The show I will tell you about is my favorite show, Breaking Bad. Now I haven’t ever been able to get into a routine of sitting down every week and watching a TV show, I just can’t do, shows now days just bore me. But Breaking Bad caught my attention and has held it.

Breaking Bad is a drama show that premiered on AMC in 2008.  Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher, who has just been diagnosed with lung cancer, decides to pair up with Jesse Pinkman, a former delinquent student of his, to produce the drug crystal meth to make money for his family so they will be financially stable when he dies. Jesse and Walt end up getting themselves in trouble with many of the wrong people. Their little science experiment ends up causing more drama and trouble than they can handle. These two newbie drug dealers turn into kingpins in the drug empire.  These two rookies end up being some of the most feared people in the drug world. They take you along for a great ride along the way.

This show has gained many viewers since it has been put on Netflix. This show appeals to many different demographics, but is most popular among people ages 25-49.  Breaking Bad has it all, drugs, murder, mystery, and crime. This show is the best I’ve ever seen at ending an episode and making sure you will watch the next one. There is no way you can watch just one episode without wondering what’s going to happen next.  Breaking Bad has many parts of the show that can be taken or looked at in different ways by different people. There are many ways you can take something that happened in the show. Different people get different meanings from the actions of the characters.

Below is the trailer for season 1 to give you a sneak peek at what you’ve missed.

In this blog I will tell you about the Narrative Criticism of Breaking Bad.

Narrative criticism shows that through the study of texts, stories are structured into a cause and effect chain of events. These events have a clear-cut beginning, middle, and end.  When you understand the sequence of these events it helps you see potential meaning that is embedded in the texts.  Narrative criticism is all about story telling, it helps us make use of our lives.  There are many different ways to tell stories, bedtime stories, fairy tales, gossip stories, funny stories, bedtime stories, and religious stories. All different types of stories can be turned into texts that we can listen to, read, or watch as a television show or movie.

Breaking Bad has a clear cut beginning, middle and end. You can tell when the transitions occur. The ending may come at the beginning of the next episode though as some of the dilemmas carry over to other episodes, but that helps the show because it helps hold the viewers attention to the next week. It brings the viewers back for more.  Narrative analysis in media criticism consists of three basic approaches, Aristotelian, visualist, and structuralist.  Breaking Bad follows closely to the Aristotelian approach.  This approach follows the story through elements of drama.  The language they use in this show reflects on who the character is. Mr. White, an educated teacher, not necessary a “gang banger” or “drug dealer” speaks very professionally, while Jesse is known for his slang language, and his catch phrase where he adds the word “bitch” to the end of every sentence.  I believe each character speaks how they do to fit in with how the audience thinks they should talk, the bad drug dealers usually have horrible grammar, and while the DEA agents speak with a very professional sound.

Breaking Bad follows the Visualist approach sometimes too with the shows use of  the camera being the narrator. The show is very visually appealing and is known for using shots seen from underneath whatever the certain character is looking it, the actors are actually looking straight into your living room it seems like. This gives it a very real look.  This effect sets the scene up very well.

As for the “So What?” question about why it is important to critically examine the media text, it is a complex answer. It is important to criquite and analyze media so we can see how other people who view these same media texts we do, and how they react to what we all see, or even if they see something us (the viewers) don’t see. You may have 5 different people watch the same show, but they may have taken that show in 5 different ways.  So it is important to see what people get out of media today. You may watch a show and think that the same thing happens every time. In Breaking Bad’s case, it may be something that happens to Walt. You may expect him to act a certain way during a situation. But if you pay close attention, you may see or notice something that you wouldn’t expect to see, that’s why you have to pay attention to media now days.  Narrative criticism also helps the audience use the stories they are watching to organize the experiences in their own lives and help people make sense of them.   You yourself turn into a media critic when you view a media text; next time you watch your favorite TV show or movie, make sure you pay attention to the way things in the show happen. You may notice things you didn’t see before.

Advertisements