The Orange Couch, Breaking Bad, Episode 1: Live Free or Die
New Orange Couch! For new Raw Story readers, here’s a quick rundown of the Orange Couch: It’s a video series my partner Marc and I started a couple of months ago to review “Mad Men”. It’s far more than a recap show. We delve into character analysis, research the allusions, explore the symbolism, and explicate the themes. “Mad Men” seemed the natural fit for such a show, since it’s dense and literary.
We had so much fun we thought it would be cool to do it again for another show, and the natural fit is clearly “Breaking Bad”, which not only shares a channel and time slot with “Mad Men”, but competes with it for the title of Best Show on TV. So we changed up the title sequence and started a new season of the Orange Couch.
Of course, while “Mad Men” is the most literary show on TV, “Breaking Bad” is much closer to genre fiction. That presents its own challenges. “Breaking Bad” goes a lot lighter than “Mad Men” on multi-layered themes and Big Ideas, but like a lot of genre fiction, it focuses on complex ethical decision-making (much more fun, it turns out, for the geeks to debate than, say, symbolism) and mind-bogglingly intricate plot developments. It’s one of the shows, along with “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood”, that I often have to read recaps before new episodes just to remember what the fuck is going on.
Accordingly, we’ve shifted our focus just a bit. We still talk about themes, as you’ll see, but we’ve put more emphasis on character development and the moral systems each character is using to make decisions. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on last night’s episode!