Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad has emerged as a defining example of the recent renaissance in television-making. The sheer breadth and visionary scope of the series demand that it receive extensive critical engagement.
The contributors collected here, from chemists and midwives to philosophers and novelists, examine a variety of themes in Breaking Bad. Walter White is discussed as father, as psychopath, as a scientist, and as an example of masculinity. The writers look at the series in terms of gender, neo-liberal politics, and health care reform as well as the more traditional aesthetic categories of narrative construction, experimentation, allusion, and genre.
With television emerging as the dominant artistic genre of the early 21st century America, Breaking Bad should not simply be seen as a wildly popular phenomenon, but also as a superbly designed artwork that reflects widespread cultural concerns and crises. The series' complexity warrants the rigorous analysis that it here receives.
Jacob Blevins is a professor of English at McNeese State University, USA. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. Dafydd Wood is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature at McNeese State University, USA and has written articles on modern French poetry, contemporary photography, opera, sound in poetry, and translations from the French. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA.