February 3, 2012

Breaking Up with Breaking Bad

**SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen all of season 2 of Breaking Bad you may not want to read this entire entry.**

I am an emotional sponge. If someone is projecting their feelings around me, it is very hard for me not to absorb them and take them on. It's doubly bad with the people I'm close too, so my husband is pretty much screwed. If he's having a bad day and some of it leaks onto me - done. I'm having a bad day too. And then I get angry at him because I was in a good mood and am now in a bad mood. Thanks a lot, Hillary! Jerk.

It's not fair. But alas, it is how I am and I try to stop it when I can. I go into another room, breath and do this little shaky thing, like I'm flinging the bad juju from my finger tips. Of course, good moods are just as contagious for me, so that's fun. Unless, I don't want to be happy and then, Thanks a lot, Hillary! You made me laugh. Jerk.

So this applies to movies and television as well as humans. They emit emotion. A good rom-com can pull me out of almost any funk. And I certainly don't shy away from violent or sad movies, because it's like committing to an emotion for 90 minutes, give or take. Sometimes if it's an especially well done movie the emotion sticks around for a while, but it usually just inspires good conversation about the film. It doesn't throw me into a downward spiral of depression...unless it's a Lars Von Trier movie.
Okay - so television. It's a love hate relationship. I love a serial. Anything that continues a story line from one week to the next. I hate the rest. However, if we actually had cable, a dish or even an antennae, I would be in front of every stupid reality, talk show, brain cell killing piece of crap that they broadcast. So we don't. We stream Netflix and that's it.

(Tangentially, I love this set up, because I don't get sucked into dumb shows, we pay a minimal fee and the best part - NO COMMERCIALS. I think this will be super beneficial as B gets older, but that's another post.)

Recently we started watching Breaking Bad. Everyone talked about how great this show was. And I agree, I was sucked in. I love watching television on Netflix because a) that no commercial thing again and b) you can watch as many episodes in a row as you want, no cliff hangers. So this show has some ridiculously violent and gross things happen. I mean the two main characters melt a dead body with acid and try to rinse it down the drain and flush it down the toilet. I mean - so beyond barf. But mostly the killing is of bad guys, or of good guys by bad guys - which, even I am desensitised to.

Still though, those gruesome death scenes kept creeping up in the back of my mind during my everyday life. They crept up like the actual bad things that have happened in my real life  sometimes creep up. But still we kept watching. I get invested in a show, bad or good, and it's really hard for me to not see it through to the end. Like seeing movies or shows through to the end is almost a compulsion - I'm still trying to finish Buffy. Seriously.

Hillary made the observation that there isn't one person, accept maybe the son of the lead, that you really even like, none-the-less is a good person in the entire show. I reluctantly agreed. But still we kept watching.

Then the lead let's his partner's bitchy girl friend aspirate on her own vomit while she was high on heroin. Now, for whatever reason, this really bothered me. Maybe it is because I like the actress, or the character she played had really only been bitchy for like 1 episode before the guy let her die, so my brain didn't associate her as "bad guy" yet or maybe it was the realistic way they filmed it, or that I've known people in my life (sadly more than one) who have met their maker in this manner, OR that I couldn't stop thinking - poor Jesse (the dude who's girlfriend was killed) he'll be so sad.

Before we could start another episode to see how sad he actually was or maybe that she really isn't dead after all, Becks woke up and mom duty took over. But I couldn't get the scene out of my head. I still can't. And I thought - What am I doing? This is dumb.

I realize that getting me to think about the show for this long, in many people's minds, makes it a success. And I agree in a way. But I think this show is a success, in part, because of it's shock value and I wish it didn't take so much ugliness to shock us as a culture.

So it took me until almost February to have a resolution for 2012, but here it is - no more watching television that makes me feel badly or gives me stress or numbs my mind...wait does Gossip Girl, count as mind numbing? Never mind that last one.

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