Sunday, September 29, 2013

Breaking Bad: Health Care

But has it been sufficiently noted, though it couldn't be more obvious, that this whole five season cable extravaganza is predicated on the issue of HEALTH CARE?

Walter White, Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher, finds he has lung cancer, and that the treatments, speculative and experimental as they may be, happen to be ruinously expensive. Hence, given his training and aptitude, the extraordinary monetary inducements, and the fact his corner of the Southwest swims in methamphetamine, Walter starts cooking up world class crystal meth.

If there were a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for brewing massively addictive substances, Walter would qualify.

Sure, all manner of complications arise in the course of this endeavor — murders, marital discords, crises of conscience, personality and  chemical formula changes, etc.  — but let us not forget that these engaging connivances of the story, however baroque, originate and are impelled by lack of sufficient HEALTH CARE.

Worth mentioning, too, is that the acting is very good, and the humor subtle. But before I let myself get sidetracked into a discussion of how "Breaking Bad" amplifies on the tension between innocence and evil, normalcy and monstrosity, as put forward so ably for cable  television by "The Sopranos", let me reiterate, the starting point is HEALTH CARE.

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