When Breaking Bad is over, let’s all shut the fuck up for 24 hours before the inevitable White noise
Breaking Bad is my favorite show, but here’s the thing:
Right out of college, I worked at an ad agency with a whole bunch of people who were at least twice my age—and one person who was my dad. Everyone was really nice, but there was this one woman who didn’t talk to anyone and made people extremely uncomfortable. Let’s call her Amy. Tall and wiry, like a sentient coat hanger, she had a habit of cutting people off and snapping at employees when they didn’t get something right, blowing things way out of proportion. Her office was an intimidatingly cavernous space with a solitary lamp hovering over her disproportionately tiny desk. She always wore big clunky shoes, too, so you could hear her coming and have plenty of time to commence shivering. I already had a hard-enough time making friends at this office, being the boss’ barely 23-year-old son. I sure as hell wasn’t going to be taken in by Amy.
It all changed when she found out I watched Lost.
This wasn’t the Lost where they traveled back in time and the source of all its power was a large funnel in a cave that somehow related to the smoke monster because ?????. No, this was the halcyon Lost days where a mysterious man in a hatch had to push a button every 108 minutes because ?????. The good kind of mystery. This was the epitome of a “watercooler show,” inspiring coworkers from all disparate industries to gather together and wonder where Boone was getting all his hair product.
Throughout my work day, I’d get calls from office 205. That was Amy’s office. Nobody wanted to get calls from that office. I’d sigh and pick up the phone. “So, who do you think Penelope is?” She wasn’t any less formal or abrasive, but she had a million Lost conspiracy theories, and spewed them out before I could even follow up. Then, eight seconds later, “This show…is…crazy.” *Click* Every time. Thanks to the healing power of television, I’d managed to soothe the savage Mrs. Eko.
The connection and lack-of-being-yelled-at I got from Amy justified the obsessiveness by which I watched Lost. My theories were my own, and they earned respect. Maybe not tangibly, but I felt it.
This feeling has splintered though the advent of Twitter and media outlets that claim “comprehensiveness” as a virtue. Every little detail of every facial expression on Breaking Bad is deconstructed instantaneously, and constantly. Think Jane’s still alive? There are probably a half a million tweets hashtagged “#zombiejane,” written by people with 29 followers, for you to peruse. Or, just wait for some pop culture blog to write its many, many posts about Jane’s lipstick color and its relation to a second-season scene from Deadwood. The Internet was definitely a thing back before the days of Nikki and Paulo, but the microtransaction of ideas is impossible to keep up with nowadays. I’d venture to say a good 90+ percent of the Internet will be talking about Breaking Bad. Heisenberg would be pleased with those numbers.
But what if not? What if, for the sake of a badass show probably killin’ it (and people) in the finale, we all just…watched the episode? Then, you know, thought about it? Television manages to be an inclusive form of art, in that we all see the same thing, but it’s still supposed to be deeply personal. Why rush to dissipate—or, worse, blindly validate—your purest feeling?
Just give it 24 hours. ONE DAY to scrub that misplaced sense of obligation to thrust your opinion about Breaking Bad onto the world like a meth head thrusting an ATM machine on the head of another meth head.
Look, I know I can avoid Twitter on Monday if I want. I can go about my leisurely way pretending [insert name of blog I probably have worked for] doesn’t exist. But when I do eventually come around (and I’m sure I will; far be it from me to turn down the invitation to the Internet’s non-sclusive Breaking Bad party) it’d be nice to think I’d be reading the thoughts and ideas of people who’ve taken time alone—maybe with a small group of friends, maybe over by the water cooler—to really reflect on what they want to say. Share why they think all of us were so captivated and disgusted with Walter White. And breakfast. Maybe it wouldn’t be about comment counts, mad RTs and faves, it’d just be about making the Amys of the world hate you slightly less.
On Tuesday, I’ll have a whole bunch of ideas, they’ll be my own, and I’ll want desperately to talk about them. Then—THEN—let’s break the Internet.