Skip to comments.'BREAKING BAD': A CHRISTIAN PARABLE
Posted on 10/02/2013 6:01:24 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
...This [column is] about AMC's smash TV series "Breaking Bad" -- the most Christian Hollywood production since Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." (Not surprisingly, both were big hits!)
It may seem counterintuitive that a TV show about a meth cook could have a conservative theme, much less a Christian one, but that's because people think Christian movies are supposed to have camels -- or a "Little House on the Prairie" cast. READ THE BIBLE! It's chockablock with gore, incest, jealousy, murder, love and hate.
Because the Bible tells the truth, the lessons are eternal -- which also marks the difference between great literature and passing amusements. Recall that even Jesus usually made his points with stories.
(Excerpt) Read more at anncoulter.com ...
Anyone else seen it? Is she correct in her analysis?
I've heard people rave about it. Sounds like a tale with a tragic ending to me, but I don't even know how it ended, when? Last week sometime?
I agree with her...it is a story of descent and redemption. It embodies the old saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Highly recommend.
It really is an age old classic story. In a sense I liken it to King Midas in a way. The final season was titled Ozymandias which is a good poem that gives an indication of what it was.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
My neighbor calls it “Breaking Wind”.
I generally don’t read her stuff any more, but I read this piece, and I would say that she states it pretty well. Of course, all stories that ring true are basically Christian parables. If they aren’t, then they don’t actually ring true.
I’ve also never watched the show, but now I want to. Aside from possibly the final season, the entire series is available on DVD.
Basically, this brilliant chemist teacher finds out he has cancer and only has a few months to live. With nothing to leave behind for his family, he decides to use his chemistry skills to cook meth (with a former student of his) for the short time he has remaining before he dies, so that he can leave behind some money for his teenage son and pregnant wife.
Every day he finds himself deeper in the culture and more involved and unable to escape the downward spiral. I can’t say much more without ruining some of the fun, but I HIGHLY recommend it.
I TOTALLY HATE TV.
I never saw Seinfeld, Friends, Melrose Place, Bev Hills 90210 —ANY show like that I didn’t see a SINGLE episode, and I’m way younger than you think.
But I LOVED Breaking Bad..!
I haven’t seen the finale, but I did see many hints of conservativism in it.
I would say there was minimal redemption for Walt. A little but he was just too far gone for any real redemption and he knew it. The tune for the ending scene was absolutely perfect.
Watched it for a bit but thought it was boring and gave it up, I got to series 4 episode 10.
Walking dead is much better
Mike (Johnathan Banks) explains why he never takes half measures.
I had heard people raving about Breaking Bad, so I DVR’d all 61 episodes on AMC’s BB Marathon last week. I was hooked after the first episode and found myself watching BB from 7 am to midnight for several days. It was awesome.
Not sure what Coulter is trying to say with this column.
Her conclusion: "Walt followed his "personal ethics" -- which Pope Francis has reportedly said is good enough for God. "Breaking Bad" demonstrates what the Proverbs teach: There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. " Seems to contradict the Pope.
There was little redemption for Walt. His wife and all the others that benefited from his meth cooking are going to be okay, for the most part.
Hank, his DEA brother-in-law and his wife, who were the most righteous characters, will have suffered the most.
The rest of the world moves on as always.
Walking dead is much better.
What is the color of the sky in your world?
Aesop’s fables ring true. They also read like parables from the bible. Everyone sooner or later meets the dog in the manger in real life.
I feel like, in the car, he seemed to pray that God give him the chance to get home and he would “take care of the rest” and then the car key fell out of the visor, etc. So, maybe he was then a “good guy” ish? He was trying to right his wrongs, kill the really really bad guys?
In other words, he wasn’t irredeemable.
A good show. Worth the time to watch it. Can’t say any more without possibly spoiling it.
I would include Jesse among those who suffered the most despite not being innocent himself. He was actively seeking redemption early on and kept getting knocked down.
I think it’s a good moral play. The more conservative social element may not like it due to violence and profanity but it is a good story. Walter White sins and suffers tremendously for it. If at any point he confessed and begged for forgiveness, a lot of people would not have suffered as much, including him.
love AC 95% of the time & watched BB last 4 years as I’ve never seen such stellar combination of writing, direction, acting on TV. Its comparable to The Godfather trilogy. I’ve NOT seen other series others compare to it (don’t have extended cable). I don’t openly promote BB as there is enough ANTI-Christianity in it. I’d not suggest BB onward unless its censored. Oddly AMC nicely enough censors many old movies and should have here but I’m just daft, eh?
There is some near nudity and the sexual content in the very few scenes it appears is disturbing as it was tossed in to make characters “real”.
There was foul language that one would expect with drug dealers but sadly we’ve come to expect from law enforcement, especially Hank. But in a recent episode the “f-bomb” was censored (I’d never noticed it used before).
