I have chosenthe genre “Crime Fiction”, which is one of the most popular genres in today’stime. Essentially, it has segments of some crime, example murder and mayfrequently have motives, suspects, witnesses, detectives, criminals andpunishments. Such stories usually hold suspense in them and this genre usuallygets paired and related with “Suspense” and “Thriller”. Women watch more Crime dramas than Men and are more ‘bloodthirsty’in genre choice. The Young adults and late teens are the target audience ofCrime and Thrillers even though this genre may appeal to older crowds as well. Breaking Bad’s target audience was Whitemales around age 19-49 and more males than women. It wasn’t targeted to kids and more Americanswatched it.
Lot of Mexicans and Black-Americans also watched it. There isdisplay of many mature themes like the details given to making of the drugs, sowe know age 17 and above are targeted. Crime Fiction alsoprovides glimpses of the dark side of the society to the readers and shown someinsights on hoe people of different cultures perceive their own social conditions and political climates at thatpoint of time. BreakingBad (AMC,2008-2013) dramatizes the rise and fall of Walter White, thepopularity of the TV series can simply be attributed to the excitement andpleasure surrounding an average high school chemistry teacher’s secret life asa drug kingpin.
It boasts a perfectly created atmosphere of dissipation,criminality and that omnipresent shady part of the everyday life that most ofus never notice or pretend that it does not exist. This show convinces theaudience that they are peeking through a keyhole at a dangerous and viciousworld.I contextualize and conduct a textual analysis of this acclaimed televisionseries as a case study that demonstrates the increasingly complex constructionof complex identity in contemporary television. This study refers to thereception of specific characters among critics and audiences, as well asinvestigates the ways in which the setting and depiction of ethnicitiesinfluence representations of masculinity.
Calling for attention to the apparentlack in complex studies on television, the male representation in BreakingBad suggests that men are not merely experiencing a crisis of theirmasculinity in contemporary society, but demonstrates that there is a problemwith uniform white, heterosexual representation of masculinity on TV. Theintense atmosphere is masterfully complemented by camera work. When watchingthe first episodes of season one, I was amazed by the configuration of scenes,the choice of shooting points and foreshortening, colours, forefront and backgroundwork, and the different components in the frame. The storyline is another huge advantage of “BreakingBad.” A story of a regular chemistry teacher whose measured and blurred life wasruined in one day by the news that he has incurable cancer changes him intobeing a chemist.
Walter White believes that a human being is nothing but alayout of molecules, with all the respective consequences: no heaven, no hell,no afterlife retribution, no real significance of human life. Nothing to losetoo; the title of the show hints at what is going on in Walter’s head after helearns about his disease and the understanding that his life is going to endsoon, and that he has always lived in a way he didn’t want to. What comes outof it is told in five seasons, and this story is theatrical and attractive. Yet another component of “Breaking Bad” is itscharacters.
Perhaps you are already fed up with one-sided, clichéd vanillaheroes, or insane, evil masterminds that Hollywood inserts in almost everymovie it produces. Such characters have no depth, no inner conflict, noplausibility as well as their actions basically triggers the plot forward, andallows movie directors to demonstrate new stunts and effects.”Breaking Bad” isdifferent; each character is a personality, with his or her own motives,problems, thoughts bugging them, life situations demanding their response, andso on. Each of these characters, even if he or she is secondary and appearsonly for a couple of episodes, is thoroughly exposed, so the show makes youbelieve he or she is real. Moreover, each character is complex, meaning that goodand evil intentions, desires, motives, and thoughts constantly intertwine and interactwithin them, defining their behaviours—like all of us. Within televisionserials, viewers are often reminded of their past feelings of empathy in previousepisodes through starting new episodes with recaps, which, however, can alsohold certain memories and thus manoeuvre viewers to assume a certain approachto characters. Thus, the finale of Breaking Bad’s fourthseason begins with a “previously on Breaking Bad”-sequence, in whichJesse, an assisting character, witnesses drug lord Gustavo Fring visit his oldenemy, Hector Salamanca, at the nursing home where he lives due to beingparalysed, to ridicule him: “All dead. As is your grandson”.
