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The Breaking Bad Art Project
August 21, 2012 3:18 PM   Subscribe

The Breaking Bad Art Project is on exhibit at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles through August 26.

The acclaimed television drama has also inspired derivative works in other media.
posted by Egg Shen (40 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
YEAH, BITCH!
posted by tonycpsu at 3:28 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the comics.
posted by mediated self at 3:36 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Too bad this season is a complete clusterfuck. "I'M IN THE EMPIRE BUSINESS" - that's when the shark was clearly jumped.
posted by gertzedek at 3:36 PM on August 21, 2012


What about the dipping sticks?
posted by hellojed at 3:37 PM on August 21, 2012


What, no. This season is great. That shark is jumping, yeah. But like in this delightfully nerve-wracking, unpredictable way. HEISENBERG SHARK IS SCARY AS FUCK.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:39 PM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ding!
posted by davebush at 3:40 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I loved the "Always wear safety gear" options in the first link.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:40 PM on August 21, 2012


Best. Season. Ever.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:54 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this one.

I am loving this season. But seriously? Needs more Saul.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:56 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how the Walt paper doll starts off *without* pants.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:59 PM on August 21, 2012


My favorite piece from that exhibit is "Walt and the Bad Breakers",, part of Joey Spiotto's ongoing series of cute cartoony LP covers for fictitious 'bands' like ... "River Tam and the Fireflies", "The Frakkin Toasters", "Sing Along with Dr. Horrible", "The Legends of Hyrule", "Buffy and the Scoobies", "The Venture Brothers and Friends", "Conan and the Conandos", "The Fellowship", "The Internets", "The Avengers", "The Bluths" (and scroll down for "Dr. Funke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution"), and "Wyld Stallyns". But in this one the irony of the happy smiling cartoon characters is... stunning.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:59 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


The empire line is perfect... deliberately flat-out crazy hubris.

Everybody wins.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:23 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I definitely read The Breaking Bad Art Project as The breaking "Bad Art" Project. I was ready to see some Kinkade prints, non-outsider folk art, and paintings made to match the living room sofa from one of those "Bubbles 'n Brushes" places destroyed by dancers in Doc Martens in an all-too-meta performance art coup de grâce.
posted by goHermGO at 4:26 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Part of what amazes me about the show is that it's had so many potential shark-jumping moments, just to name a few:

-The cosmic karmic coincidental plane crash
-The cousins are too cool to look at explosions
-Gus Fring as Two-Face

And yet just when it threatens to get too over-the-top to care about they bring it back to the characters somehow.
posted by speicus at 5:08 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh hey you guys know that it's totally possible to do this thread without spoilers from this week's episode, right? It's only less than 48 hours since it's aired and some of us just haven't had the chance to sit down and soak it in.
posted by item at 5:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of these are great but too pricey for me. I guess I can just print them out rather than spending hundreds of dollars.

As for this season, I was surprised to learn it wouldn't be their last and there will be eight more episodes next year. Vince Gilligan seemed pretty firm that he wouldn't do more than five seasons but I guess he changed his mind (and I suppose the first season wasn't a full one due to the writers' strike). This season (and I guess the next) are all about alienating Walt from the viewers so when he finally gets his comeuppance, we'd have no problem with it.

As for jumping the shark, I don't think it has yet but even last season there were some unbelievable plot lines. If you haven't watched last season's episodes and plan to, don't read on [SPOILER ALERT]:





















I found it very unrealistic that Gus and Mike banked on every single one of Don Eladio's men drinking the poisoned booze. A man like Eladio would have (more) body guards who wouldn't imbibe when they were on the job.
posted by Devils Slide at 5:23 PM on August 21, 2012


If you want to see a show that has jumped the shark, you must see the last two seasons of True Blood.

Anyways, relating to art (sortof) y'all should listen to Ana Tijoux's 1977 from the album of the same name. It makes me want to go clean a meth lab. I'm not sure on what episode the song was used, but I suspect it was one in which a meth lab was cleaned.
posted by angrycat at 5:42 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


No actually it was a cook complete with a wacky walt cam.

I want to go make my own human colony with Jesse. It's true love, yo.
posted by angrycat at 5:49 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are awesome. The teddy bear painting got a laugh from me.

I don't think anything can top season 3 for me, especially that finale. This season seems to be pushing the suspension of disbelief to new limits, but I'm learning to let go and just enjoy the ride.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:55 PM on August 21, 2012


The "jumping the shark" discussion is a total derail from the original "Breaking Bad-themed art" subject of the post, but it must be noted that during Vince Gilligan's years with "X-Files", he also Exec. Produced the short-lived spin-off "The Lone Gunmen" and when he returned for X-Files' final season, he wrote the episode that killed off the Gunmen characters, appropriately titled "Jump the Shark". As for "Breaking Bad", I suspect that, considering how most long-arc series' endings have been subjected to extreme scrutiny, he must be under extreme pressure (at least from himself) to write a jaw-dropping finish. He must know that a sudden "go to black" like The Sopranos WILL get him killed by an angry mob at ComicCom.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 PM on August 21, 2012


My opinion: the show's always been skirting on the pulpy fantastic side, and the over-the-top implausible moments of this season are the show building up to a true suspension-of-disbelief shattering climax that will have our jaws on the floor. Exactly the kind of thing Paul Thomas Anderson does with There Will Be Blood and Magnolia, and those get plenty of respect. Relax and enjoy the ride.
posted by naju at 6:22 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


These custom figures knocked my socks off.
posted by cazoo at 6:47 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are pretty great. Thanks for the post!

