Mark Gillett

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Coaching Bad

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Like so many people I have recently watched Breaking Bad. I am not a TV fan and only watch a few things on catchup or the streaming channels if they really appeal or come recommended. I am not sure why I watched Breaking Bad as it neither appealed nor came recommended, I was just intrigued by the press and media surrounding it. If you intend watching it and don’t want to know any detail it might be an idea to stop reading now but if you have seen it, I would love to read your opinion too.

At first, I found myself totally sympathising with Walt White. His need to take care of his family is a natural one and having been diagnosed with cancer and not having any insurance or income to pay for the treatment his instincts were totally acceptable to me. Perhaps I would have taken another route but as a chemistry genius, Walt chose his path. Jesse Pinkman, the other main character was just a really troubled young adult who had lost direction and sadly had parents who had little or no idea about their son or how to manage him. He was in fact a direct result of their behaviour and the environment they provided him to grow up in. There were some very subtle telling lines early on and how his younger brother was slipping the same way for the same reasons. His part was very beautifully and cleverly written.

What I found really fascinating was how the director, Vince Gilligan, really nailed the true to life characters and left the audience so totally questioning and swinging between good and bad for most of the 5 seasons. Is Walt really a bad man? Is he just acting out of family instinct or is there more to his repulsive actions? The blend of Walt and Jesse was truly captivating and from a character perspective, it was evident that Vince Gilligan understands human behaviour as much as any trained psychologist. He has to, to be able to pull together and script two characters so well as he has done.

As the series unfolds, the evil deeds of Walt increase at an alarming speed and as the snowball continues to tumble increasing rapidly in size it becomes more evident that he has only one fate. But that being recognised, I was still captivated to the last minute. And the end did not disappoint. From a coaching perspective, his last words could almost justify what was going on in his head. I noticed quite early how his cancer got remarkably better after his initial treatments which would ordinarily be very unusual for stage 3 lung cancer in a 50 year old. What was relevant was that not only did he have treatment but he changed his entire life. He started from a blank sheet which is what most “miracle” cure cancer patience do. His direction was just a little questionable!

His journey into the Crystal Meth world took him away from the drudgery of his daily life as a teacher earning $40,000 a year. It gave him real purpose. His families future after his death had to be secured. He never seemed to see the pitfalls of his actions and only his goal. But then the goal got mixed up with the psychological effect of his new life and his purpose changed.

Only when he finally quit the Crystal Meth did his cancer return. And his fall from super drug baron to hunted murderer by everyone around him and back to family man finally led to his final hours. His last words summed it up totally for me. He just “came alive”. He “did it all for himself”.

Sadly lives these days are so controlled. So stressful and we have come to a state where we are no longer free unless we really take action to be. We constantly chase debt. I read daily about how Obamacare is leaving thousands of people without healthcare rather than enabling them to become more responsible for their health. We are being sold mortgages we cant afford, cars we don’t need and gadgets that apparently make our lives so much better when actually the only people who gain from all this are the few corporate owners, banks, insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. Everyone else just suffers more stress and the illnesses linked to it.

I concluded that Breaking Bad sends a great message. Obviously not to go out and start Crystal Meth production business and murdering countless people and dissolving them in acid but to take life back and live it fully. Only then will we be truly happy and most likely more healthy.

If you have watched it, I would be glad to hear your opinions… If not, I hope I have not given away too much. You really should take the time.

Written by markgillett

October 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Coaching, Film, Life, News

Tagged with ,

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