Friday Five: Personal finance-flavoured reflections on Breaking Bad

We’ve just finished all five seasons of Breaking Bad, and I feel profoundly … well, something, I’m just not sure what.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a TV show that had such a strong emotional impact on me.

Breaking Bad was a frustrating watch. It’s outlandish and OTT, but within that framework, its genius is that it is precisely, painfully true to its characters’ natures – and thus, to human nature.

Watching Walt and Skyler’s relationship decay before our eyes was nothing short of heartbreaking.  Much like I only continued watching House of Cards for Claire Underwood once I lost all patience with the main character, I thought Skyler’s storyline was particularly well done (maybe because I often wondered what I would do in her shoes). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It takes forever to build up a relationship, but the undoing of one can be surprisingly, brutally swift.

But equally, the disintegration of Walt and Jesse’s dysfunctional relationship – doomed and screwed up from the very beginning – tore me up. Jesse did not deserve to go through what he had to go through. Small comfort: Aaron Paul seems crazy in love and crazy happy IRL (yes, I felt compelled to Google the hell out of him as soon as those final credits rolled).

And here are a few personal finance-related thoughts on the show (small spoilers):

  • We could never live in the US – as T says, “I get hurt too much”.
  • Money laundering seems … surprisingly straightforward. Just in terms of the nuts and bolts of it.
  • Never ride on the belief that you are irreplaceable. I can understand how bruised Walt’s ego was when he realised Jesse was making meth as good as his, but that’s how life goes…
  • Why is it so hard for people to realise that owner or employee, there are tradeoffs either way?! I was literally yelling at the screen when they complained about earning less working under Gus – hello, remember how much money you lost when you were running things yourselves and absorbing all the risk?
  • Life is easier with money – there’s no doubt about it. But getting too greedy is always the point at which it all goes wrong. Check that greed.

Anyone else a Breaking Bad fan?

9 thoughts on “Friday Five: Personal finance-flavoured reflections on Breaking Bad

  • Reply Kara July 25, 2014 at 23:54

    If he’d just taken the job offer and $$$ from Grey Matter NONE of this would have happened 😛

  • Reply Marie @ The Money Template July 26, 2014 at 01:01

    Oh, sorry I’m not a fan of Breaking Bad, but your words are nice. 🙂 Especially this one “Never ride on the belief that you are irreplaceable”, yes, I totally believe that because we are living in the world of constant change.

  • Reply oilandgarlic July 26, 2014 at 04:41

    Love this show. I can’t believe you didn’t read season ending spoilers ! On a side, only in Los Angeles note, I actually shared a nanny with one of the Breaking Bad producers. By sharing, I mean that the nanny worked for us 2 days of the week and worked p/t for this producer, too.

  • Reply Kassandra July 26, 2014 at 04:59

    I have never watched an episode of Breaking Bad but now you have me intrigued! I will need to check if I can the past seasons on Netflix.

  • Reply Erin July 26, 2014 at 05:00

    We just finished Breaking Bad last night! I hated Walt the entire show and loved Jesse. BB was such a great show, but I found myself stressed out and pissed off over pretty much every episode. The killing, selfishness, deceit and greed was infuriating.

  • Reply Aldo@MDN July 26, 2014 at 07:56

    That show was beautifully done. The bad thing about it was that I couldn’t just watch one episode. I think I watched 3 seasons in a weekend… I’m not sure if I slept at all. All I remember was netflix asking me “Are you still watching?” Yes I’m still watching so please don’t interrupt my show again.

  • Reply Amanda July 26, 2014 at 08:47

    Fantastic show – and yes, Jesse got dealt a really bad hand! I really liked seeing how Walt’s relationship with money changes as the show progresses. I imagine it happens a lot for anyone who has that taste of financial freedom and has an “easy” way to make even more.

  • Reply Morgan July 28, 2014 at 07:26

    My boyfriend and I recently watched all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. Awesome show! Wondering why I didn’t watch it when it was actually on! 🙂

  • Reply debs@debtdebs July 31, 2014 at 01:21

    It was a great show!

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