Breaking Bad Never Got Me Addicted

At the risk of having serious television fans throw things at my head, I have to confess I’ve never seen a full-episode of Breaking Bad. I know, I know! Listen, I love Bryan Cranston as much as the next person. I liked the first few seasons of Mad Men so it wasn’t an AMC phobia that kept me away from it. Although the old movie queen in me misses the Bob Dorian days. No, oddly enough this drug addict couldn’t never really get excited about the concept.

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Maybe it’s like doctors who don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy or chefs who can’t stand Food Network. But I was never intrigued enough by the premise of the show to tune in. Granted, I never made my own drugs or even sold drugs for that matter. Okay I made flavored vodka once with Green Apple Jolly Ranchers but it was disgusting and hardly an enterprise idea to pay for my cancer treatments. As a user and frequent customer, the idea of a drug dealer/family man I guess should have been an interesting one. Perhaps the 4 mind-numbingly bad seasons of Weeds that I watched turned me off from drug dealer tv shows. Or maybe it’s because on some level as a connoisseur I know that television could never capture the real-life sketchiness of the drugs dealers I have known. (Reminder: Pitch ‘Drug Dealers I Have Known’ as a coffee table book.) I never ever, once bought weed from somebody who looked like Mary Louise Parker. They usually looked more like Mexican versions of Al Roker and the guy I bought meth from I never actually saw. He was like Carlton the doorman. We’d call and someone, not him, would run it out to the car. Still, I feel like I’m missing out on something. The oddest assortment of people I know love this show. From bank employees and actors to retirees and teachers and beyond, everybody loves it. Everybody but me. It could be the drug dealer thing but I also don’t like watching shows about assholes.

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That early 2000’s trend of building an entire television show around reprehensible awful people seems bland to me now. Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Dexter and countless more pounded us over the head with this “Hey aren’t we subversive by having a polarizing character as the lead?” Um, no. It’s titillating  a couple of times but when every show has a drug dealer, hooker, heroin addict, gun smuggler then it becomes boring.  Personally if I hate every character, I’m less likely to want to spend an entire hour with them every week. I worried that Breaking Bad would just make me feel yucky instead of actually caring about what happened to the Walter White.  And don’t give me the “Well, what about Seinfeld?” argument. Seinfeld was a comedy and laughed at the worst of humanity. Plus, Jerry and the gang always got theirs in the end. And oh yeah, Seinfeld was genius.

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In reality, my aversion to the show might have more to do with timing more than anything else. The show premiered in January 2008, the first year I really tried to get sober. By ‘really tried’ I don’t mean going to rehab or even meetings. This stab at sobriety consisted of smoking a lot of cigarettes and watching endless marathons of Real Housewives (a program I also no longer watch due to the high asshole factor.) Just watching people even drink wine or do blow on television was tough back then. It was like having your jaw wired shut and being forced to watch people eat Thanksgiving dinner. Staying away from Breaking Bad might have been more strategic at that point than anything else. Not surprisingly, this fragile time on the sobriety merry-go-round didn’t last. breaking-bad-all-characters

Being sober for over four years and with my days of  dealing with dealers long behind me, maybe I’ll finally catch up with Breaking Bad. Or maybe not. Now that it’s all over, I feel like I’ve missed the party. Which is okay. For a pop culture junkie like me, television addictions are picked up and let go with regularity.

But friends am I missing something? Is Breaking Bad worth watching? And what other shows are you addicted to? And what show does everybody love but you? Tell me in the comments section below!

The Rabbit Habit

Once upon a cracked-out time, your’s truly hopped up the bunny trail that was a steep Capitol Hill street near my friend’s apartment. I swayed and sashayed as I had been awake for days.  I noticed something miraculous on the small grassy patch near the building’s steps.

Three fat, round white rabbits lay sleeping in the wee hours of the morning!  From where I was walking they looked like plump lop eared bunnies straight out of some Easter special. So imagine my surprise when I got closer and I realized they weren’t rabbits at all. It was three garbage-stuffed, white plastic grocery bags with their handles tied together. And thus began the ending of my relationship with crystal meth.

I had what I wistfully like to refer to as my summer of meth. Like the summer of love or the summer of 69. But with crank bought from sketchy dudes at all night bowling alleys. It was actually probably closer to two summers but who’s to say because when you’re using crystal meth everything seems to last a lot longer than it should. It’s hard to fathom that I had a relationship with crystal meth in the first place. I mean, me of the daily long naps and the intricately delicious meals was somehow dragged into a world of zero sleep and no food? How was it possible? Oh because I’m an addict that’s right. More proof positive that crystal meth was bad news for me is while high on that drug I favored smoking menthol cigarettes and drinking gin and tonics. What. The. Hell.  When the most white trash drug in the world can turn me into an old black lady, things are not okay. That whole lifestyle was so hilariously awful that it is truly befuddling. The best part about meth, because there are so many wonderful things, was the that while using it I could drink even more without getting messy. But when my little crystal crew all became paranoid and some of us stopped talking to one another and then I saw the not bunnies, I decided to get out while I could.

It popped up in my life in Los Angeles here and there but amazingly I learned my lesson. Or learned there were drugs I liked more. Like booze. I guess I’m grateful for the rabbit apparition. I’ve met hundreds of people in the program whose lives have been destroyed by that drug and it is no joke. I somehow escaped it’s death grip and that’s pretty miraculous.