My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, January 28

Breaking Bad

This is my 800th blog post. My first post was September 2, 2009. Whoa! That's over four years ago. I guess 800 nicely rounds out my 80 years. I wonder if I'll be up for another 800 posts . . . or another 80 years. Probably not. In both cases. Writing a blog is sort of like the selfie photos people take with their cell phones, a narcissistic exercise in trying to get attention. Please forgive my narcissism. I hope I haven't bored anyone. I hope I've had some faithful readers. In either case or in any case, here comes number 800.

Thanks to NetFlix, we recently climbed aboard the Breaking Bad bandwagon and though the ride can be bumpy at times, there’s no way anyone is going to get us off until we see the final segment. And, thank you, Breaking Bad, for not feeling compelled to insert background music. No musical intrusion as with too many television series, NCIS the most obvious offender. We don’t need a musical score to lead us by the hand to appropriate emotional responses. It’s like comedies that try to elicit laugher by sticking in a laugh track. Don’t need it, don’t want it. Breaking Bad has received more critical acclaim than any other show. We now understand why. The writing is excellent with unexpected twists and turns in plot development. The characters are excellent, three-dimensional people with all the warts showing. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a good man whom circumstances turn bad. He’s a high school science teacher who has lung cancer and has huge medical bills and, his doctor assures him, only two years to live. To accumulate enough money for his medical expenses and a nest egg for his family after he dies, he embarks on a career as a meth cooking drug lord.
The viewer likes him even though he’s doing great harm to those who buy his product. He partners with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), a pot-head ex-student. The viewer likes Jesse despite his drugginess and unsavory meth dealings with really unsavory drug distributors. All the characters have good and bad sides. Skyler White (Anna Gunn), Walter’s wife, is forty and expecting a surprise gift of a baby girl. Her sister Marie (Betsy Brandt), married to DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), is a kleptomaniac. Hank, although working on the side of the good guys, is an unlikeable loudmouth. We’re only finishing up the second season, and we can’t wait to see the rest of the story. Breaking Bad is really Breaking Good.

And speaking of good television, we can’t wait for the return of The Americans and The Bates Motel. In the old days, a series would run for nearly eight months before hitting us with a cliff-hanger finale, then go off the air for four months before returning to get us off that cliff. Yeah, eight months on and then four off. Now, a series like Americans and Bates runs for only ten or twelve episodes before saying goodbye for what feels like forever. One needs a really good memory to wait for six or eight months before picking up their stories when they return. I guess what we should do is wait for NetFlix to make them available and then watch them in a NetFlix marathon. Too much to see, too little time.
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