I said goddamn! We’re back after an extended Labor Day break. It’s Pop Culture Roundup 31, Honey Chile…

Have we been good, Pop Culture Fiends?

Breaking Bad, is the greatest show ever; it’s undisputed. The first half of the final season just wrapped, talk about some heavy-hitting episodes to lead us to halftime. A fantastic, riveting straight-up western style episode in the penultimate spot had the fanboys howling with that cold open of, “Say my name!” And capped off with the shocking death of one of the most beloved Breaking Bad characters nonetheless.Then there was the eighth episode (the half-season finale), Gliding Over All, with that montage of shockingly brutal violence ironically set to Nat King Cole‘s Pick Yourself Up. It was just as disturbing as anything I’ve ever seen on OZ.

They’ve been kind of montage-happy with this season but the 3-month-flash-cooking sequence was just unbelievable. Michelle MacLaren should be applauded; this series wouldn’t be what it is without her. Literally, she has masterfully directed 29 episodes, so far, of the series. She is the best; as all of my favorite episodes, she has touched with her talented and skilled hands. And to think, it must have taken some discipline and restraint not to use Crystal Blue Persuasion in the first four seasons. Pure poetic genius.

Speaking of genius in filmmaking, Indiewire‘s Press Play has an impressive in-depth piece, Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of Breaking Bad, Season 5.1. Read the text and then view the video essay at the header.

This edit, The Journey of Walter White, is powerful.

Breaking Bad Remix (Seasons 1 and 2)

Dean Norris aka Hank Schrader on CONAN. This was before Episode 7 (Say My Name) aired.

The is how the half-season finale should have ended. We can all see where this is going but try and refrain from doing a spit-take all over your monitor or iPad. LMFAO, so good. Watch the hilarious and juvenile video, stay for the comical YouTube comments.

This infographic The Death Toll in Breaking Bad by TDYLF is badass and puts into perspective what a psychopath Walter White/Heisenberg is. This is a nice companion graphic to The Journey of Walter White, above. Click for the high resolution if the image below is not legible enough.



So we were trying to figure out how much drug money was in that mountain. A shitload of redditors seem to believe there is $26,648,920 there. Do y’all think that Walt would give Jesse $5,000,000, if there was only $26M? HELL FUCKING NO. I initially did some light math and my previous guess was, if the average denomination was a stack of $25,000, then I figured there would be at least $120,000,000, in that storage unit. But then I realized that the stacks were probably bundles of no more than $10,000 (maximum) which would reduce that figure to about $48M. So that $26M figure is probably wrong. The Quora figure of $43M might be a bit closer. But I’d like to think that the other reddit guesstimate of $64M is probably right on.

Also, a Facebook comment-poster had this great link which provides a good visual aid on what a standard pallet of a $100M would look like. The graphic supports that $50M-$60M figure if you were dealing with $5,000 bundles (on average).  Not bad for more than 3 months of “work”. So there you go, I’m going to say about $50M-$75M. HEISENBERG, Y’all! Skyler needs a new pair of shoes.


Blue Sky Crystal Meth Flavored Donuts!




Jimmy Kimmel breaks bad.


Aaron Paul, the wonder years, Bitch.




Digital artist and modeler, SLiD3, did these killer interpretations and 3D Renderings of Mike Mitchell’s original 2D Breaking Bad illustrations which Mitchell did for the Breaking Bad Art Project (Breaking GIFs x Gallery 1988). I think they destroy the original doodles.


More art…

by Chris Morkaut


by Bee Johnson




by Otis Frampton


by Storyboard


I would like a moment of silence for one of my favorite television characters ever, Mike Ehrmantraut, beautifully portrayed by Jonathan Banks. The professional’s professional; hitman, cleaner, fixer, and Grandfather of the Year. Nobody could have played him like ol’ Banksy. I look forward to his next series or film he’ll be in. By the way, Poor Kaylee (via Darren G).


UPDATE: There has been some controversy with my use of the term “undisputed”. Specifically, in regards to the existence of, an also magnificent series, The Wire. Here’s an exchange that I just had with some fans/friends via a thread.

DARREN: Breaking Bad isn’t the undisputed best show ever, The Wire holds that title.

