Viewer’s Block: Breaking Bad Ruined Television For Me

Viewer’s Block: Breaking Bad Ruined Television For Me November 1, 2013

From Geek Goes Rogue TV Editor Zach W. Lorton, breaking his code of silence after nearly a month…

Why am I still talking about Breaking Bad?

The end of this landmark drama took its toll on me.  Battlestar Galactica excited me.  Heroes held me in awe, at least in the first season, anyway.  Chuck entertained me and prodded the geek in me to be proud.  Boston Legal was an all-around knockout of a show that featured some of the best actors in television history.  Breaking Bad, on the other hand, cause me to become invested emotionally.

My pastor’s wife will sometimes begin praying for the characters in a movie she’s watching if they’re facing a seemingly impossible situation, and after having followed Walter White and Co. for 5 seasons, I completely empathize with her.  Walter White was as real as you or I, a person who faced a horrible situation, who made the wrong choice and was forced to deal with the consequences.  It was a heavy, uncompromising look at the darkness of the human soul, the depths of depravity to which a man can sink, and a life of hopelessness.

It was a hard show to watch, but it sucked me in.  And now that it’s over, I haven’t been able to engage as fully with many other television shows in the same way.  That shouldn’t surprise me — my relationship with television was that way before.  I had lots of casual friendships with shows, but none that I ever really got close to.  I always wanted to know what was happening with the gang on The Big Bang Theory, but I’m not sure I would have accepted an invitation from them to one of their parties.  As much as the writer in me likes the character of Richard Castle in the comic crime drama Castle, I would never hang out with him.  I am more than satisfied with watching Dethklok pummel their way through their brutally stupid antics to the point that I have no desire to become an animated character and visit Mordhaus.

All other television shows have been casual acquaintances.  Breaking Bad was the first show I ever really…

I’m not sure I can even say it.


So now what?  What’s the answer now that our relationship is over?  Am I to fling myself into a string of meaningless TV trysts with attractive single doctors who have odd quirks, misfit police detectives who don’t take their jobs seriously, rookie government agents and their disavowed informants, and 4 chefs who battle each other by creating great meals from mystery ingredients in a basket?  How many of these casual relationships will carry me through the loss of such a meaningful viewing experience?  How can I be sure that at the end of each episode won’t be the empty longing of a heart yearning for the depth of emotion that once penetrated my viewing soul?

Sorry, Blacklist, as great as you are, I can’t forget about my last.  You’ve been great, New Girl, but I don’t see us going anywhere.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you’ve been nothing but exceptional to me, and I can’t ever thank you enough for your kindness and escapism.  And Almost Human, even though you’re not on the air yet, I’d like to think that you could give me the complexity and sophistication that I want in another TV show… but I’m afraid that you won’t.

The truth is that nothing will ever be the same.  Today, I saw too many pictures on Facebook of people dressed in Breaking Bad themed costumes, and the only thing I could think was, “No!  You take it off!!  You don’t deserve to be Heisenberg!”  I almost can’t stand to look in the mirror, knowing that the face I’ll see will eventually have to forget about BB and move on to another show, hoping that I’ll be as taken, as hooked as I was when I first saw the desert outside of Albuquerque, those white briefs reflecting the sunlight, that frantic face recording a message to the authorities and his family.

I’ll try to get into it, to learn to love again… but It just won’t be the same.

Zach W. Lorton is a media producer and professional DJ/MC by trade, and a comedian, actor, and musician by default.  His debut music project is set to begin recording in 2014, and will likely take the world by storm, possibly in the form of a Sharknado.

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