BHS Blogress Report: 2019, Weeks 49 and 50 – Destroying Oneself

Weeks 49 and 50 – Destroying Oneself

There she is, my new PC. I’ve got myself a beast of a gaming rig, and at least for a couple of months, she’s state-of-the-art. I don’t really have anything at the moment that can push her limits, but I can report that Doom 2016 is running a hell (heh) of a lot smoother. The real test will be how she does with this week’s streams… I won’t have my wired connection or my extra RAM card until Thursday at the earliest, but I suppose I can take doing one more session on Wifi. My family has taken note of that blue LED on the front, and they’ve already asked me repeatedly if there’s a way to turn it down or off… I should clarify, it’s even brighter in person, so much so that I can still see half my room when I turn all the lights out. It’s a good thing I sleep with an eye mask on.

For most of the past three weeks, I’ve been glued to Breaking Bad. I finally finished the series and watched El Camino on Tuesday. I haven’t been able to shut up about it since; in my opinion, it absolutely deserves every bit of acclaim and its reputation as one of the best TV shows of all time. All the actors’ performances are breathtaking, especially in the final season, but Bryan Cranston… I’ve been telling people that I can’t believe he can sink so far into a character that dark and twisted without destroying himself in the process. The closest thing I can compare it to is how I ended up legitimately disturbing myself when writing Desideria for Stars Above. Her words and actions were so sadistic that I started questioning what kind of person would come up with that stuff… and now I have this nigh-unshakable certainty that if I ever tried to put myself into the head of a character like Walter White, I wouldn’t come out intact. Touching that kind of darkness would change me, I think, and not for the better. How Cranston managed it, I have no earthly idea, but whatever his method was, it made for a performance I can only describe as “enthralling”. I’ve never seen anything like it… it’s more than just saying the lines and putting on the voice, it’s a transformation. It’s like he taps into this primal font of pride and rage and bitterness that’s seething just under his skin, and as the show goes on that font leaks through more and more until it finally bursts and devastates everyone and everything around him. And yes, “devastating” is absolutely the right word, if not an understatement… when it all inevitably collapses in the last three episodes, it’s like the emotional gut punches escalated into emotional carpet bombing.

I’ll probably have more to say as I have time to process (and as I make my way through the portion of Better Call Saul that’s on Netflix), but for now, it’s late and I’m tired. More words next week.


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