Gobbledygeek episode 123, “Twisted Christmas: How Horrible Our Christmas Will Be!,” is available for listening or download right here.
Christmas is upon us once more, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to get twisted. I don’t know what that means, but how about you join us in watching The Nightmare Before Christmas? The boys take a look back at the 1993 stop-motion classic, raving about its music (even misguidedly singing a bar or two), praising its glorious stop-motion animation, and take an honest look at Jack’s (possibly regressive?) character arc. Plus, the boys bemoan DC’s treatment of Gail Simone and AJ addresses the Homeland controversy.
Next: it’s the one you’ve been waiting, the one that’ll shut us up for a whole month! It’s the SEASON FINALE! We’ll talk about our favorite and least favorite things of the year 2012.
(Show notes for “Twisted Christmas: How Horrible Our Christmas Will Be!”)
Don Draper is a serial philanderer. Walter White is a meth kingpin. Nicholas Brody is a (possibly) reformed terrorist. Nucky Thompson is a gangster. These are not men who do good things. Why, then, do audiences hate their wives so much?
Don, Walt, et al. are enormously popular with viewers, and rightfully so. They’re not necessarily good people, but they’re not strictly bad people either; they’re contradictory, complex, nuanced, comprised of all the elements that make for great drama. If, like myself, you enjoy reading reviews or seeking out online reaction to each episode, though, you’ve probably noticed a worrying trend. Though many applaud the behavior of these characters, all murderers (save Don) and adulterers (save Walt), they’re a lot less willing to afford their wives the benefit of the doubt. Look, I’m not here to be the Moral Police; I’m not interested in discussing the pros and cons of infidelity, especially considering most of these characters’ wives are guilty of same. (Sidenote: I, uh, hope we can all agree murder is bad.)
And it’s not like I don’t get the appeal. I don’t watch Breaking Bad just because it’s a devastating portrait of a man sacrificing everything he holds dear at the altar of power. I also watch it because it is freaking awesome when Walt pulls off the perfect heist. How giddy did the classic “RUN” moment make me? Answer: very. And at the end of the Mad Men season finale, when Don gave the honey at the bar the patented Draper Stare…goddamn. As a viewer, I know full well how thrilling and visceral it can be to watch these men do their dirt. The problem is when you view them as the heroes of their respective stories and any attempts–especially by their wives–to curb or question their behavior as hindering their quest, whatever you think that is. The numbers show that not a whole lot of people actually watch Breaking Bad, and I know that its small but loyal following contains some of the sharpest TV viewers around. But the Internet would also lead me to believe that a bunch of folks would be okay with a show where all Walt does is make meth, kill people, and become the most awesome greatest badass superhero on the planet.