Thoughts on Family Inspired by a Bald Man

by Ginger on January 14, 2014

in Entertain Me, Family

This past weekend, N.C. and I finished watching Breaking Bad, after starting the series at Christmas. While I don’t recommend watching the entire show in 17 days for your emotional health (especially because THIS:

How to watch breaking bad

might as well be the official Breaking Bad watch face), the show itself was fascinating, engaging, engrossing, compelling, etc., etc.  It was also CRAZY, of course, but despite all of the crazy stuff that happens, sometimes what made it so compulsively watchable came down to things that aren’t totally crazy: What are the strings that come with the ties that bind us together? What makes a family…family? How do your obligations to the people you love change how you approach the world? How does your LOVE for the people you love affect your decisions? What choices would you make, in a desperate situation, for your family?

N.C. and I talked about the show a lot. A LOT. We talked about the insane stuff that happens, of course, but we also talked about the family stuff a lot. It’s fascinating to me how much conversation a show about a school teacher who starts making meth inspired about family, the nature of responsibility, obligation, and love.

The thing with the show, and with life, is that there is no one answer to any of the questions. I mean, look, in MY life, is the answer ever going to be “start an illegal enterprise?” Yeah, I can pretty much guarantee no. But to the family stuff, the obligation stuff…there is no one answer. There are similar answers, sure, but circumstance, along with the individuals involved and everything they bring to the table, are going to make for different answers. And not only are there varying answers from person to person, the reality is that the answer may be different with the same person, separated by time. What I mean by that is…look, my answers as a single 20 something would probably be different in ways from the answers as a married 20 something would probably be different in ways from the answers as a 30 something mom. VASTLY different? No, probably not. But circumstances alone mean that my answers would be different–I have more ties now, than then. I have more responsibilities now, than then. Those things all play into how you make decisions.

I’m rambling now, I know. (And I’m not even going to try and clarify that last paragraph, I’m going stream of consciousness here folks). But I find it fascinating to think about some of the questions posed by this show about family, relationships, self, self-worth, responsibility and obligation. Where they intersect, where they diverge. Where they are at complete odds with one another. And how they change over time, based on circumstance, and with a moments notice.

The reality is that the ties of family, and love, are complicated. You + other people = messy, a good deal of the time. Beautifully messy (often), but messy never the less. Whether you’re a school teacher turned drug dealer or an average person living an average life.

I don’t know. Just thinking out loud here. Carry on, don’t mind me.

(If you can handle the intensity, and you haven’t already watched it, seriously, this show was amazing. Horrible, tense, crazy, but amazing.)

melanie jean juneau January 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm


MsKatrina February 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

I just watched my first ever episode of Breaking Bad the other day because, hey, look, its the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. Yeah, this is just a smidgeon more intense. Lol.

But even from that one episode, I felt the theme of do what is necessary for your family.

I had the conversation with my friend who tried to tell me things that she would “never do” and I beg to differ as those are things that she has “never had to do”. And that’s a blessing. Not everyone has been so blessed.

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