The future has not been written, except for the part where humanity ends up with a second Terminator TV show in six years. Following The Sarah Connor Chronicles — and completely breaking away from it — Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures are working on a new series to launch in tandem with their 2015 franchise reboot. Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller, cowriters on Thor and X-Men: First Class, as well as story editors on Sarah Connor Chronicles, will write and executive produce the show. It sounds a little rehash-y and blah until you read that the story "will follow a critical moment from the first Terminator film (1984) and, where the film's story goes one way, the upcoming series will take the same moment in a completely different direction. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new TV series progress, the two narratives will intersect with each other in surprising and dramatic ways." That sounds cool.
This may come as a surprise to you, but Vince Gilligan, the man who created the methstrosity we once affectionately and anxiously referred to as Breaking Bad, is one of GQ’s Men of the Year. In a brief interview, Gilligan chats about Heisenberg's intentions coming into the neo-Nazi shootout, saying "he definitely went there to kill Jesse along with everybody else," which is sort of a shock, and maybe not exactly the type of info we want to learn at this late date. When Gilligan starts getting into "this art now belongs to the people" territory, though — that's when you wanna watch out. "I mean, yes, it's mine. But it's also everyone else's, at this point. Up until these episodes aired, they were simply mine and the writers' and the crew's and the actors'. Now they sort of belong to everybody. Like, it's up to the viewer to decide what happened to Jesse."
Wait, Vince, wait. It's up to us? Jesse, hightailing it away from Walter's Last Stand, eyes overflowing with sorrow-joy, didn't DEFINITELY go on to heal and recover and live and love?
Thank goodness someone was thoughtful enough to film Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reading the final pages of the Breaking Bad finale's script. Paul is so good at tearing up that he even gets a little misty listening to Cranston read Jesse's fate. Apparently the clip is part of a two-hour documentary about the making of the final season, which sounds sensational. In ancillary BrBa news, Vince Gilligan re-upped with Sony Pictures TV today, signing an eight-figure deal that will keep his future TV projects in-house.
Oh, and they threw in the "It was all just a dream" Newhart finale business for good measure, but if you're old enough to remember that, you're probably reading this from the TVLand in the sky. [Editor's note: It's pretty nice up here. Mostly we watch Cheers reruns and debate Woody vs. Coach.] If we can be greedy for a minute, maybe we can request that Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek do the "Walter White is just Hal in witness protection" one next. Something where Hal snaps in the middle of an argument to tell Lois he's the danger, but then she points out he's standing on the stoop in yesterday's tighty-whities. Seems about right.
The book is often better than the movie it becomes, but rarely is the acclaimed television series better than the figure-skating routine it inspires. And inspired is the word: The passion that went into this frosty adaptation from Breaking Bad assistant editor Sharidan Williams-Sotelo is unfathomable. Someone better have a special five-act puppet show ready for the end of Mad Men.
On the night of Sunday, September 29, millions of Americans tuned in to witness the beginning of an entitled narcissist's final act. This goateed sociopath had chosen drugs and glory over the more simple pleasures of family, and, along with a foul-mouthed associate, had created an alter ego whose name rang out on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. The end of his blinkered, bumpy journey promised blood, stimulants and — if audiences were lucky — Jet Skis.
As it turned out, Heisenberg's return to suburbia was a lot more violent — and popular! — than La Flama Blanca's. But I'm not sure it was necessarily more successful. In its fourth and final season, HBO's Eastbound & Down hasn't so much found another level as it has reclaimed its glorious, tarnished crown. Kenny Powers's pilgrimages to Mexico and Myrtle Beach were plenty exotic and often deeply, appallingly funny. But neither matched the highs or the strangely affecting lows of that impeccable first season, when Kenny — a dim-witted, drug-hoovering buffoon, recently furloughed from his 10th and final major league baseball team — was forced to confront a fate worse than death: real life.
Breaking Bad methstermind Vince Gilligan is the subject of a lengthy cover-story profile in The Hollywood Reporter and is being asked NOW WHAT?, probably feeling like I dunno, man, maybe some naps, a glass of juice, a Leaves of Grass re-read? But he eventually gets down to speaking fairly extensively about Better Call Saul, that spin-off slash prequel we all know about but don't know whether to be excited about. Here are the facts:
Look: We know you want to scoff at this, laugh at the two-for-$5 fireball shots, especially when the possibility of offering test-tube shooters of the many sky-blue liquors available at your finer binge-drinking establishments was a no-brainer. (We'll look the other way on the $10 fishbowls; if they're not served by dudes in hazmat suits, someone needs to menace the promoter with a box cutter.) Walt Jr.'s gotta get paid, you know? He doesn't have his Need for Speed lined up just yet, and one assumes the IHOP endorsement is done but for the ink drying. [Fist-bumps Andy Greenwald.] And let's point out that he's hosting, not DJing, so he's not falling into the celebrity-turntabling trap that's littered with the broken bodies of C-listers who auto-asyphixiated on their Beats wires. This is a better career move than anyone from the Entourage cast has made. This is literally taking money to show up and be worshipped. If that's not living the dream, we don't know what is.
