As an author of crime-thriller fiction, I’ve occasionally been asked about violence in my novels. Typical questions range from, why is so much violence in your books? to another, more personal one: Is violence part of your personality or is it totally contrived for your novels?
While “Breaking Bad” is not a novel, it’s disturbing to see how money and commercial interest can interfere with good writing (whether in a novel or another medium). I’ve watched the series since it began and have thought it’s one of the best and most creative series on television.
I recently learned something about television and it’s reflected in “Breaking Bad.” I learned that in order for a series to go into syndication, it must have 100 or more episodes. So, AMC has decided to extend the series by 8 episodes this year, and by another 8 episodes in 2013.
In my opinion, this commerical scenario (the wish to go into syndication) has caused the first two episodes of this year to drag considerably. The writers are not advancing the story in any meaningful way but rather, seem to be prolonging the storyline for the sake of fulfilling the criteria for syndication. The first two episodes were bogged down in meaningless (and sometimes, distracting) detail. And the series is losing much of its punch and now seems to be plodding along.
It demonstrates the malignant role that commercial interests can have in storytelling, whether in a novel or some other medium. It’s sad how money seems so often to affect all art forms.