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Feb 21, 2015

Breaking Bad & True Detectives

I have never been big on watching any TV series after the initial high of having 24 hour television wore off in my teens. Buniyaad was a Doordarshan (India's national channel, only channel till the late eighties when cable TV was unknown in India) series we watched, as a family when we were kids - a generational story about a family displaced to Delhi by partition.

After that when cable TV took India by storm, we watched Bold and the Beautiful and Santa Barbara - those were my high school years. Then the romance with TV was over. I watched movies on TV but when the entire population was falling head over heels with over-the-top Indian soaps and later after moving to US except for intermittent HGTV and Food TV episodes network TV failed to catch my fancy.

That was till Breaking Bad happened. What a show! What a ride it had been with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Today if anyone asks me where I want to move if given a choice, I would say New Mexico. That is the effect that TV series had on me. Incredible story line, strong, better than life characters, tight plots, didn't think any series in the past or the future could better it.

Recently I binge watched Season I of HBO's True Detective. It is a murdery mystery - cop drama, so if done well it has the potential to keep you hooked. But this was not just done well, it was brilliant. Screenplay, dialog, landscape (Louisiana coast) and the two lead character of police detectives Hart and Cohle played by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McCounnoughey. I wish they were real people.

Breaking Bad and True Detective and series like those ( I wish there were more) when they are finished leave a gaping sad hole in your psyche. The sadness from the fact these are not real people, there is no Jesse Pinkman and Walter White in New Mexico. The inevitable letdown of coming to terms with the fact you will never watch the high-strung camaraderie and metaphysical punch line dialogs uttered by Cohle to Hart. For the few hours we were watching we forgot these were all actors, the story is not real.