I like Breaking Bad. I like it. It's a good, solid drama. I watched this new episode determined to fall in love; after five seasons of increasingly breathless adoration from viewers and critics, I had hoped it might all finally slot into place, that I would think about Jesse's descent into horrified blankness in the same way as Adriana's final scene in The Sopranos, still able to recall clearly that gutpunch of loss and sorrow. And I thought it was good, and solid. The last 10 minutes were a masterclass in terror and tension.But...? I mean, come on, you just know there's a 'but' there, don't you?
The rest of it made it clear that my problem with the show is the same as it has always been: its women are underwritten characters who only exist as plot-enabling satellites to the men.Oh. Of course.
It's easy to argue that Breaking Bad is about a masculine world because high-level crystal meth dealers are likely to be men, and that, therefore, its female characters could only be secondary. That doesn't hold up.Really?
Breaking Bad's women exist on the outskirts, circling the men. They are an adornment to the fabric of the plot. Walt's wife Skyler is written as a nag and a bore.And that's just unbelievable! What do they think this is, the Seventies?
...perhaps it is time to start applying the film-focused Bechdel test here, too. To pass, a show must have at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something besides a man. Top of the Lake and Orange is the New Black, to name two current examples, make it look easy.Any other
After this week's episode of Breaking Bad, so obviously well-crafted, I still don't feel as if it is one of "my" shows. Its proportions are wrong. As a female viewer, I feel like an afterthought.Well, if you see everything through a prism of feminist bollocks, you will, won't you?