OPINION: ‘Breaking Bad’ continues legacy with well-deserved film

See no evil—A disheveled Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, stares frantically through a doorway in the trailer for Netflix’s “El Camino.” photo courtesy of imdb

By Adam Robles

The new movie “El Camino” serves as a sequel to the “Breaking Bad” television series. 

It’s set to release on Netflix on Friday and will also be shown in a few theaters. The “Breaking Bad” series is one of those few television shows that people can watch and be absolutely devastated once it’s over. It’s a show about a teacher who begins to cook and sell meth as a way to provide for his family after finding out he has lung cancer. 

With a creator and producer like Vince Gilligan, as well as its amazing cast of extremely talented actors and writers, its fanbase always wants more content. A show like this definitely deserves a movie, because it ended at the height of its popularity.

This show is a story of changes that can be viewed as either positive, negative or both. Drastic changes can be seen in characters’ physical appearances and subtle changes can be spotted in the smaller details of the show. 

It’s one of the few shows where each character feels alive. It doesn’t feel like these characters were placed for the sole purpose to move the plot in a certain direction. Their decisions seem rational for the character development they’ve gone through.

As the series progresses, the family begins to fall apart. The viewer can see that the family meals go from being home-cooked, with everyone there, to being nonexistent. Based on how interactive and lively these family meals appear to be, the viewer can see where the story is and how damaged the family has become from Walt’s business.

“Breaking Bad” is a series that holds multiple messages throughout the story and has a way of communicating to the viewer without using dialogue. A lot of objects and places are used for more than just what their surface purpose is. Walt’s swimming pool is used to get lots of messages across to the audience without having to go into a deep backstory or a flashback where characters use words to communicate conflict.

The swimming pool is used to show things like regret, obsession, suffering and  pain. Built-in swimming pools usually represent a family’s wealth and are a place for relaxation and fun family barbeques, but in this show it doesn’t fulfill that purpose at all.

Throughout the series there are both sides to the story that can be considered, and it’s fun for the viewer to decide which side they can agree with. An example of this would be Walt’s character adventure of descending or ascending. He goes from being a chemistry teacher in high school to being the top dog of the meth business. He justifies his actions as trying to provide for his family. It’s a sort of combative process against the bills he has to pay for his cancer treatment.

It can be argued that this process ruined his whole life, but he was unfulfilled since the very beginning. He wasn’t happy with where he was, but by becoming a man of power, he was able to make use of the little time he had left and leave his family without any debt.

These are just a few examples of the messages that are communicated through cinematic shots. Throughout the whole series there are seeds for climactic moments that are planted and usually pay off later in the episode or during a big confrontation that changes the course of each season. A show like this is fun to go back to just so the viewer can look at these smaller details and realize that this show has lots of room for extended analysis.

The way the show wraps up seems nearly perfect so it technically did not need a sequel of any kind, but concluding it with a movie is smarter than dragging it on for another season. The two-hour film serves as the epilogue to conclude the arc of Aaron Paul’s character, Jesse Pinkman.  After all the pain and suffering he endured throughout the series, this seems like the best thing to do.

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