Breaking Bad: A Cultural History by Lara C. StacheBreaking Bad: A Cultural History by Lara C. Stache

Breaking Bad: A Cultural History

byLara C. Stache

Hardcover | October 6, 2017

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As one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, Breaking Bad explored the life and crimes of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin of the American Southwest. As Walter White and his former student Jesse Pinkman become deeply entwined in the drug world, their narrative leaves a trail of bodies strewn across the show's five seasons-a story that resulted in more than 15 Emmy awards.In Breaking Bad: A Cultural History, Lara C. Stache offers an engaging analysis of the program, focusing on the show's fascinating characters and complex story lines. Stache gives the show its due reverence, but also suggests new ways of understanding and critiquing the series as a part of the larger culture in which it exists. The author looks at how the program challenges viewers to think about the choices made in the narrative, analyzes what did and did not work, and determines the program's cultural significance, particularly its place in twenty-first century America.The author also explores how Breaking Bad grapples with themes of morality, legality, and anti-drug rhetoric and looks at how the marketing of the series influenced the ways in which television shows are now promoted. Breaking Bad: A Cultural History captures the spirit of the series and examines how the show had an impact on viewers like no other program. This book will be of interest to fans of the show as well as to scholars and students of television, media, and American popular culture.
Lara Stache is an assistant professor in the Division of Communication, Visual, and Performing Arts at Governors State University (Chicago). She is also an affiliated faculty member in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Title:Breaking Bad: A Cultural HistoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:236 pages, 9.32 × 6.24 × 0.9 inPublished:October 6, 2017Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442278269

ISBN - 13:9781442278264

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Editorial Reviews

Although its last episode aired in 2013, enthusiasm continues unabated for Breaking Bad, the TV show about a dying high-school chemistry teacher who begins to cook meth. Stache's book has three parts, the first on Walter White and his alter ego Heisenberg; the next, on the show's cultural significance; and the last on the role each character plays in Walter White's life. Stache posits that Walt is neither antihero or villain but a wholly new kind of character. He's deeply flawed and ultimately evil, but he earns viewers' loyalty and admiration. Walt's bad choices are distinct from those of his partner, Jesse, whom viewers also love, but who has more redeeming qualities. Stache offers a plausible explanation of why most viewers hate Walt's wife, Skyler, suggesting that the writing did not do her character justice in early episodes. With its notes and bibliography and an 'opinionated compendium' on each episode, the book should make any fan appreciate its exploration of the much-loved series 'as part of the larger culture in which it exists.'