By: TAYLOR CARDEN
Let me start off by saying I admit to being completely biased towards Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it centers on Walter White, a highly overqualified high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has terminal lung cancer. His diagnosis gives him maybe a year to live and Walt is trying to determine how to provide for his family after he is gone. A ride with his DEA agent brother-in-law leads to a chance encounter with a former student turned drug dealer, Jesse Pinkman. From that moment on, Walter embarks on a journey that the creator Gilligan describes as, “transformation from Mr. Chips to Scarface”. Now my reason for writing this piece is to tell you why exactly Breaking Bad was robbed at the Emmys. Although they won for Best Television Drama and Best Actress, the show was nominated for many more awards, which I think were rightfully it’s to win.
This year’s Emmy Voters must have never seen an episode of Breaking Bad and certainly not the episodes entered for nomination purposes. Now while I enjoy Boardwalk Empire and believe its caliber is on par with Breaking Bad, I still believe both Aaron Paul’s and Jonathan Banks’ turns as Jesse Pinkman and Mike Ehrmantraut far surpassed the work of Bobby Cannavale on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. However, I can allow Cannavale his win for Best supporting Actor in a Drama Series only because Aaron has won before and in a perfect world he will win next year for his work in the final season of Breaking Bad. I also believe there is a certain bias towards HBO programming. While I can swallow my pride and allow Cannavale and Boardwalk their win I cannot abide by Emmy Voters awarding Jeff Daniels for his work on The Newsroom over Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. Bryan Cranston has played the role of a lifetime with Walter White and the transformation he has brought to life on our screens is nothing short of stupendous. His work in the first part of the fifth season of Breaking Bad truly shows how talented he is. He has brought Walter White so far while simultaneously sending him so far back morally. One might ask me what makes me think Jeff Daniels does not deserve his award and my answer would be this: The Newsroom is basically a dramatization of a news station and it follows real life events only a year or two behind. As far as Jeff Daniels’ performance, I definitely do not feel it is on par with Cranston’s. One line of Daniels’ that seems so self-involved and dumb to me says, “A doctor pronounces her dead, not the news.” The quote may seem otherwise innocuous but knowing Aaron Sorkin writes the show should tell someone all they need to know. Sorkin is notorious for being quite conceited and self-involved so a show and character written by him is pretty much a jerk. Having said that, some may compare Daniels’ Will McAvoy to Cranston’s Walter White in that they are both morally ambiguous and delight in power but there is a difference between just being a rude news anchor and a drug empire kingpin who has murder over 200 people both directly and indirectly.
Thankfully Breaking Bad did go home with several awards including Best Drama Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Bryan Cranston also took home an award for producing the show. These awards were well earned and although it all comes down to opinion and bias, I believe the majority of voters were wrong in their decision.
Breaking Bad’s series finale airs Sunday, September 29th at 9:00 p.m. on AMC. Although they did not win every award they were nominated for this year, I think it is safe to say this finale will blow every other eligible show out of the water whereas next year Breaking Bad will come out on top. It has been a long and traumatic journey with this show and it’s characters and while I am sad to see it go, I know the show has always been in great and capable hands and as Bryan Cranston has said, “the finale is ‘perfect’ and ‘unapologetic'”. The trauma that will no doubt be suffered tonight by fans of the show will be well worth it to be satisfied both by the end of the show and the many awards it will take home undoubtedly from next year’s Emmy Awards. The only thing left to say is: PAY ATTENTION EMMY VOTERS.