FTR, I am ripping through these episodes like a, well, like an addict or something. (Thank you Netflix, you're such an enabler.)
And I love it. Not least because it makes me miss those gorgeous views of the Sandias I got to enjoy those brief summers I got to live in ABQ.
But two things really irk me.
First. Yes, this is highly personal and has to do with the constant, chronic and let's just own up to it, debilitating sleep deprivation I'm currently experiencing (the number of record screw-ups in the last few weeks! like, leaving my phone on the hood of the car, and misreading my own course schedule re the midterm date). I am so utterly pissed off at the way in which TV pregnancies, births, and babycare are depicted. The Whites are supposed to be living on a teacher's salary, and yet Skyler has a maternity wardrobe that never repeats itself? Come on. I will admit that the whole birth sequence was less annoying than is typical. No ridiculous scenes of women lying prone in hospital beds, screaming, cursing their spouses, and demanding immediate medication. But what's really bugging me at the moment, at episode 29, is that Baby Holly is the world's most autonomous, care-free infant. It's just No Big Thang to load her up and take her along to the bookkeeping office, where of course, she does nothing to interrupt getting work done. (I have yet to make good on my intention to book some office hours at NBTS with Baby Z in tow, and I struggle to do my course prep on a laptop on the living room floor beside her jumper contraption thing. It's pretty difficult to write a coherent lecture in 15-minute blocks of time interrupted more or less regularly by various demands for attention.) And at the hospital vigil? "Where's Holly?"/"I got a sitter." Right. Because it's No Big Thang to first, find a sitter, and second, feel completely comfortable leaving your newborn infant in someone else's hands for an extended and indefinite period of time. WTF. But for TV this is typical. The moment the drama of seeing the hotties morph into hot mamas with their baby bellies stuck onto curiously otherwise unmodified female frames (and then of course, morph smoothly right back to "normal" afterward...no postpartum bods to be found on American television), and the drama of the unexpected public waterbreaking and screaming cursing medicated hospital-practice-dictated birth sequence is done...well, the baby's just not that interesting, and stories about people who function just above zombie level due to the intense energy drain that is actual care of a real infant just don't cut it. So TV babies are magical--they don't need feeding, certainly not breastfeeding, (oh the logistical horror of negotiating that on a TV show, right?), and they don't require any actual interaction on an ongoing basis. A symbolic bottle waved in the air, a symbolic diaper change--and then they disappear from the viewer's sight. You'd forget that they exist, except for the perfunctory references to them here and there in the dialogue. And all this from a show that, really, does a better than usual job on this stuff. SIGH. It makes me want to tear my hair out, but Baby Z's already regularly doing this for me.
And second, I was so totally struck by Walt's line to Jesse re the airplane crash: "I blame the government." The irony of this willingness to pin something like this on the government just blows me away, in this context where Breaking Bad as a narrative wouldn't even exist if Walt's cancer treatments weren't completely inaccessible for financial reasons. There's plenty of personal moral failure here, but really, on some level...I blame the government.