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Friday, November 13, 2015

Watch This: An Alien Anthropologist Analyzes Breaking Bad on Earthling Cinema

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM


Earthling Cinema is one of the primary series on one of my favorite educational YouTube channels, Wisecrack, whose motto is "Laugh Harder, Grow Smarter." Hey, I like doing both of those things! It’s currently Breaking Bad Week, and Cinema host Garyx Wormuloid — a alien from the distant future who tries to make sense of the long-destroyed planet Earth via our pop culture — studies all five seasons. Also, each episode about five minutes long, so seriously, you have time for it.

There’s never been a lack of analysis of Breaking Bad, which Earthling Cinema acknowledges by linking to The Film Theorists’s examination of the final scene. Heaven knows I’ve done on my own homework on the show: I listened to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast, listened to all the commentary tracks, watched all the documentaries and making-of featurettes, and even slogged through Talking Bad.

But there’s always room for more study, particularly when it’s done with a fresh perspective, and you can’t really get a fresher perspective than an alien from the far distant future. Though that aspect is played for laughs, there’s actually a certain poignancy to the way Garyx Wormuloid gets nearly every person-place-thing fact wrong, such as exactly who Heisenberg was...


...or just what our more volatile chemicals were.


We should so be lucky for our view of our own ancient history to be as accurate as this. Also, though it doesn’t actually crop up in the Breaking Bad analyses, a running Earthling Cinema that makes me laugh every time is the aliens considering the act of eating to be vulgar.


I’m inclined to agree, especially where Joe Pantoliano is concerned.


I also appreciate Earthling Cinema spending some time on the themes of the Season 3 episode “Fly", both because it’s probably the most important episode of the series in terms of both Jesse and Walt’s characters, but also because a lot of ardent fans disliked it because they thought it was just Walter and Jesse chasing a fly. That’s the things about fans: sometimes the closer they get, the more difficult it is for them to see the nuances in the things they love.

This is echoed when Garyx ruminates on how the more unsympathetic Walter White became in the later seasons, the more popular both the show and that very character became. What does that say about us?

Enh, what does it matter to him? We all died thousands of years ago. But it’s still something we need to reckon with.

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Sherilyn Connelly


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