Magazine article Variety

"In a Realistic Depiction, There Are Consequences to Every Violent Action"

Magazine article Variety

"In a Realistic Depiction, There Are Consequences to Every Violent Action"

Article excerpt

Violence has always been a component of our show. We try to think through these violent moments in great detail - emotionally as well as logistically. And though we intend for them to strike a deep chord with the audience, we never mean to sensationalize them.

When it comes to depictions of violence in entertainment, it seems to me they exist in two basic forms. One is the realistic portrayal, in which there are consequences to every violent action. The other is the cartoony version, where the moment is meant to play as funny or simply cool. For instance, there's the scene we've all watched a thousand times in old movies and TV shows where the hero shoots someone dead, then makes a funny quip and goes on with his day. Admittedly, I've written such scenes throughout my career, and may do so again in the future. But I see how a lifetime ofthat goofy fake stuff could tend to desensitize viewers to the real thing.

When we conceived of "Breaking Bad," we wanteâ to create characters who were in the process of changing. In a sense, our show is about how life - and the problems and choices it throws at us - can slowly morph us as individuals. For the most part, the violence in the story is intended to have a transforming effect on our characters.

We work in a writers' room and the storytelling is a group effort. We go over every step of the script, beat by beat, point by point, and discuss in great detail what the characters are feeling - their hopes, their fears, their goals and obstacles - throughout the episode. …

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