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Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even

Breaking Bad is known for its grim and gritty outbursts of anger and violence. In the chaotic story of a meth-dealing high school chemistry teacher, time seems to collapse, and we feel as though the lives of the characters are moving inevitably closer to their ends. This warped perspective wends its way through virtually every aspect of the story, intensifying the meaning we attach to the characters’ precarious lives.
Hoping to cultivate a deeper understanding of the series, Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even offers a new way of approaching the program though its complex treatment of time. With its grotesque portrayal of life on the brink of death, argues Gertrud Koch, we can best view Breaking Bad as a black comedy between Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux and film noir. Koch takes readers through the ways in which this is accomplished through the show’s various visual elements and masterful temporal and narrative structuring. Full of fascinating insights, the book will appeal to the show’s many fans, as well as anyone interested in film studies, media studies, or popular culture.

96 pages | 5 x 7 3/4 | © 2017

Film Studies


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“Slim in content but rich in meaning. . . . Koch manages to successfully argue that if the program was anything (crime drama, noir, mainstream suspense thriller) it was the darkest of comedies. . . . Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even is a rich study of a brilliant television program whose strengths Koch clearly understands. . . . A rich, astute, clear examination.”

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Table of Contents

It’s a Trip!
In 62 Episodes to Death
Time Going Backward, Time Going Forward
Chain Reactions
On Value
81 Five Iconic Scenes

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