As for the show, I always feel like Krysten Ritter's character Jane gets passed over in discussions about the show. I loved her so much. The scene where she and Jesse are sitting in the chairs holding hands as they "wait" for his satellite TV to start working is one of the best shots in the whole series for me. The story of her eventual demise doesn't really pay off until the amazing season 3 episode "Fly", which more than a few folks will agree is one of the top episodes of the series. That episode doesn't exist without her!
posted by King Bee at 7:28 PM on August 21, 2012


Wow, these are great.

And on the topic of this season, as over the top it may sort of seem at times, it feels totally believable to me, considering Walter's overall character development from the hapless chemist in the first season. He has been on a steady descent into darkness, and we are beginning to see that darkness crystalizing in him. It makes sense that we are nearing the end of the story, CAUSE HOW MUCH MORE FUCKING DARK CAN WE GO?!

I sure hope The End is jaw-dropping unbelievable and a proper finish, because I don't see any way back for our friend.
posted by insert.witticism.here at 7:30 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's not the darkness by any means. It's plans that seem like recipes for trouble (sure, a writer's delight, but...). I mean, their new solution for cook "location"? They couldn't find a warehouse that wouldn't be more chock full of random trouble than that?

Not much to say about the character at this point, King Bee. I loved both her and her dad. On this show, though, that's like painting a big neon target on their backs.

But last week was more crazy scheme hatchery, so this week will be family drama, ho hum.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:29 PM on August 21, 2012



As for the show, I always feel like Krysten Ritter's character Jane gets passed over in discussions about the show. I loved her so much. The scene where she and Jesse are sitting in the chairs holding hands as they "wait" for his satellite TV to start working is one of the best shots in the whole series for me. The story of her eventual demise doesn't really pay off until the amazing season 3 episode "Fly", which more than a few folks will agree is one of the top episodes of the series. That episode doesn't exist without her!


The Fly episode was indeed magnificent. In the lead up to that, they were originally going to have Walt smother Jane with a pillow but they decided that would completely turn viewers off to Walt. They wanted a more gradual viewer alienation.

I didn't like the Jane character, particularly what she became (an opportunistic junkie who blackmailed Walt and led Jesse down a dark path), however I can't argue that Ritter did a good job. All the main characters are played by great actors, with tour-de-force performances by Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and my favorite Jonathan Banks. Banks really captures the old banality of evil quality in his portrayal of Mike. Mike doesn't derive any sadistic pleasure from the horrific acts he carries out and even seems to have a code of honor, in his own twisted way. It's just his job and he does what has to be done, and he seems bored and annoyed by the things he does, like an employee having to come in to work on a holiday weekend.

-The cousins are too cool to look at explosions

That episode was directed by Bryan Cranston and he specifically told the twins to play it cool, ignoring the explosion and having one of them take a slow drag on his cigarette as they were walking away.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:36 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fabulous post. The Woolly Walter White piece is just pure brilliance, right down to the fine print on the bottom.

(Thrillingly, the black resin Heisenberg was available and relatively affordable. *RUNS TO MAILBOX*)

posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:43 PM on August 21, 2012


Relatedly: Breaking Development, in which Arrested Development and Breaking Bad merge.

For example.
posted by subbes at 3:38 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


By the way, not sure if anyone mentioned it, but the two sets of 8 episodes are being treated as one big Season 5 rather than two 8-episode seasons. So, although there is a break between sets of episodes, they are meant to be thought of as one long season.

How this differs from being two separate seasons, in a show like BB where there doesn't seem to be a significant chronological gap between the seasons, is anyone's guess.
posted by LondonYank at 5:49 AM on August 22, 2012


I feel like this whole one-season-over-2-years is ridiculously marketingly gimmicky. I mean, who cares? Call it what you want, but my (and everybody else's) reality is that I will watch 8 weeks of episodes, painfully wait a year, then watch 8 more. It's just not going to happen any other way and my evaluation of that is not going to be swayed all that much based on whether I call those last 8 episodes "season 5" or "season 6". Grrr. I simultaneously wish it would end already and then never. Which is why I'm really glad I now have paper dolls with which to cope.

Random thought: if Jesse's last words are "bitch", we may have a problem dog.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:35 AM on August 22, 2012


"I'M IN THE EMPIRE BUSINESS" - that's when the shark was clearly jumped.

That would have been a jump-the-shark moment if the viewer was at all intended to believe that the statement is true.

"I'm in the empire business" is a line precisely along the lines of "I am the one who knocks," in that Walter White's character is defined by the profound falsehood of these statements and his all-consuming need for them to be true.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:03 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like this whole one-season-over-2-years is ridiculously marketingly gimmicky. I mean, who cares?

