Unlike her Catch Up Club colleague Joseph Moore, Alex Casey has never seen a single second of Breaking Bad. With its spin-off Better Call Saul arriving on Lightbox in February, she’s going to watch the whole thing and bring season-by-season reports on the way.//
Alex: I’m screaming my butt off basically. I can’t believe I waited this long to watch Breaking Bad. I am the idiot of our times.
Joseph: You are. I am up there with TV idiocy, I can name more characters from Junior Masterchef than I can The Sopranos. I am more familiar with the intricacies of Geordie Shore than Game of Thrones, but even I have watched this bloody legendary show. I still took a while. I remember when people were telling me to watch the show they always warned me “it takes a while to get going”. But I disagree. This is such a cracker first ep imo.
Alex: I was sucked in from almost the first shot. It’s like a movie! Which works great for me because I like a good movie! From that beautiful opening shot of the pants drifting down, to the eyebrows of the carwash guy, to the red steam of the phosperous stuff leaking through the bullet holes. It’s all so bloody vivid.
Joseph: The production design is so great. So much tan and mustard. I find something very engaging about bleak middle class America, maybe that’s what Game of Thrones is lacking for me.
Alex: Yeah, I guess it’s something we’re more used to seeing maybe? Like those stark suburban streets and cramped little houses. Walt’s house almost felt a little Outrageous Fortune or something. Maybe it’s all the mustard, again.
Joseph: I don’t know too much about Albuquerque New Mexico. I suppose it is the West Auckland of the USA, though.
Alex: The desert is a bloody hop skip and a jump away, that’s for sure. I became acutely aware of hair as a key factor in telling the time on this programme.
Joseph: Hold on to those signifiers while you can. By season two everyone is bloody bald.
Alex: Fuck, spoilers man.
Joseph: Sorry mate. But WHY are they bald? You’ll have to wait to find out (cancer, as made very clear in episode one).
Alex: But does everyone have cancer? Or is it one of those baldness solidarity things. Like you see in those emotional black and white videos you might watch on youtube late at night sometimes. DONT TELL ME THOUGH! Sorry, I’m touchy. I already watched 3 episodes of it straight after. That is a Catch Up Club first for me.
Joseph: I will keep the bald-secrets safe
Alex: Is there any point recapping this? Or is it safe to assume that everyone and their bloody dog has seen this? I mean, I hadn’t. And my bloody dog hadn’t.
Joseph: I think you are the only two. Also my Mum and Dad, but I gave my Dad the Bluray for his birthday so it’s just a matter of time (gifting to watching period is usually 1-2 years)
Alex: My dad had watched it years before me. Okay, question time. Is he a chem teacher and a carwash clerk at the same time? Or are these different times?
Joseph: No, at the same time. He has no money so is working shifts at a car wash in addition to teaching important science to belligerent teenagers.
Alex: Yeah, I imagine it’s quite a disheartening watch for aspiring teachers. And a bloody kick up the ass for aspiring drug dealers.
Joseph: Without giving anything anyway, it gets darker – and way more Team Shoulda-Stayed-a-Teacher. I was actually relieved to watch the first episode again, after enduring seasons four and five, to be reminded that this show was once quite funny. I mean it’s still tense as shit from the get go, but I loved the super bleak humour peppered throughout. I love that in the same episode Walter White straight up murders two people, and also gets an awkward as handjob from his wife while she is on TradeMe. A++++++++ scene would watch again
Alex: I found the first episode absolutely hilarious. That handjob scene in particular was very very funny. Notable mentions include: comedy eyebrows, and Jesse Pinkman’s ridiculously terrible weed website/phone message. Oh wait, maybe that’s in a later ep. Anyway, it gelled the comedy and the fuckin’ psycho action amazingly well. Just flicking between the two so effortlessly, without ever feeling jarring. The exchanges between Jesse and Walter are so good as well. So much bickering, they are almost like little catty teenage girls at times.
Joseph: I love that basically everything Walter says is some secret power play. Contrasted so beautifully with his weak-ass home persona.
Alex: Yeah, that contrast is so clear when you see that asshole bald cop guy taunting him with the gun on his birthday. But we’ve already seen that psycho flash forward of him yielding a gun like a maniac, so we know he’s about to turn at any moment. It’s just, so great.
Joseph: Ah the asshole bald cop guy. That beloved TV character. Did you pick up it was his brother in law? Talk about #potential #tension
Alex: I sure did. Also importantly: Skylar’s sister. What a character. What an eerily close to home character. Get that women to Wimbeldon, coz she’s got a great backhand (compliments wise).
Joseph: What we’re saying here, is it’s a very good show.
Alex: I’m excited by these characters, I’m excited by the story, I’m excited about the meth. Without a doubt, I will be seeing this through. In order to become a functioning member of pop culture society, and also because it is literally mandatory to my job. Stay tuned for my “summer in a meth lab” series coming to The Spinoff over the next few weeks.
Joseph: By which you mean you are watching this entire series over summer? Or you are producing and selling meth this summer?
Alex: I’m going to start with the former, and will inevitably ingratiate to the latter.
Joseph: I fondly remember spending a summer watching the entirety of Lost. It ended in me spending $300 on a Matthew Fox action figure. I hope you spend $300 on Class A drugs and/or a gun
Alex: If I stick with it, It should see me through to the start of Better Call Saul. And then catch up club might actually be on top of a show for once! Dare to dream.
Subscribe to The Bulletin to get all the day’s key news stories in five minutes – delivered every weekday at 7.30am.