The vieweris instantly evoked of thevindictiveness of Fringe’s character re-establishing him as the rival.Theformer scene of course proves to be relevant to the episode as it shows thesituation where Walter is the bad guy as he oppresses Jesse into killing one ofFring’s employees, the skilful chemist Gale, because he poses a threat toWalter’s superiority within methamphetamine production. A dynamic relationshipis maintained between the viewer and the character.The more insight we gaininto the character, and his/hers inspirations, opinions and moral values, themore interest we take in him/her.
Character engagement is crucial to televisionserials, since the span of the description is much longer than in films, andthus calls for characters urging enough to make viewers return each week.Moreover, narration plays an important role in terms of guiding the viewerresponse as the “ultimate organizer” , which can work to both stopping theviewer from engaging in a character through withholding information abouthim/her, as well as encourage engagement through emphasising certain lookout ofa character to make him/her more favourable than other characters. Similar to their rocky anddysfunctional father-son relationships, marital bonds are equally deranged and destructivein this series. In some male-cantered dramas like Breaking Bad and Dexter,the marriage is already over when the series starts and it depicts thecharacter’s struggle to rekindle their relationship.The marriage of Breaking Bad’sWalter and Skyler White is cursed by problems. In what primarily seems to be amostly compassionate marriage of a restrained husband and a dominating wife,their relationship begins to the formation of Walt’s transition into crime. AsWalt begins to cook crystal meth he rediscovers his self-esteem and uses thatnewfound strength to disrupt the power distribution in their household.Contrary to White, the series explores in more detail theconflict between White’s former student and meth-cooking partner, JessePinkman, with his upper middle-class parents, who was thrown out from theirfamily home after his numerous drug escapades.
His secret life becomesincreasingly important to Walt, and so he gradually takes the place of his son.Due to the fact that Walt cannot converse his secret activities with anyoneelse but Jesse, their bond becomes more important over the course of theseries. Jesse was a poor student and talented artist who used to draw his highschool friends as comic book characters.
At various times during his harrowingexperiences in Breaking Bad, Jesse’s kind heart and nurturing traitsresurface, such as the way Jesse treats children and how he cared for his dyingaunt. Ultimately, Jesse turns his back on his parents and begins to treat Waltas surrogate father. However, Walt’s relationships to both his biological andsurrogate son prove highly dysfunctional. Despite his pointless efforts to bean ideal father to whom his son can admire, Walt’s initially subdued pride andegotism gradually become major obstacles in his parental relationship.
To Walt,a good father is synonymous with being the family’s beloved provider andpatriarch, but he was not compatible enough meet those standards. AlthoughWalter Jr. seems to favour his father over his mother, Walt and Walt Jr.
do notspend a lot of time together or participate in any father-son activities. Asidefrom providing rides to and from school and the occasional breakfast and dinnerscenes, Walt had no dialogue with his son. His dream of a successful drugempire drew him further from his family, and although Walt gained respect andpower in his job as meth cook, he was absent for his son’s sixteenth birthdayand his daughter’s birth.Eventually, everything in Walt’s life revolved aroundmoney and his desire to be his family’s sole provider.
However, this created arift in the family as his criminal career begins to swallow his life as fatherand husband. Despite Breaking Bad’s premise of a would-be drug barondriven by social and economic forces, Gilligan does not perceive his series asa cultural critique. A definite distaste against Walter did not occur, however,as the alignment with his character was so strong that the viewer remainsengaged in and loyal to Walter, despite the fact that he has truly become anunsympathetic anti-hero. In other words, the elucidation of the character ofWalter is so compelling that the viewer is held captive by his power andcharisma, apparent in the trademark dark humour of the serial, which providesboth relief from the on-screen violence, as well as reminds the viewer ofWalter’s humanity and ‘former life’ as an underdog. And of course, violence andtotal intolerance, so to say. There is probably no other show that would depictour everyday reality with such cruelty, and with a few filters. This is abreath of fresh air for many viewers, tired of endless action, perfectlyappropriate in terms of political correctness, and cautious in showing violence.