There are rude words we hear in shopping malls and then REALLY FOUL words and BB avoided the latter.
What was really disturbing is, as time went on in the series, The Lord’s Name was tossed in vainly to practically every difficult situation. It was if the producers thought this was the only “expletive” that wouldn’t possibly be deleted.
AC is generally wrong anyways and is just stretching terribly. She’s secretive about the strain of “Christian service” she attends but it sure isn’t Catholic. BB could be aptly compared to many a classic work of tragedy.
While I’m here I’ll add that the actors in the last “Talking Bad” installment were reasserting the Name of God instead of using “gosh” (Oh my gosh). I’ve noticed the last decade or less this use of “gosh” has become the norm. sadly the enthusiasm of the fine actors has them pushing the envelope I thought society had accomplished.
Hoping BB can be censored for general audience as at least it shows how starkly evil the characters in heavy drug businesses are, how much intelligence and humanity is lost in it.
Its still Hollyweird.
Coulter ticks me off from time to time and its usually along this vein.
“Anyone else seen it? Is she correct in her analysis?”
I’m not much interested in her analysis but it’s got some of the best acting, production, writing, and character development that has ever been broadcast on TV.
Great show. Nothing else on TV could touch it for the quality of the scriptwriting, the development of the characters and the overall plot....
A particular scene I like was Jesse dealing with his group meeting for drug addiction. The hippie running the show is talking about “accepting” ourselves and our mistakes and moving on. About not judging, etc.
Gabe - said to be a “libertarian”, but later we learn more —three times we’re showing Karl Marx book in his personal collection, and later we see he has dedicated his lab book to Walt Whitman, the gay American poet.
Also Gabe gives off a weird homo vibe towards Walt, and after Gabe’s demise Hank scoffs as he regails a shocked Walt with the particulars of Gabe’s hippy diet (homemade tofu, etc).
BB has a conservative vibe.
kinda had the same experience. Recently converted to ROKU at the urging of my way more thrifty than me, brother. Put it off for at least a year, so glad I finally got a clue. Got BB through NetF and was hooked. Intense. Ann has expressed it well.
Every work of fiction can be combed to find analogues in the Bible.
Yes, she is pretty accurate. The whole thing is an extended morality play, with the “tragic hero”, Walter White, eventually being shown to be quite a monster, who deserves his downfall. It does draw you in to sympathize with him at first, though, because, despite being very intelligent, he is kind of an everyman. He’s got real flaws, and real problems in his life, but also real joys, hopes, and dreams.
Maybe the best way to describe it is Capra meets Scarface. The overall message and moral is good, but there is also an unflinching portrayal of a lot of very bad and ugly parts of life on the way to that moral.
You can watch the last 8 episodes on Amazon. I highly recommend the program as its so well written and acted.
Only until midnight? You gotta get some of that blue stuff, then you can go all night :D
It amazes me that people as educated and meticulous as Ann can use a ‘reported’ quote from the Pope, just to get a dig into the Catholic Church, which they don’t take a moment not a moment to research.
The pope cannot say personal ethics are okay with God.
Everything the Church stands for is against coming up with one’s own ethics. The Church serves to tell us what God expects of us; it’s where all those rules, people complain about, come from.
And the Pope cannot just come out with things that pop into his head.
He has a masters in philosophy and a doctorate in theology, both from Catholic institutions. He has been serving faithfully in the priesthood (bishop and cardinal) in union with the popes and has earned the recognition of his obedience to the Church from all of the Cardinals, all over the world, not just the ones from our myopic, liberal western culture in Europe and the United States.
He cannot and could not just come up with some wacky dogma and if he did, under some kind of character altering event like out of the result of a head injury, it could not be counted as dogma, much, much more certainly than Obama cannot mess around with our constitution.
The press, as Ann seems to forget, certainly can misquote the Poe, and misrepresent the Church, and does so on a regular basis, more consistently than they do republicans and conservatives in this country.
She is acting like a headline reader. A low information voter.
Just prior to reading this piece, I was in the kitchen reminiscing about a conversation we had with a houseguest, a friend of the family who had just graduated from law school, getting settled in town.
Ann was on the radio, and I was straining to hear. The kids asked, ‘who is that talking?’
I told them. They wanted to know what she talked about, what was her gig.
I said, ‘she has some good ideas’. They asked if she was nice, like ... and named a few pundits.
My guest said, ‘only if you agree with her’.
I didn’t like to hear it. But couldn’t argue.
Lately she’s been out and talking - Red Eye- I was just thinking how I’m glad I don’t feel that way about her any more. I want to like her.
I take it right back.
This slam at the Pope is un-researched, at the level of a bad ninth grade paper and it is unnecessarily simply nasty.
And it is certainly, verifiably, untrue.
