Episode 61: “All TV, All the Time…”

Welcome to another episode of Breakin’ In!

This week, Cheryl and I turn our attention to the TV game. Specifically the Anti-Hero and the difference between network dramas and cable dramas.

Our song this week is Chevelle’s “Send the Pain Below.”

WARNING: IF you have any desire to ever watch Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Shield, The Sopranos, LOST, Night Court, MASH, Friends or Six Feet Under and DON”T want to know how those shows end… skip this week (but please still tell your friends).

NOTE: OBVIOUSLY we don’t know how Breaking Bad will end… but we spend a LOT of time speculating. Hope you’re caught up!

Now… on to the show!

till next week…

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3 thoughts on “Episode 61: “All TV, All the Time…””

  1. It’s a testament to the quality of your discussion that even though I’ve never seen a single episode of “Breaking Bad” I can’t wait to hear next week if your prediction regarding the finale was correct!

    Furthermore, having (at least yet) never seen (no cable) most of the shows you talked about, I appreciated getting a good understanding of the essence (and endings) of these shows — without having to sit through all the violence…

    …and boredom. Yes, to answer your question I think years from now people will look at most of these shows in the same way that you now look at “The X Files”. (At least I hope so since I seem to have so little interest in watching most of them!)

    I did like “House of Cards” a lot (and am greatly looking forward to the next season), but that and LOST are about the only shows I’ve been interested in in a long time other than the original Law & Order. Speaking of which, I’m so glad you like it (and miss it) as much as I do. And the fact that you consider it far above SVU! I’m so sick of having to hear people tel me I should watch SVU because I liked the original L&O so much. I have to explain to them that SVU is a completely different (and far inferior) show that I couldn’t even make it through one episode of. (Whereas I saw every single episode of the original L&O, most more than once.)

    Not that I question your central thesis that these days network dramas are in general the worst. (“Ironside” sounds even worse than I figured it would be! DId he really say “things look different from down here”?! OMG! LOL!) It’s just that I think most of the other shows probably aren’t worth watching either.

    And I felt so ripped-off by “Under the Dome” that I don’t know when I’ll ever take a chance on another network show. The only reason I stuck with the show (despte how idiotic the [either lazy or rushed] writers made the characters behave) was to see the season finale… and basically they cut it mid-scene so you have to wait until the first episode of next season, nearly a year from now, before finding out what the finale actually was!

    By the way, I think the show you were trying to think of (the one that ended with it all being a dream) was “St. Elsewhere”. (I never saw the show but apparently the snow-globe ending is so infamous that it is etched in my brain.)

    You all also seemed to be having trouble remembering the (rather sordid) details of the MASH finale. It took thirty years for me to have been glad I saw that ending: PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch the episode of 30 Rock in which Alan Alda guest stars… I almost passed out from laughing so hard at the hilarious parody of the MASH finale (Alda choking the chicken/baby, et cetera) — in part because it is so subtle and understated that I suspect it went by most people!

    My only regret (spoiler) from having listened to this week’s discussion is that after hearing about Bobby “funky spunk” Cannavale I’m never going to be able to watch “When a Bowling Pin Talks, Listen” (DVD S2-E32) the same way again, as the episode centers around a children’s TV show hosted by a character named “Uncle Spunky”!

    1. Forgot to mention that I was very disappointed in the ending of LOST (and the last season in general), especially because they specifically denied from the beginning that they were all dead or in purgatory. (We’re not dumb; almost every fan guessed this from the first season.)

      Technically, though, the show ended rather simply, with about half the people dying (many due to the “smoke monster” in various forms), and half making off the island (in that plane).

      Alas, apparently that ending seemed to pedestrian to the (clearly in over their head and burnt out) head writers (Cuse and Lindelof), but since they couldn’t come up with anything better (and alas wouldn’t surrender control to other writers who would have loved to take over) (and most of the actors and crew wanted to go more seasons) they came up with this hokey device of having a second ending that takes place 50 years (or whatever) later, after those who survived have lived out their lives and are now dead, and everyone who lived on the island now meets up in purgatory to step into heaven together (including with those who died on the island).

      The problem with this auxiliary ending is two-fold: First, it’s and ending that could be tacked onto any ensemble drama. Had nothing to do with the rest of the show. Second, it makes no sense… almost certainly most of the survivors would (since they were so young) have formed other relationships during the following decades of their lives that were more significant than the relatively brief relationships they had on the island.

      Still, the first two and a half seasons of the show are outstanding. I’m thus surpised that anyone who watches so much current TV had and has no interest in watching it.

  2. St. Elsewhere had a uber weird ending with the dyslectic son looking at a snow globe which had the hospital building in miniature inside of it.

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