I enjoy shows that have almost no music, so when Mad Men came out I was beyond hooked. Here was a show that not only dared to de – romanticize the ’60s but even goes as far as relying on great camera work and even greater acting to get their point across, sans any music cues that in my mind serve as a disingenuous way to tell the audience when to pay attention.
Having said that I get chills whenever the music turns on during any of Mike Ehrmentraut’s scenes. Mike is a cool customer, a regular James Bond in sheep’s clothing and when he is engaged in spy like activities I cherish every second. The scene that finally introduces us how he finally ends up at Los Pollos Hermanos via a wide shot with thumping music is a winner. Seeing Gus Fring again is actually refreshing if you can say that about any bad guy, and how he gets wise to Mike is a mystery that will have me thinking about it till next week.
Speaking of which I am not yet entirely sure what the scene in Episode 1 was about re Kim’s obsessing over the use of her punctuation marks. Is she getting anxious? Overly obsessive? Is it building us up to a letdown in her contract writing skills resulting in a momentous collapse?
And finally there is the issue of the brother’s never ending duel.
It’s odd for me to say this but whereas this is supposed to be the main plot, the Kim Wexler and Mike Ehrmentraut subplots are more interesting to me at this point. Even Howard Hamlin’s character, that of an ivy league uptight – but really not a bad guy -, and his efforts at genuinely working towards the best for all parties concerned is more interesting.
I think this is because Chuck McGill has become a one dimensional bad guy here, and does not merit sympathy. This works against him in the sense that characters like him are destined to fail which in turn make him predictable. Of course it is interesting to see how Saul is going to get out of this new pickle, where he has two people witness him breaking in Chuck’s house, destroying Chuck’s property and threatening him to boot. But the interest does not go beyond technicalities after that.
While Chuck still shows he is human from time to time, such as when he reminisced along with Saul in Episode 1, his single minded determination to destroy Saul is not enjoyable to watch, and it is only saved via Michael McKeen’s interpretation of a smug, overly self assured character. Other than that however, Chuck McGill is a hateful toad and merits no compassion, making the audience angry at him as opposed to empathetic. He was in fact more interesting in previous Seasons when he was trying to prove his sanity.
Nevertheless I am thoroughly enjoying this however. As the episodes come there is more and more Breaking Bad reference. I read it is now called the best prequel ever and that is justifiably so.
Here’s a promo video just to remind everyone how awesome this show is, and also because I’m not very good at ending blog posts.