June 7th, 2010

breaking bad

Mazel tov

Yesterday I spent at happytune's wedding. It was an Orthodox Jewish ceremony, but done in an unorthodox style. There was a lovely blend of traditional customs and unconventional artistic pleasures. The bride and groom were carried about in chairs held aloft. I danced in the women's dance. happytune and her beloved sang in Hebrew from The Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, and there was a very interesting long chanted blessing, with a cup of wine passed round between different men, some very black-hat orthodox, others more diverse in their back-story.

I felt that happytune had set herself a very difficult task, to bring together a disparate group of people, many of them very strong willed in their different ways, and to make everyone happy, while preserving her own integrity and not subsuming her own personality, or the nature of her bond with her new husband. It is a tribute to her extraordinary personality and strength of character, and selflessness, that it was so wonderful and successful in every way. There could not be a better foundation for her future relationship.

ETA - something that more or less passed me by, but at another stage in my life would have been a godsend - there were lots and lots of children, and happytune had thoughtfully arranged plenty of interesting things for them to do, suitable for different ages, including a treasure hunt. I was only peripherally aware of this, but I think it was a lot of work, and very kind for the parents.
breaking bad

Breaking Bad 3-11

This is the fourth really good episode in season 3 (archbishopm - ahem having seen it, I realise my anticipatory comment about it didn't make any sense). There is a character who is a hooker, and resembles very much the women that I meet in my voluntary job. She's given about five minutes of this episode for character development, and it really pays off: she is no longer an empty cypher. I'm not sure whether to praise this, or criticise that it has taken three seasons to get round to giving the sex workers who underwrite drug money a more rounded humanity.

Other than that, the episode ended on one of the most exciting and moving events of the season so far, but I just don't want to say anything about it. There were several really thumping events in fact.

This season is slightly feeling its way. Based on what the creators of the series said, midway in Season 1 they made a decision to subvert the characters, and the comedy premise. I think at this point they had a feeling 'Let's see how far we can take them', obviously never knowing whether they would get a renewal (further complicated by the writers' strike). I think the energy this injected took them right through season 2, which is why I keep using the term 'trajectory' for the story arc. In my mind it's like they pumped in some creative bang, and this drove it forward.

At Season 3 I think the old trajectory is running out of juice. The characters need new energy. The best episodes, like this one, pump in that energy. Other times I feel the writers are kind of moving the characters about, poking them, trying to understand what happens next.