As I celebrate my son’s tenth month on this planet, I simultaneously await the season six finale of Breaking Bad along with many many other fans. The show earned Cranston, whom I believe to be a nudist–but I’ll get to that–three Emmys. I’m sure other blogs exist questioning the merit of the plot line, and I’m sure that I fit alongside several other parents who quietly tuck their children into bed and sneak away to watch Breaking Bad.
Why did we start watching Breaking Bad?
I cannot really remember why my husband and I chose to watch the show, but I remember the episode after episode angst and ambivalence as I wondered what I thought about the show’s subject matter. Obviously, Breaking Bad doesn’t condone meth use, and its conflicted main character falls into a sort of ethical dilemma that meets the starving man who steals bread to feed his family. I try to imagine how my moral construct can accept Walter White; I decide to just watch, like slowing down to see how many crushed cars piled up during a highway crash.
What does any of this have to do with parenting?
Ironically enough, when my husband and I started watching Breaking Bad we did so after finishing all the seasons of Malcolm In The Middle. My husband secretly hopes that Breaking Bad will conclude its sixth season with Walter White going into witness protection…as Hal. But what does my babble have to do with my babies? Just that I’m not sure where to draw the lines anymore. If my kids weren’t 2-going-on-3 and 10 months old, what would I say to them about the appropriateness of the show?
Should we as a television-watching, mass media-consuming society say about such a plot? Am I far past the point of bringing this up? I very well could have missed how others came to terms with their decision to watch a high school teacher cook meth, but a nagging voice and an overactive imagination bets that dozens of actual meth-using addicts think this show makes their taboo self-destruction more socially acceptable. I admit that week after week (since we caught up to the current season), I watch the show hidden in my home, with the lights low and the kids asleep. I wouldn’t want to condone the show though I contribute to its ratings.
…and the nudity?
As I said, we watched the entire Malcolm In The Middle series and in several of the episodes Cranston’s character struts his stuff in nothing but his tighty-whities. I would go so far as to assume Walter White got his last name from the irony of being the bad guy in a black hat and a pair of tighty-whities. The dance so frequently makes its way into the shows that my husband and I joke often about how Cranston’s probably a nudist.
I guess in the end I am just happy my kids are young enough that I don’t have to think too hard about how I feel about our world where the most popular prime-time sitcoms involve drugs, tight-whities and walkers. What do you tell your children, parents with kids old enough to have heard about the hype even if you don’t allow them to see the show?