Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walter White Wednesday 37

Two of the best parts of co-writing a book like this (aside from simply being able to co-write a book like this) is that (a) the workload is shared and (b) you get to see things from more than just your own angle.  My co-author, Ensley F. Guffey, is in the midst of writing a longer piece for Wanna Cook? that deals with the concept of place in Breaking Bad.*

"Place?" you say.  "It's in Albuquerque.  Got it."  No, not that kind of place.  (Although you're right.)  Think of it this way - you buy a house, but you make a home.  If you get that, you're well on your way to understanding the significant differences between "space" and "place."  And this is a concept with which Breaking Bad's cup just runneth over.

Think of the RV, where Jesse & Walt spend such significant amounts of time early in the show - and think of that scene in which the faithful, shot-up RV goes to its final reward, marking the end of an era.

Rolling meth lab in the peaceful desert.  Sort of.

Will Walt's fate be much different?
Or think of Jesse's house, which begins Season 1 as very much his late aunt's house, and the changes it goes through as Jesse makes it his own place.  The house can be viewed as a metaphor for Jesse's squirrel-cage of a mind as he spirals down (particularly the beginning of Season 4) and makes some decisions (remember how he pretty much literally wipes the slate clean?  That's place, baby.)  These are the sorts of things Ensley describes and explains - great work, too!

Somehow, lace curtains don't seem gangsta to me.
Same house, Season 4
*The book will have several of these longer pieces.  Each episode gets about 1,500 words, which includes a brief "what's going on" along with notes on recurring images and themes, notable camera angles and "extras" that apply to the episode, like pieces on Pablo Escobar and Walt Whitman.  But there are a few concepts that deserved a longer look, such as the application of a great theory on the steps Walt travels to become so violent and the use on nonverbal communication (Hector's bell, for example) in the show.  The "place piece" is one of these.

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