Part of the reason they did that was so the writers would have more time writing the arc. Giligan has said that the second half of the season isn't written yet. So really, we're looking at two short seasons, not one longer season cleft.

While the first season ended unceremoniously due to the writer's strike, the writers of Breaking Bad went into writing this shorter season knowing how long they had, and I have no doubt that they're building up to something enormous in these last two episodes. This season's been pushing Things Happening at us faster than any recent season has; each episode advances the plot in two or three big ways at once. Even the second episode, which has been the slowest for me, introduced Mike's conflict with the DEA, his confrontation with Lydia, and the impetus behind his joining the team. Not to mention providing Walt and Jesse with the methylamine (sic?) they needed to set up operations in the very next episodes. Things are happening fast, and they're gonna go boom.

My opinion: the show's always been skirting on the pulpy fantastic side, and the over-the-top implausible moments of this season are the show building up to a true suspension-of-disbelief shattering climax that will have our jaws on the floor. Exactly the kind of thing Paul Thomas Anderson does with There Will Be Blood and Magnolia, and those get plenty of respect. Relax and enjoy the ride.

I prefer Breaking Bad to Mad Men, The Wire, and kin specifically because it's willing to combine pulp action-suspense with its fantastic character writing, and uses those fantastic sequences to challenge its characters in unexpected ways. I've been reading Pauline Kael a lot recently, and one attitude of hers makes a whole lot of sense to me: film is a medium of sensation and spectacle. Great cinema isn't just writing, it's the whole shebang, and it uses its flashiness to open up vulnerabilities and soft spots that we couldn't believably see in a human being without a whole lot of stress. The writers of Breaking Bad understand that.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:36 AM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


This charmed me mightily: Kiss The Cook cross stitch
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:56 AM on August 22, 2012


Great cinema isn't just writing, it's the whole shebang

Breaking Bad's soundtrack and sound design do a lot towards giving it a unique feel, in my opinion, possibly more than any other show I've seen.

That being said I guess I have some issues with this season because I feel the intense plotting has diminished a lot of the emotional resonance of Walt's inner conflict compared to the more contemplative earlier seasons, though it's been a progressive thing and Walt not having much inner conflict anymore might be the main cause of my issues.
posted by palidor at 6:48 PM on August 22, 2012


I'll be really disappointed if when all is said and done Walt's arc amounts to "three-dimensional morally conflicted character gradually becomes two-dimensional sociopathic villain."
posted by palidor at 6:51 PM on August 22, 2012


I've loved this season, although last years will probably always be my favourite. I loved the art in the link too, I'd love to see more stuff like it.

I don't mind him becoming a two-dimensional sociopathic villain because I feel like his narrowing of focus and interest is his own doing, not writer laziness. The show as a whole still gives us insight to the nuances of his relationships even as he thinks he's got it all figured out and doesn't have to bother anymore. I'm expecting that Jesse and Skyler will prove to him how wrong he's been about them at some point. And I would dearly love to find out what really happened at Grey Matter, because there's no way in hell I'd believe Walt's take on it after I've watched him lie to himself and everyone else for the last 5 years (well, 1 yr in screen time).

PS: does anyone else think of Pratchett's Cohen the Barbarian when they look at Mike? If you choose a dangerous profession and live for so long, you have to have been both skilled and super-cautious.
posted by harriet vane at 9:56 PM on August 22, 2012


I love the idea of the backstory on Grey Matter being yet another misperception on Walt's part...even way back then, the arrogance and ego still there, but benign and unthreatening.

It would say something beautiful about the human condition, about our uncanny ability to create the same worlds for ourselves -- at whatever stakes of the table before us -- until we break those cycles.

What's the story with Grey Matter? Has science always been Walt's way out from his problems? Where/how did he meet Skylar and what was the draw back then? Who taught him how to stonewall, gaslight and generally abuse others? Why did Walt hide cancer from his mother and then lie about visiting her?

I don't want this show to turn into a therapy session, but these characters are so well developed that these are the sort of things I think about after I've processed the tense, scary action.

(there's a YouTube series of shorts featuring the other cast members and they provide some hilarious insight. Marie's blog video for her self-therapy session is quite good. As is Hank's confession just before he got married...which is what I thought he briefly thought Marie was getting at in the car when she was all "I know something...Walt told me." Which also gets at how good Hank is at hiding things he knows...foreshadowing perhaps?)
posted by iamkimiam at 1:23 AM on August 23, 2012


According to the internets the tune that Walter was whistling was 'Lily of the Valley' by Queen...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:36 AM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Really? :listens to it on YT: That does sound pretty similar. Christ, what an arsehole!
posted by harriet vane at 3:17 AM on August 23, 2012


fearful symmetry, you just blew my mind. There were so many fantastic Jesse moments in the episode and the one where he slows down when he hears Walt whistling --- and Walt doesn't even stop doing it when he knows Jesse is standing RIGHT THERE, answering his phone --- it's priceless.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:37 AM on August 23, 2012


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