Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 4, 2013

DAVIS: Now that it's over, on to Breaking Bad

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — We’ve been together for some time now, you and I, and over the months I’ve become comfortable telling you things I would never say out loud.

Today I have another one of those earth-moving confessions that will no doubt change the way people look at me, forever.

I never watched Breaking Bad.

I’m sorry this didn’t come out sooner, I just didn’t want to disappoint all of my friends both online and off. 

It’s not that I don’t get the premise: Cancer diagnosis drives the dad from Malcolm in the Middle to a new life as a ruthless crystal meth dealer. It sounds great. The problem is, I’ve been hurt by breakout prime time television programming before, and I just couldn’t get hurt like that again.

Do you remember “Lost,” the critically acclaimed show from the mind of J.J. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Abrams that captivated audiences for six seasons? I do. As with Breaking Bad, friends called it a “modern classic” that I had to watch — and with the dawning of the sixth and final season, I purposed in my heart to not be left out of a pop culture event that future episodes of VH1’s “I love the 2000s” would surely mention.

With that in mind, I began my quest to marathon the existing 103 episodes through a combination of Netflix and borrowed DVDs. More than 4,000 minutes of programming later I was ready to have all of my questions answered, but as the sixth season closed I was left with more questions:

Why did I do this to myself?

How much Red Bull did I drink to watch all those episode, and did it do permanent damage?

More importantly, why were there polar bears on the island that one time?

The “‘Lost’ Incident,” as I like to call it, did much to inspire a mindset that I’ve developed in the years that followed: Only watch TV shows that are already cancelled. There’s no emotional investment, because no matter how many episodes are streaming online, you can still think to yourself, if this was any good, it’d still be on TV — and your expectations are adjusted accordingly.

By all accounts, the finale of Breaking Bad delivered on everything that was promised in the preceding seasons and then some. It was a grand television event that will echo through the ages.

Now, I can’t verify this, because I only read the headlines (not the articles, since my journey to avoid spoilers is ongoing), but my Twitter feed wasn’t full of mourning and the hashtag #BreakingBadBetrayal, so I’m assuming people were generally pleased.

Reading my friends’ contented tweets and posts about the “best finale ever,” I was happy for them the way you’re happy when a friend wins an award. You recognize that it’s great, a wonderful experience and you’re proud they made it to the finish, but it doesn’t taste as sweet as drinking from the cup of victory yourself. You can’t always make decisions bast on past trauma; sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.

We’re at the start of a new season of TV programming and, though I missed the boat on Breaking Bad, there’s a chance that the next show you watch will be a hit.

As Adele sang in Turning the Tables, “Next time I’ll be braver,” but for now, I’ll probably wait until the final season of Breaking Bad is added to Netflix before I begin watching.

So if you see me out and about over the next year and half, remember: No spoilers.

Vincent Davis II is a DJ and market development specialist in the IT industry. Contact him at vincedavis06@gmail.com.

Vincent Davis II is a DJ and market development specialist in the IT industry. Contact him at vincedavis06@gmail.com.