As long as it doesn't become a double bill with DJ Bobby Draper sometime in 2015, it's all good.
Or $9,900, actually, but that's only $100 less gross. The auction of iconic Breaking Bad props happened over at ScreenBid, where more than 300 items were pawned off to shore up Vince Gilligan's Vince Gilligan Is the Best Foundation. (We jest — Sony Pictures Television will net something like 80 percent of the $1 million haul, says Variety.) Fetching the highest price was Walt's copy of Leaves of Grass — a gift from the late, great chemist Gale Boetticher — which went for $65,500. Hector Salamanca's DING-DING-DING-BOOM-machine earned $26,750, while the shabby pink teddy bear from Wayfarer 515 will now terrify the child of some Breaking Bad fan at the discount rate of $23,250.
Just when you've begun to grow your hair out, lovingly buried your dry-cleaned hazmat suit in a Rubbermaid storage barrel in the yard, and finally given up on your insistence that Walter White's semi-triumphant machine-gun-powered standoff was nothing but the dream of a man dying in a snow-encrusted car that would never start on the first magically-appearing-key turn, they pull you back in. (By the dog wire lashing you to the ceiling of the superlab in which you are enslaved. You always forget about that wire until a Nazi tugs on it.) Today at an industry conference in Cannes, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed — and please, steady yourself, this is about to get real — that he was willing to put up $75 million for three additional 60-minute Breaking Bad episodes that would pick up wherever the show ended. Reports Variety:
Any video that opens with "time to fuck with some customers" is good in my book. While this one's built in the mold of candid-camera shows designed explicitly to freak people out, something about it going down in a New York coffee shop, skewering even the most jaded espresso-swilling souls in the process, elates me. I like how the one woman takes out her smartphone after the dude gets slammed against the wall, but once tables start flying, she's outta there. And then the thing ends with #flexlikecarrie. I mean, just, no critique. A-frigging-plus. Viral marketing that sends people screaming into the streets and spending the rest of their lives telling friends about the haunted girl in the haunted coffee shop in the West Village is everything I'm about.
Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald discuss Breaking Bad, the Hoodies debate the merits of pop singer Lorde, The Right Reasons talk Survivor, Greenwald interviews Elwood Reid, and Prince Movies diagnose Walter White.
The final episode of Breaking Bad was an exhibition of mechanical precision that would have made the Germans at Madrigal Electromotive GmbH soil their Detlef Schrempf throwbacks. After countless thingamajigs had clicked and whirled, Walter White was afforded a best-case scenario in every possible way: His fortune was passed along to his family, his wife rewarded his admission of monstrous selfishness with an opportunity to stroke the hair of his infant daughter, all his enemies were perforated or poisoned, and his ruined protégé was liberated.
And the finale was riotously crowd-pleasing. Eyes welled as Walt watched his son for the last time. Cheers erupted as Jesse choked the life out of Todd, and again as Pinkman sped off with an animalistic howl. We nodded with acceptance as Walt expired in the steely arms of his beloved methamphetamine laboratory, a man of science who wrangled a hurricane of chaos into orderly form. It was the smoothest possible ending for a story pockmarked by grisliness.
For some viewers, however, there was a sticky feeling that Breaking Bad had concluded too cleanly. Oozing wounds were cauterized painlessly. For a show that ruthlessly argued that actions have toxic byproducts — a girl gargling on her own vomit leads to the skies spewing hunks of airplane fuselage — it felt like a moral code had been breached. And after so much speculation about the ending, there was strangely very little to discuss.
Yesterday we saw the character posters for Metastasis, Univision's Spanish-language adaptation of Breaking Bad. They looked ... cool? Fine? As does this trailer? I'm fairly sure the opinion of any American who just finished watching AMC's series means less than nothing to Univision. What can I say? "They better have twists! Marie better wear blue this time!" "They better keep it the same! I'm skeptical of this cooking-on-a–school bus business." No. I’ve got nothing. I'm sure it'll be a lovely, upsetting experience for many millions of humans who speak Spanish and who haven't seen BrBa and are utterly unfamiliar with its plot.