August 11 is quickly approaching and for many people, this day could not come faster. The majority of them have been waiting almost a year for this day to come, and some, like myself, have only been waiting months (or weeks or days). What exactly are we all waiting for? Well, to be precise, we’re all waiting for SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT a DEA agent/brother-in-law to get off a toilet. Yes, we’re all waiting for Breaking Bad to come back after the first half of season 5 ended with Hank Schrader discovering this his brother-in-law, Walter White, was in fact the elusive Heisenberg. It just ended up being a bonus that Hank was sitting on the toilet when he found out and of course, the Internet has fully embraced this iconic moment.
I’m getting a bit off-topic, but as you can tell, I absolutely love this show. This might be controversial, but I truly believe this is the best show on television right now and one of the best shows that has ever graced the medium. I used to be a staunch supporter of the “Mad Men is the best show on TV” camp, but after the sloppy mess that was season 5, I’ve lost that love I had for the show. I will always be Team Peggy though and sorry, I still have a soft spot for the Peggy/Pete relationship and will remain hopeful that they’ll get back together. My interest has waned so much that I’ve only watched the first episode of the most recent season and haven’t found the urge to continue. If you’re caught up on Mad Men, let me know if I need to catch up immediately (I mean, I will eventually), otherwise I will look into other shows that have been deemed must watch by my friends and critics (I’m hearing so much about Orange is the New Black; don’t worry, I’ve started it). My sudden loss of interest in Mad Men may have also been aided by my Breaking Bad bingewatching this past December and the realization that YES THIS SHOW DESERVES THE HYPE WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THIS EARLIER?! In any case, I did sit on my butt for several days and caught up with the series during my Winter Break and I am so glad I did. I’ve mentioned in several past posts just how much I love and am enthralled by the writing, story, and cinematography of Breaking Bad, so I highly recommend starting the show if you haven’t by now, just to get a glimpse to see what you’re missing out on and why the show gets such high praise.
At the end of my last post, I mentioned that there was a Apple Talk/Event (I’ve now realized that the official names for these things is Meet the Filmmakers) for Breaking Bad and that reservations were full. Because I’m such a determined person and because my current internship is located about a block away from the Apple Store in SoHO, I decided to try to get in anyway, even if it meant pretending to look for an iPhone case or some other Apple product in the back just so I could listen in on the talk with Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston, and creator Vince Gilligan. After work, I raced over to the store and tried to scope out the situation. They hold all of the talks on the second floor of the store, right at the top of the stairs, and as soon as I walked in I could see a fairly large crowd around the area already. There actually was another event right before the Breaking Bad talk for the movie Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which, unfortunately, I’m unfamiliar with. I could see the usual Apple employees checking people in and started to get a little nervous because I hadn’t RSVP’d for either event. Still, because I’m such a badass I decided to sneak in under the rope in an unguarded area. Yes, it was that easy. I decided to stand through the Percy Jackson event and try to stay afterwards for the Breaking Bad talk. I cannot tell you much about Percy Jackson talk, except that they kept it pretty short and that Logan Lerman and the other actress did the best they could answering questions from a moderator who seemed as unfamiliar with the movie as I am and an audience that seemed to be half old people and half actual fans. They were soon rushed off the stage and the Apple employees began moving in the BB fans into the seating area. I supposed I could’ve grabbed a seat because I was early enough, but I didn’t have a wristband nor an RSVP, so I stayed put in the standing area. Thankfully, I was right behind the last row of seats and had a great view. The audience quickly grew into the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at these Apple events and not even the pain I started to feel in my legs and my neck (I’ve been experiencing really bad neck pain this past week) could crush my excitement. At one point, we were able to see Bryan Cranston walk backstage and Aaron Paul, in true Jesse fashion, yelled out to the audience from the hallway. It was great.
Finally, after an additional 15 minutes of waiting, the moderator, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Vince Gilligan came out! The discussion was actually very interesting and both actors talked at length about how lucky they feel to be involved with the show. One of the more interesting topics was Walter White’s slow transformation into his Heisenberg alter ego and the point in the show’s arc at which Walt begins to turn into a villain. If you’ve watched the show, that point they mention is SPOILER ALERT when Walt watches and allows Jane to choke on her own vomit and die. I also thought it was great to hear how Bryan and Aaron get into their characters, physically and mentally, and how much effort and thought they’ve put into Walter and Jesse. All three had great answers to the moderator and audience’s questions and really appeared thankful for the reception the show’s gotten. At the end of the talk, they stayed after to take photos and sign autographs. One of the cutest moments was when I saw two guys wearing the yellow HAZMAT suits work their way up to front and catch Aaron Paul’s attention. He immediately went, “Yes!” and took a photo with them.
It definitely was one of the more interesting and exciting talks I’ve seen so far at the Apple Store and if you’re interested, you can check out the entire thing on iTunes.
A few weeks ago, before I found out about the Apple Store talk, I bought a ticket for the Film Society at Lincoln Center’s special Breaking Bad event. In celebration of the upcoming season, the Film Society held daily marathons of the entire series, one season per day, and four special panels with various cast members. After a stressful ticket buying process that gave me flashbacks to buying tickets for Flight of the Conchords way back when, I managed to snag a ticket for Bryan Cranston’s panel! The panels comprised of a Q&A with the guests and two of their favorite episodes. After hearing Bryan Cranston talk about SPOILER ALERT Jane’s death and how it marked a major change for Walter a few days before, I had a feeling he would choose that one. I was right and we ended up watching episode 212 “Phoenix” and episode 310 “Fly.” Apparently, the latter episode has been considered one of the show’s weaker episode, I guess, because it’s a bottle episode. True, it’s one of the slower episode of the series and hinges entirely on the acting from the two leads, but I’ve always thought this was a fantastic episode because of the in depth look we get into the relationship between Jesse and Walter and the long monologue from Walter about the “perfect moment,” which in my opinion, more than makes up for the lack of action. It’s one of my favorite scenes from television. Unfortunately, I cannot find it on YouTube so these quotes will have to do (courtesy of quotefully.com).
The Q&A that followed after unfortunately wasn’t as interesting to me this time, only because I had heard a lot of the answers at the Apple even a few days earlier. I also was trying not to breathe so much because the guy next to me had awful B.O, but that’s another story…The audience Q&A was better only because the questions asked were different from the ones asked at the other event. My favorite question was the last one: “What do you think is the funniest scene from the show?” And Bryan Cranston explained how one of the crew members came up with Jesse’s line “A robot?!” in the episode where Walt and Jesse must build a battery to save themselves.
The Film Society should have videos up from all four panels pretty soon, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.
I am so, so excited for this show to come back and very happy I was able to go to both of these events. I’m a latecomer to Breaking Bad, but cannot stop talking about the show and I feel so fortunate that I live in New York now where I can drop in on events like these. Hopefully, this post inspired you to start to show or if you’re already a fan, you found it interesting and that it made you even more excited for the new season. I’ll try to write a few more entries once the show starts!
Bonus: Vulture has this really cool Breaking Bad advent style calendar to count down to the season premiere. Check it out HERE.