Glad to see that others are coming around to this point of view.
Great ending to a great show....
“I dunno... I’ve never watched it either. I’ve heard it’s about some high school chemistry teacher who loses his job so he becomes a meth maker and dealer.”
He didn’t lose his job. He finds out he has lung cancer, and decides he needs to provide for his family because the bills are skyrocketing and he is afraid by the time he dies his family will be bankrupt. His brother in law is a DEA agent, so he sees first hand how much money is involved in meth, and he believes he can simply make a few batches before getting caught before he dies, and make enough to set the family up for life. He believes he can get away with it since he has so little time. He also has a little of a pride issue as he somehow got screwed out of a very profitable business earlier in his career, so he believes he should be rich anyway.
So, he gets into cooking meth, and from the very first cook,things go horrifically awry, and he is forced to do some very horrific things. The more horrific things he does, it becomes easier to do horrific things again as he becomes desensitized to them. Also, his product, is unprecedented in its quality and purity, which feeds his pride. We watch, an originally sympathetic character fall ever deeper into the abyss and watch as his choices destroy first himself, and then his entire family (the very things he was trying to protect). At the end of the fall, he is almost pure evil. And every single thing he had previously chrerished is utterly and irrevocably destroyed.
It is raw, violent, and at times brutal, but if you have a strong stomach, it is pretty much a classic greek tragedy to the nth degree written for the modern times.
Have you ever watched Sons of Anarchy? It’s pretty entertaining, and the writer doesn’t shy away from killing main characters.
I liked Nike. But that scene is a lesson it writing.
Walt became Gollum.
Liked Mike too!
Just as a matter of point, off topic, why do people here doe this regarding the Pope?
We spend time listening ad following along with news analases of Mark Levin and Rush.
We know WE KNOW the media is biased against tradition, rules of the constitution, Christianity, and we know who they are.
Yet, when it comes to the Pope, we not only take any old NYT, or in this case, the Chicago Tribune, and if any conservative bashes the Pope, accusing him of not following the Bible, it is taken as fact.
Even when she says, this is not a fact, it’s hearsay, which is not acceptable in my law world, nor as a fact finder, but, it’s the Pope, so, you know, no one’s around.
so here, perhaps you can explain how you go from, reportedly says, to ‘what the Pope said’.
Now it’s fact, and the pope doesn’t know scripture.
He has read Proverbs.
The Pope has a doctorate in Theology.
And it’s pushed so angrily that Catholics don’t follow the Bible, but, the fact is, The Church does follow the Bible meticulously and philosophically, never arguing against it.
Read this article for an interesting take on conservatism in the X-Files, which by extension, would include Gilligan.
I found it a perfect examples of Buddhism and it fits nicer than Ann’s sophmoric article.
*note: “Suffer” == Dukkha, where suffer is a verb and Dukkha is a noun. Think of it as a state of being.
We suffer in life. We cause others to suffer and others cause us to suffer.
Suffering stems from desires, jealousy, unfufilled goals and we suffer because we cause others to suffer.
Ridding ourselves of desires will alleviate suffering.
Take the Noble Eightfold Path for enlightenment which perfects our souls and makes them ready for God, Jesus, and Heaven.
There's certainly a deliberate effort to have the viewers see Walt's character as having shed the Heisenberg alter-ego in the finale. There's a certain amount of redemption in that. Yes, the series is one long morality play - an extended essay about the costs of bad decisions.
And a Los Pollos Hermanos apron!
I watched Sons of Anarchy and I decided to drop it. Nothing to do with anything that shocked me, but because of the bad writing, acting,cartoonish plot, and production values. In comparison with Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, and even Justified, Sons of Anarchy is purely minor league. The casting is ludicrous. Clay is supposed to have lived in N. California his entire life, but how come he sounds like he just arrived from the Bronx. Charlie Hunnam proves he is no Christian Bale. They have to keep his dialogue stilted and simple so his British accent will not pour out. It must be I do not synch with Kurt Sutter. Watched first season of The Shield, it also did not measure up with the other series I have watched through the years. Compared to the Sopranos and The Wire it was also minor league for the same reasons stated above.
Coulter has lost it big time. I dutifully watched every episode of Breaking Bad and there was never the hint of any Christian Parable. It was entirely a show dedicated to greed and unbridled Hedonism. In the end the main character laid down in his own self made hell and began his short instantaneous journey to eternal damnation.
There were no redeeming characters and no hint of redemption for anyone. In the end everyone goes to Hell.
If Coulter sees a Christian Parable in that show, then I’d have to question her version of Christianity.
I loved the show, but there was nothing in it that could point to any kind of Christian allegory.
Low Winter Sun stinks to high heaven also. It was a cure for insomnia. I had higher hopes for Mark Strong. He was great in Tinker, Tailor and also in Body of Lies.