Last Christmas, I had a goal of trying to watch all of Breaking Bad, so I could be caught up by the time the last season aired. This proved unsuccessful because I got distracted by my existing Netflix queue, and because my brother took over the TV to watch Breaking Bad but from where he was in his 4th marathon rewatch, which was somewhere at the end of the second season. I asked if he wanted to restart and watch with me, but in typical younger sibling fashion, he said no. This is what brings me to today.
I should be somewhat clear. I’m a tv/movie person. I love watching and rewatching and picking up on framing details, and set design choices, and acting ticks I missed the first time or the next time. Would marathoning this show be productive or would this be an example of binge watching ruining TV?
Am I just so afraid of being completely left out of water cooler talk? Actually, yes. I guess that’s the real reason I’m doing this.
The Day Before
I’ve been talking myself out of it since I first thought of this. I’ve been doing the math about how many episodes i should watch a day. Seven days, 61 episodes. Minus the time where I’ll be at work or sleeping. My friends and coworkers think this is crazy.
Should I research where the big scenes will be so I’m not completely caught off guard? Where will I need emotional breaks? Is that cheating? Am I also cheating because I’ve technically marathoned part of seasons 2 and 3 before?
Day 1 – Season 1 & (one episode of) Season 2
Does the emotional resonance of the opening scene lose its meaning if I’ve seen this gif everywhere?
I am really angry at myself for being one of those people who reads everything TV-related on the internet even if it’s not relevant to anything I’ve seen. Why did I read recaps of the Dexter finale? I never watched Dexter. Why did I always read critiques of Breaking Bad? Because now I’m like YEAH SKYLAR because I know about her character arc, even though I’m only on season 1. Is this what the internet does to TV watching?
I fell asleep during the first episode of season two, so I had to rewind and now it’s 2:30 a.m. and I’m trying to remember that I have work the next day.
Day 2 – Season 2 (continued)
By episode 4 of season 2, I really want to visit Albuquerque which one shouldn’t get from a shoot-out scene in a dessert. Or maybe they should, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure everyone who watches this show is pretty much partially convinced that this is partially an Albuquerque tourism promo. Come to ABQ where there’s a lot of drugs, but look at the sunset!
I’m also assuming that everyone who watches this show has the urge to swaddle Jesse in blankets and tell him it’s okay.
Real food seems too challenging and distracting at this point in the marathon because now I’m eating Cup of Noodles for dinner.
Panic sets in a little after midnight when the internet decides to conk out. I AM NOW BEHIND SCHEDULE. HOW WILL I KNOW IF WALT AND JESSE KEEP TO THEIR SCHEDULE IN “4 Days Out”?
I can hear my roommate grumbling about the internet in her room, so I reset the router and everything restarts in a few minutes. (Years old spoiler alert: they make more than their anticipated amount of meth.)
By this point in the show, we’ve pretty firmly established that Walt is an anti-hero and his decisions are terrible and destructive. He’s also a great example of someone who is brilliant and clever who is an awful teacher. Completely lecture style in a chem lab? Do we ever get to see students doing experiments? Did AMC’s insurance not extend that far? Who writes “Not even close” on a student’s paper? I think the student got that from their 40 percent grade, Walt. You don’t need to twist the knife in deeper.
I keep looking for things to do that will keep me awake long enough to keep watching episodes. I started laundry so that the exceptionally loud spin cycle in the kitchen will scare me awake. I make it until 3 a.m. before I have to give up.
So at this moment, I have watched 18 episodes in two days. I’m slouched in my office chair, squinting at the screen. Sleep deprivation is kicking in slightly, and no one has any sympathy for me. I keep laughing inappropriately at work. I am now always hungry. My eyelids are heavy. All of my conversations about this are starting to blend together. Fellow Persephone contributor, Jovana continued to express this disbelief over this project of mine.
Jovana: You’re trying to watch ALL of it before Sunday?
Jovana: That’s like 60 hours
Karishma: I know. I’m 18 hours in
Jovana: Not with a thousand nerds could you do this
Karishma: I’m very tired. YOU DON’T KNOW ME, JOVANA.
I didn’t ask if she meant Nerds candy or other nerd people. I can stop on my way home and pick up some candy and ask my roommates to watch with me tonight, just to cover my bases.