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.