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#599793 - 07/24/12 02:49 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Ah; just found out Episode 2 was directed by Michelle MacLauren, which makes sense. She has consistently directed some of the very best episodes in the show.

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#599794 - 07/24/12 03:01 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Inside Ep 1:



Inside Ep 2:



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#599804 - 07/26/12 12:28 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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Finally had a chance to watch the clips, very interesting, thanks for those, Madget. It's clear that director Mac Lauren or maybe Gilligan, asks for very specific emotional cocktails from the actors at times and gets them too.

Oh and I was just wrong in describing Anna Gunn with the word 'chunky', if anything, she's only curvier and that's a very good thing. Right now, she's repulsed and afraid of Walt in equal parts, so bad times ahead for the self-styled Family Man.

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#599809 - 07/26/12 05:04 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I can normally take or leave little featurettes like that, but sometimes the BB ones clue me into something I missed.

I wasn't clear on who Lydia was at first, for example, but saw her sitting at the table with Madrigal and the DEA when looking back. Still not clear who she is, but understanding she's with Madrigal helps.

I very much like that we're forging into the corporate hierarchy behind Los Pollos Hermanoes and its links to the drug trade, and getting a sense of the surreal threat it represents. The show could've pretty easily dropped all that to keep its focus local to Walt; instead, we're going worldwide with the ripple effect of Walt's trajectory through the business.

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#599816 - 07/26/12 06:18 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Right! I'm sure that Mike knows better, but Walt seems to think he's at the top of the food chain now with Gus eliminated. You'd think someone with his intellect would be more concerned with the 'worlds within worlds' nature of his business.

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#599817 - 07/26/12 07:29 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Walt's academic intelligence is high and he's clever and ballsy when in a bind, but in fairness, foresight and broad vision have never, at any point in the series, been his forte. I remember the writers mulling in commentaries as early as Season 2 about Walt's blind spots, so I think at this point, his inability to see very far past himself is an intentional character trait. Even this late in the game, with everything going his way (on the surface at least) Walt is not so much a portrait of a man in control, but more of a satire of that portait, high on self-determinism while comically unaware of what a doomed cog he really is. Come to think of it, that's a small but critical part of why Bryan Cranston is so good in the role: his underlying comic doofiness. The audience is never allowed to take Walt quite as seriously as Walt takes himself.

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#599840 - 07/29/12 02:45 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Bryan Cranston's casting was what initially kept me from checking out Breaking Bad. He was a fantastic bumbling Dad in Malcolm in the Middle, but when I heard he had the leading role in a drama, I just thought, right, comic actors always want to do drama, dramatic actors always want to do comedy, show their range, increase employability. My narrow minded paradigm may actually have a little truth as far as actors motives go, but is obviously meaningless relating to their possible success in crossing genres. An opposite example of genre hopping, the actor who plays Hank was in the latest episode of Adult Swim's 'Eagleheart'. He didn't have a lot of lines, it's only a 15 minute show, but he was hilarious!

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#599841 - 07/29/12 05:39 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Dark as Breaking Bad can be, there is a lot of comedy in it, a lot of absurdity. And for all his serious moments, Walt is in many ways a fundamentally comic character. Think about how different the show would be if they had cast a purely dramatic actor in the lead role. There are times when I actually think BB pushes a little too far into cutesy humor, but overall I think the writers and actors very smart to keep one foot in that camp.

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#599848 - 07/30/12 06:52 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Episode 3:

I think Breaking Bad does a good job of choosing its moments to leap forward. For two seasons they drew out the dramedy of Walt lying about his activities to Skyler, to the point it dissolved his marriage; we await his big confession to her, but then, boom -- she's already figured it out. We're already past it. It makes sense, and it's done, and the story moves forward. Because the groundwork is so carefully and thoroughly laid, we don't think twice about the transition. It's time, and it happens. I feel that way with the evolution of Walter White this season. We've spent four seasons watching him doubt himself, be tormented, have pangs of conscience and guilt. But with the end of Season 4, and the high of winning his battle against the master opponent and the lows he sank to in order to accomplish that -- poof. There is no more transition needed for Walt: he is the Bad Guy now. And he does Bad Guy things, and he no longer thinks twice about it. And it works. It was time.

I'm also impressed that just 3 episodes into Season 5, they have Walt & Jesse up and cooking again, with an entirely new -- and quite clever -- model/scheme. I think they're doing a better job than in Season 4, writing-wise, of choosing what details and aspects of the story to explore, vs. what details to sort of gloss over. I sense they have a lot they want to get in this season, but the pacing still works.

I love little details like the mascot of the new pest control operation. In Season 3 & 4 we had that smiling yellow Hermanoes Chicken, and a clean, controlled corporate environment. Now, we have the kooky, yellow running vermin mascot, as Walt/Jesse cook hidden inside tents with cockroaches. And at the same time, Walt is cleverly diminished to Robert Ford by Mike ("Just because you shot Jesse James, doesn't make you Jesse James"). Gus's logo vs. Walt's logo reflect their respective status and subtly caricaturizes them.

Skyler's semi-breakdown seemed believable, although I'm not sure exactly where they're going with it; and Walt's manipulations with Marie appropriately creepy and evil -- this scene, along with his talk with Jesse about Andrea, show us very clearly how comfortable Walt now is with unbridled, self-serving manipulation.

I do think the manipulations re: Jesse were maybe a bit too easy, though. I'm not sure I buy Walt planting that one little seed of doubt, and it leading to the resolution of an entire major (if uninteresting) relationship re: Jesse all in the length of an episode. I do buy Walt's vague spell over Jesse, but I'm not sure I buy quite that level of totality.

I probably also could've done without the explicit Scarface inclusion. I get it's meant to be a joke the audience is in on at this point, but it was maybe a tad much.

Still, good stuff as usual.

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#599851 - 07/30/12 02:16 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1068
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Scarface being on the TV worked well enough though it was a bit facile. Maybe I have a suspicious nature but, I don't think the fact that it plays on AMC this Wednesday is entirely coincidence.

Totally agree with you that the comedic parts of the show are very valuable. Somehow they serve to keep the action grounded in what seems like real life. The same is true for some of the drama. When I heard Mike's Jesse James line to Walt in the preview, I thought it would be delivered with over-the-top menace like something out of, well, Scarface, but seeing and hearing it in the show, it was practically conversational.

The idea of the new lab's site being in {So, we're long ago done with SPOILERS here, right?}

an average house that's being fumigated is just plain clever. Not knowing the real requirements for this kind of chemistry, I'll buy that the logistics wouldn't actually be impossible. Plenty of room for close calls and unexpected jeopardy like the baby monitor that had to be disabled as well. I'm especially getting a kick out of it because I worked on those tent fumigations thirty or so years ago. Part of the process prior to the gas release is to pull open every drawer and cabinet door so the deadly Vikane gets to all nooks and crannies. The result is that when the homeowners return, it looks as if they've been burglarized!

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