By Elliott Logan
An formidable interpretation of the severely celebrated and extensively well known crime drama Breaking undesirable , this e-book argues that not just should still the sequence be understood as a convey that revolves round the dramatic stakes of dignity, yet that to take action finds - in new methods - imperative features of serial tv drama as an paintings shape.
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Extra info for Breaking Bad and Dignity: Unity and Fragmentation in the Serial Television Drama
This weighting of focus places Walt’s more remarkable, prestigious achievement as long past, as having passed, decades ago. It also suggests a weighting of value, in which a modest yet vital public contribution as an educator feels like wasted potential below the rarefied heights of Nobel recognition. Of course, perhaps it’s more common than not for bright, early possibilities cut so clear in youth to fade and be dulled by time’s long, slow passage. But Walt’s despondent response to the morning is set in a halfdecorated nursery, a space in which energy, money, and time are being invested in preparation for the new life that will be raised here.
His manner pleads a little, as if making a veiled beg. By contrast, caving to Bogdan’s demands, displaying his weakness again (‘We talked about this’), Walt unleashes a small fury of energy: he slams down his biro (a flimsy impact) and – after stepping aside for Bogdan, who takes up the surrendered position – snags his arms by petulantly whipping off his jacket. Walt’s desire to have his status recognised does not by itself excite his passions; the resentment of his perceived insult and the shame of his exposed weakness bring out a more vital, yet less graceful, display of spirit.
He then draws himself taller and gently pulls his shoulders back, introducing a slightly military rigour to his posture and arms, which, now stiffened, he places and holds by his side. Upon hearing the sirens a moment ago, Walt used the connection between his fingertips and his temples to achieve a coherence of body and mind, which defied the panic-inducing threat of the police. His stiffened manner of standing now is even harder and less susceptible to being moved by the world around him. It is in this stance he is able to effect the most complete cleavage between his prior state of humiliating vulnerability and his emerging one of more dignified toughness.