Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TV EYE:Middle-Age Crazed

Malcolm in the Middle was one of those done-well-enough shows that drew me to it with some consistency. Over the course of its run I’d wind up shaking my head countless times at the Mr. Brady-goes-spastic take on the American sit-com Dad turned in by Bryan Cranston. His go-for-broke antics made him the most committed television farceur in quite some time, while seemingly miles away from his memorable turn as unctuous dentist Tim Whatley on Seinfeld. Cranston vaults into another category altogether in AMC newest original effort, Breaking Bad (AMC, Sundays, 9:00PM), as a middle class schlep/high school chemistry teacher who, when given a lung cancer death sentence, decides to kick out the jams and become a meth chemist/salesman. Cranston does a riveting middle-aged-crazy, teaming up with a none-too-bright ex student (Aaron Paul) for some highly surreal Abbott and Costello riffing. Although the show sounds as if it’s venturing dangerously close to Showtime’s Weeds, the distinctions are obvious-Weeds being a comedy of suburbia and upper class entanglements while Breaking Bad is truly a drama that veers into satire all the while wringing out a thought provoking moral conundrum.


mdoggie said...
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mdoggie said...

Thanks for writing about "Breaking Bad". I have been interested in watching, but have so far put it off. I too am a big fan of Bryan. I watched Jane Kaczmarek score several Emmy wins and Bryan earn multiple nominations, but as far as I know, no win. This series couldn't have happened to a better guy.
I have also avoided watching 'cause I can always sense a series that will suck me in, thereby adding yet another task to the ever growing must do must see must consume list.
I watched the marathon of three episodes as my introduction and except for the damn commercials it is so immensely satisfying, irresistibly compelling and of course dark, dark, and more darkly funny than anything else on the tube. The meth phenom is generally put into the "pretend it's not happening and it will go away" mass media category. I need some more wine.

skylolo99 said...

Mr. Cranston has no ego as far as I can tell. He let's the scenery chew him and vice versa. The scene with him in the Desert in his jockey shorts was a great take on a freudian anxiety dream.
The comedy is (yes Mr. Doggie) of the blackest variety. It's a shame it's only on for one season.

mdoggie said...

Bryan Cranston sounds like a fake name. No ego, or so much ego that the ego disappears? Yes, his 50 year old paunch oozing out of his tighty whiteys was a courageous act.

Now for an inter-dimensional segue; is Hilary's ass as big as it looks on TV? Rumors abound that Edwards is gonna endorse her this weekend?