Media Matrimony for Better for Worse, Part 2

In yesterday’s post, I began to explore the questions posed to me by W. David O. Taylor about why marriage is often treated in such an unseemly light in much of current TV and film.

Having addressed the divide between what is being pitched or written in Hollywood and what is being made there, a divide whose numbers alone would likely assure Taylor that more redeeming efforts of the kind he describes are being made than meet the screen, I now come to the heart of his inquiry.

Is there any reason why the complexities and tensions as well as pleasures and inherent “goods” of traditional marriage no longer capture the imaginations of producers and writers? Is it a dramatically uninteresting subject matter? Is the fact that over 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce a reason why writers cannot imagine it any other way? Is it a matter of a “trend”?

It’s hard not to hear each successive question for its rhetorical effect. My first response was to add one of my own to the list: is a generally disenchanted picture of marriage in our entertainment climate an unconscious, cultural form of collective self-amelioration, by which we come away feeling better about our own marriages in comparison?

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Breaking Up with Breaking Bad

“It’s over, bitch.”

That’s how she put it in no uncertain terms as the credits rolled at the end of the series finale.

It was the voice of Jesse Pinkman that she chose, the show’s outlaw Robin to Walter White’s cancer-clad Batman on a self-destructive mission to save his family from financial ruin at the cost of such greater ruin.

She being the bitch, of course—or, rather, the son of one in the best sense of that term.

After six long years of our on-again, off-again, you-ain’t-seen-nothing-yet-again seasonal trysts, Breaking Bad is done with me.

But I’m not done with it. Un-uh. Not so fast. Not before I get to say a few words myself, thank you very much. So get back here like the trophy show that you are and hear me out—lest you forget that you needed me way before I needed you.

Truth be told, it wasn’t a six-year affair in my case, as it was for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of other viewers; no, I was among the greater number who only caught up on back seasons of the series in time to watch this last one live.

She and I, we made up for lost time in a serious way.

The thing is, this wasn’t like me: I may work in television, but I sure as hell don’t get hooked on it like…a meth addict.

Hell, yeah, I did, this time around. Are you kidding me? Don’t make me start talking like Pinkman’s sidekick, Skinny Pete, after sampling a fresh batch of crank.

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