ASoS was released).

Having said that, I can fully recognize that what is happening in Breaking Bad is truly monumental. With only some reservations, I can say that the writing is almost as well written as some of Shakespeare's works. The acting in the show has surpassed anything that I have seen on television and is on par with the greatest performances in film.

As GoT fans, we have many years to cheer on the show to win awards. I am sure that you are going to write a finale that is just as good as Breaking Bad's. If this wasn't their conclusion year, (and I consider last's year's series part of the conclusion as it is just one season), I would think that GoT would beat it, but as it stands, I would be fine seeing BB recognized this year.

I do hope that Emilia Clark wins over Anna Gunn is the best supporting category.
Sep. 17th, 2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
Lord Of House Hyssenberg
First of all, I'm so glad to hear you watch Breaking Bad! Secondly, you can totally fit in an evil-as-Walt character. In my assumption, with winter coming and all, there's going to be a ton of backstabbing and conniving in order to survive.

Walt would totally survive a long winter in Westeros, thanks to his ruthlessness. It also helps he has science on his side.

So maybe in your world he's an alchemist who's developed a particularly addictive brand of Shade Of The Evening (with a hint of sky blue in its color), and peasants everywhere are hooked on the stuff. He's even hooked up with a Lyseni shipping company who can help him distribute to places as far as Qarth. He becomes obscenely wealthy. He buys out the Lannisters, who are majorly hurting anyway because of winter. Also, several lives have been ruined on his way to the top - some various lords who've tried to take over his operation, and not to mention all the peasants who are now addicted to his drug, their teeth falling out etc. (even moreso than before)...

Sorry, I just can't control my excitement for the prospect of a Walt-inspired character in your books!
Sep. 17th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yay - Emmys!
Oh, holy taters. I really hope Game of Thrones will win, as the Red Wedding was really something entirely new. I have never seen something that impressive. Good luck to you, Mr. Martin.
The fanbase will be watching your appearance.
Sep. 17th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one who saw Walt's phone call as an act intended to get Skyler off the hook with the police for her involvement in the money laundering, and with Walter Jr. and the neighbours for staying married to "Heisenberg". It's even possible that he intended to return Holly all along (but I doubt it - the look on his face when she started crying for mama makes it seem unlikely), that he took her with him only to make the sham call that much more convincing and ensure the cops would still be there whe he made that call.

Not saying he's a nice guy or anything - showing the neonazis where Jesse was hiding then rubbing Jane's death in Jesse's face would be tough to explain in that case. (Another sham, meant to put Hank's killers at ease and buy himself time to buy a big honkin' machine gun to use on them. That's my best attempt, and even I'm not buying it).

Still, Tywin-level bad-brokenness? I don't know. Would Tywin have tried to call off the neonazis if he thought it might save, say, Kevan's wife? There's only one person I know of who'd know for sure...
Sep. 17th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
I'm getting a real kick out of reading my favorite author of my favorite books ever offering his thoughts on my favorite TV program ever.

Breaking Bad is the only story currently going that gets reactions out of me the way your Song of Ice and Fire books do. HBO's Game of Thrones might get those reactions too if I didn't essentially know what was coming each episode and season. I still enjoy the episodes, but a little bit of the luster goes away when you know what to expect.

I think "Rains of Castamere" has a great shot at the Emmy this year. I know it's up against "Dead Freight," the train heist episode from Breaking Bad. I enjoyed "Dead Freight" more, but again, that's because I knew what was coming in "Rains of Castamere." Well done episode, but as a fan of the books it lacked the gut punch you speak of Breaking Bad (which it seems to be delivering this year with each and every episode). This said, if either "Rains of Castamere" or "Dead Freight" fail to take home the Emmy, the fix in.

And I agree with you, Breaking Bad is going to clean up at the Emmys next year. These last eight episodes have been nothing short of superlative. As someone on their Facebook page said, they're going to need all seven of those barrels to take home all those Emmys.

At this point, the only thing left for them to do is stick the landing in the last episode. As with your books, I have every confidence they will.

Joseph Nobles
Sep. 17th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Interesting parallel between ASoIaF and BB emerged last episode
Todd/Jesse = Ramsey/Theon?

At least in the power dynamic that began in "Ozymandius."
Sep. 17th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe a wandering ex-maester who deals with some spiced up version of milk of the poppy...
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George R.R. Martin
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