Saturday, September 15, 2012

Actions have consequences

Mark Bertrand, who himself has written a series of crime novels, and who maintains the Bible Design blog, has selected the "Top 5 Crime Shows on TV (American-Style)" [his nominations for British series will come soon] and his number one choice is a series I am currently watching, and enjoying, on Netflix:
1. Breaking Bad

A high school science teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer starts cooking meth to provide for his family after he’s gone, only it’s the most chemically pure meth anyone has seen, leading to high demand and a whole lot of trouble. Done. I'm all in. ....

...[T]he moral questions explored are gripping. Jesse Pinkman's Season 4 speech at the NA meeting about responsibility for your actions is one of those places most shows never earn the right to go. [more]
From a Wikipedia article about the series:
In an interview with The New York Times, creator Vince Gilligan said the larger lesson of the series is that "actions have consequences". He elaborated on the show's philosophy:
If religion is a reaction of man, and nothing more, it seems to me that it represents a human desire for wrongdoers to be punished. I hate the idea of Idi Amin living in Saudi Arabia for the last 25 years of his life. That galls me to no end. I feel some sort of need for biblical atonement, or justice, or something. I like to believe there is some comeuppance, that karma kicks in at some point, even if it takes years or decades to happen. My girlfriend says this great thing that’s become my philosophy as well. 'I want to believe there's a heaven. But I can't not believe there's a hell.'
Ross Douthat of The New York Times...compared Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, stating that both series are "morality plays" that are "both interested in moral agency". Ross went on to say that Walter White and Tony Soprano "represent mirror-image takes on the problem of evil, damnation and free will". Walter as a man who "deliberately abandons the light for the darkness" while Tony is "someone born and raised in darkness" who turns down "opportunity after opportunity to claw his way upward to the light."
Crime Genre: Top 5 Crime Shows on TV (American-Style)