August 28th, 2010
|10:30 am - Aaron Paul for Emmy|
I think it's the Emmy awards this Sunday? I predict Aaron Paul will get Best Supporting Actor, though he's up against some high class competition including John Slattery as Roger Stirling and Terry O'Quinn as John Locke. I am not certain, but are Emmys given for a particular episode? If so, it should be 3.7 ('One Minute') where Jesse Pinkman spends most of the episode inside a ruined face, begins to assert himself against 'Mr White', and is seduced back into submission tout suite.
It seems that many actors have resources that are never exploited by most telly. You see actors from the Wire appearing now in Law & Order, and their work is just a shallow sketch compared to what the Wire allowed them to be. I don't think Aaron Paul has done much before BB, and yet in this context he has developed the character into something astonishing. I haven't praised Aaron Paul as much as Bryan Cranston because sometimes I feel uncomfortable lauding a very pretty young man, and the way his face is used in Breaking Bad means the prettiness is significant, and it makes me feel that I am just a dirty old woman. Though that of course is the point. The director(s) and cameramen are working with what there is, to emphasise the quality which calls out both good and bad things from something inside Walt (and you/me).
Here are two very short YouTube videos featuring Aaron Paul. If you are interested in what I have been posting about Breaking Bad then these are worth watching:
Love the Way You Lie: is a 45 second fan video, using very short clips from Season 3 of Breaking Bad, set to Rihanna's vocals from eminem's new track about domestic abuse. I was talking to my son this morning about the song: is eminem deconstructing male violence or wallowing in self-pity? My son is a lot more critical than me about eminem's gender commentary. Anyway, not sure whether that is a digression or right on topic. The point I think is that the way Jesse Pinkman is used and loved by Walt, is similar to the way the actor Aaron Paul himself is used within the show. The video packs a terrific punch, though I don't know how it will seem to anyone who doesn't know the heft of other meaning around every shot there.
The second is not a music video but one of those compilations on a theme (like every 'cocksucker' in Deadwood). Three and a half minutes of Jesse Pinkman saying 'bitch'. The point - and I don't think this is overthinking, it's bang on the table from minute one - the point being that Jesse is the Pink Man, the femme, and every time he is calling himself. And that is a problematic thing to say, I know.
I am interested that the fans making videos - this is a common theme from me - seem to understand what is happening in the show, and are able to convey it in a more sophisticated way - than any print media TV reviewer.
And to come full circle, that scene at 3.10 when Jesse calls Walt a 'bitch'? That's what's going to get him the Emmy.
ETA I have posted a longer list of breaking bad videos on the BB community here.
There's a discussion about 'Love the Way You Lie, here
, at Shakesville with interesting comments both for and against, demonstrating some of the different ways the song and video are being read. (I can't remember if you read Shakesville.)
The video still packs a punch, not having seen any of 'Breaking Bad', but it does confirm me in my decision that I do not want to watch the programme. I enjoy reading what you have to say aboutit, what you see in what the writer, directors, actors, and production team are doing in combination to tell the story they are telling, but it's not story telling I want to explore.
I am hesitant about watching the second video because it does sound problematic. It's a word that's been rung loudly in my ears far too many times when I have been guilty of existing as a woman in a public place, usually because I have not satisfied a male need for my attention and responded in a suitably grateful way. And it's not a word I am interested in reclaiming.
There's a comment in an autobiography of a writer I am reading that reviewers of the writer's books are at a disadvantage because they treat an individual book, that the writer has written as a chapter in the life of, but a complete one, as something that stands outside this broader context; just one more thing to be got through. I think that can also apply to the print media TV viewers, and that fan creators of vids are bringing precisely that broader context in re-interpreting the source material.
ETA for link.Edited at 2010-08-28 10:48 am (UTC)
Yes. I think bitch is a word like queer or the n-word which can be, you know, triumphantly reclaimed by the oppressed, but that's not what's happening here. And 'bitch' is used in two ways, one to attack an assertive woman (or even as you say, one merely outside the domestic sphere) that she has transgressed, and is no longer protected by convention. It's also used to mean the opposite, to reduce a person to a possessed object.
Walt, I should say, does not hit Jesse (well, not very much) but he puts him in the way of being beaten, over and over again. And in episode 3.7 Jesse finally threatens to turn Walt in to the police, and Walt makes him change his mind, and come back. That's the image of Jesse's bloody face, almost looking at peace, resting on the pillow, he has surrendered again.
I am not sure I could tolerate such a storyline if the female role was actually a girl.
Thanks for the link, I'll read that this afternoon.
I just thought of something I completely left out of what I wrote before, which is that Jesse is very funny - like Vila he's got a whole thing going on - and the 'bitch' video does make me laugh.