ME: No way. Not after the ridiculous 5th season with the (McNulty) serial killer stalking the homeless. Can you say “jumped the shark”? Just awful. Or even the annoying second season on the docks. Love that show (own the DVD box set, my Top 5 shows) but it’s completely deified and over-elevated at this point. Also, The Wire has the advantage of drawing from everyday life and existing social models. It’s almost documentarian, which you may say is a selling point but Breaking Bad is an entirely “cooked” up narrative with its own constructs. And an intricately woven arc and storyline at that. The Wire may have the advantage of having a universe of characters but I will take the well-crafted Breaking Bad characters. I will take that Breaking Bad cast over all. Also, filmically and cinematographically, The Wire could never fuck with Breaking Bad. Every other Breaking Bad episode is shot and presented like a movie.

DARREN: I do appreciate your passion and it shows. However, I’d argue that The Wire has one of the best and most deliberate plot arcs of any show. It’s not only comprehensive but also inductive. 

ME: I can’t argue with that. It is an AMAZING show. David Simon is a hero but I would take a bullet for Vince Gilligan and Co.

DARREN: By the way, when I was watching the season finale I was thinking that Breaking Bad is one of the best TV series of all time definitely up there with The Wire.

ME: #preachingtothechoir

DARREN: Sorry. Haha. I was a bit offput by them both giving up on that problem (the mountain of drug money). That’s not the Walter White I know.

RICO: Hmm, better than The Wire? More suspenseful, I’d grant you without question. But BETTER? Overall? Hmmm.

DARREN: Yeah, I took umbrage with that assessment as well. Nobody is perfect, I guess. 

ME: *McNulty serial killer fabrication (put that into consideration when you’re accounting for “overall”)

ISRAEL: Between “Say My Name”, the killing scenes in the prison, which i found oddly disturbing and very Scorcese (like) stylistically, and the perfect scene where Hank realizes about Walter White on the can, I think this is the best season this show has ever seen. It should probably be renamed “Broken Bad” for the final 8 episodes.

ME: I think I might have to add “The Wire caveat” in the post just for the fanboys. Or revise UNDISPUTED. I have mad respect for The Wire but the creativity and quality of filmmaking of Breaking Bad is unrivaled. Not to mention the great award-winning acting we see in the show. The Wire has cachet because of its realism and pseudo-intellectual college courses that dissect the show. But Breaking Bad is Breaking Bad. Pound for pound, ahem (*McNulty serial killer fabrication), it’s the best. It is its own crafted universe with film quality visuals. It is the greatest modern western we will ever see. Do yourself a favor and re-watch ‘Dead Freight’ from this season. The exhilaration of the whole episode to the heartbreaking and shocking ending. Also, the whole popular culture hold it has on our “culture” is just fun. And as I told DG, I own the The Wire DVD Box set, I rarely re-watch it as much as I love it. BB, on the other hand, I have watched each episode at least 2-4 times. Screw it, I stand by “undisputed”.

RICO: Ouch. I see your point but I still think overall just the sheer character development and depth of The Wire outstrips Breaking Bad. I think Breaking Bad has ended up being more cinematically masterful, and unbelievably suspenseful. I think a key difference is, The Wire specifically avoided many of the tricks that make Breaking Bad such enjoyable TV. (In response to Israel) Agreed, unbelievably good season. The prison shankings were shockingly violent. I loved that Hank was disturbed but I wish he would have elaborated on why that even bothered him. He seemed visibly shaken but these are just potential witnesses to him, so I don’t feel like he’d care that much.

(The discussion then segues to The Shield which I haven’t watched but I have been aching to see for the longest time)

So how say you? What’s the best television show of all time? If you had to choose, is it The Wire or Breaking Bad? Obviously, I’m passionately going with BB. Never go against Heisenberg, never. Regardless, both, without hyperbole, are amazing series. “The Wire versus Breaking Bad” is a great pop culture debate that will never die. Fun stuff.



The Walking Dead Season 3






The final theatrical trailer for The Master.


The Iceman, is the true story of Richard Kuklinski, loving husband, devoted father, and mafia hitman. He is believed to have killed at least 100 people between 1964 and 1986.


Seven Psychopaths, Red Band Trailer


Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers




Stanley Kubrick and the One-Point Perspective


David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective


You’re So Cool / A Tribute to Tony Scott


Pulp Inception


Be Water My Friend! Bruce Lee Remix


Supercut: TV’s First Days of School


Well, summer is over, the blockbusters are done, Breaking Bad is done for the year. What now? I’ll tell you what now PCR 32 coming next week. Peace be with you…


Pop Culture Roundup 31 Thread