The Five Stages of Binge Watching

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Welcome to 2013.  The year of Netflix, the year of streaming, and the year where it’s become socially acceptable to shut yourself out from the world and devote yourself to an entire series of a television show.  The new phenomenon, known as “binge watching,” has become easier than ever.  What? You mean you haven’t finished an entire season of a television show in one day yet? Get on board!

More times than not, binge watches lead to addiction and even an obsession.  One does not simply binge watch a show they dislike – unless it’s some form of new age torture (I may be onto something…).  We’ve become enthralled with television shows, treating characters and stories like our own kin.

Stage 1: Curiosity

“You need to watch [name of superawesomeyoucan’tmiss television show] immediately!” Okay, I guess. Let me just Google some information about it, see if it really is all that.  Hmm…looks interesting and I do like the actors.  I guess I’ll watch the first episode, if I don’t like it I don’t have to continue watching.  No harm done, right?

Stage 2: Apprehension

Oh no, the first episode was SO GOOD.  What do I do now?  I don’t have time to start a new show.  I work two jobs, I sometimes pretend to socialize with people, AND I just finished show Y last week.  How could I fit new show X into my life? But I need to know what happens.  I need to know who lives, who has sex, and what that dead man was doing in a bathtub! What do I do?

Stage 3: Acceptance

It’s okay, Erin.  You’ll watch episodes on the weekends, on your lunch break, in between social obligations.  The show is too good to stop now, you can do it! You did it before and you can do it again.  Just accept that fate wants you to watch this amazing show.  You love the characters, the story lines, and the drama.  You can even write about it in your blog when all is said and done – give your binge watch a little bit of meaning.

Stage 4: Isolation

No, I can’t go grocery shopping now! There’s only two episodes left in the first season AND I NEED TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS. Plus, Netflix says the next episode will start in fourteen seconds!  I can’t just stop watching on a cliffhanger! Another hour won’t mean anything. Can you please close my door? I need complete silence right now and I can’t have you asking me questions every minute. What? You want me to come to your birthday party? I haven’t showered in two days, I haven’t even talked to anyone, how do social skills work again? This show is so amazing.  Maybe I’ll find someone at the party who watches it too and we can cry about it together!  How long have I been at the party now? two hours.  I wonder if I can quietly bow out and no one will notice.  Two hours is long enough.  Season two is waiting in my queue, calling my name.  See you guys in three weeks!

Stage 5: Addiction

Have you watched show X!? YOU HAVEN’T? IT’S SO AMAZING.  I can’t talk to anyone who hasn’t watched it yet.  I spent six hours on Tumblr last night learning everything about the show.  I even wrote my own fan fiction!  Just because the actors weren’t gay on the show doesn’t mean that they didn’t secretly want to be together!  Did you know that the guy and the girl are dating in real life!? Ohmygod, cutest couple ever! I can’t wait for them get married and have babies, it will be just like on the show! Did you see they also are maybe going to make a movie about it? That’s a Kickstarter I would give money to.  I hope it never gets cancelled, how could it? It’s too good! All the actors deserve Emmy’s STAT.  WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY WEREN’T NOMINATED!? ROBBED. ALL OF THEM ROBBED.  WTF IS WRONG WITH HOLLYWOOD? Do you guys like my new shirt? it’s from Show X, it’s the company logo they all work for! Just watch the first episode, I promise you’ll like it!

(In case you don’t think this is real: I did, in fact, watch 177 episodes of Supernatural in a four week time span.  Oops.)

Dear Breaking Bad,

It comes with shock that I am at a loss for words.  How do I adequately explain what you have meant to me? All these years of faithfulness and adoration.  It’s hard to really explain to people what a fictional television show could mean to me.  In the end, you left me too soon, you broke my heart, but you left me satisfied; always wanting more but knowing that you ended in the most dignified way you could.

Three years ago it was recommended to me that I should watch a little AMC show which had just ended its third season.  Having an open mind, I delved right in.  What ensued was a three season binge watch that had me clawing at the bit for more.  You were riveting, exhausting, beautiful, and everything I could have asked for in a television show.  I quickly fell in love with everything Breaking Bad.

I became what you would call: obsessed.  I wanted to know everything and anything about Breaking Bad and its actors.  I wanted to explore every inch of the show, uncover what hidden messages would lead to big explosions and drama.  bbcastI wanted to know all the details of the cast, as a show as beautifully acted as this deserved my full attention and awareness of which unbelievably talented actors portrayed these parts.  No one could compare to the unease Bryan Cranston brought to Walter White, the sympathy Aaron Paul bestowed onto Jesse Pinkman, and the hurt and anger Anna Gunn emulated through Skyler White.  Among them stood and equally gifted supporting cast, who deserved every accolade, every praise they received.

Luckily, as time progressed, I was no longer in a small minority.  I became part of an audience that felt so close and so passionate about a show, I was no longer considered the crazy TV addict (ok, I still am, but at least I am not alone).

As the final weeks of the show drew nearer and nearer I felt as if I had become a part of a community.  Everyone was clamoring at the bit to make last minute predictions, laments, and tried to find meaning in every little detail that creator (and genius) Vince Gilligan and crew presented to us.  We all leaned on each other for emotional support and engaged in conversations about what the final last minutes would look like.

bb1No one was prepared for the end.  The show hit its peak during its final eight episode run, when everyone and anyone knew what Breaking Bad was, what it had created.  Clutching to a blanket, with a box of tissues nearby, my head swarmed as I kept every ounce of attention I had on the last hour of my beloved show.  As Walter took his last breath, I breathed a sigh of relief.  The protagonist turned (debatably) antagonist’s journey had finally reached a head.  Walter died defending himself, partner Jesse, and his meth empire.  As much as I had come to despise the person Walter had become, I couldn’t be mad.  I was too busy rejoicing over the life of Jesse Pinkman.  The life he would continue to live as he had escaped his enslavement and freed himself completely of his captor (RIP Todd).  All the remaining pieces fell in line.  Closure granted to each and every main character.

I was more than satisfied with the way you left me, Breaking Bad.  You gave me everything I could have asked for and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.  After a finale like Dexter, which failed in every way it could have, you were the saving grace.  What a series finale should look like.  What a television show all together should look like.  You went out on top, with more fans than ever.  I salute you, I congratulate you, and I will always be a fan.

Love Always,

Erin

Adios, Dexter Morgan

Hey everyone, how’s your week been? Has it been fulfilling? Have you been enjoying yourself? Or have you been fuming with anger? Unable to shake a certain show that ended its eight season run Sunday night? If you’re anything like me, a once huge fan of Dexter, you’ve been doing the latter.

Sunday night marked the final episode for the eight year run of Showtime’s Dexter.  The highly anticipated finale brought on many speculations, conversations, and even “leaked spoilers” which turned out to be mostly false.

For years I’ve enjoyed Dexter Morgan.  He’s been one of my favorite television characters…ever.  The internal struggle of a sociopathic serial killer who wasn’t just one dimensional.  He was sympathetic, funny at times, and a lot of bit tragic.  But, I should have known.  I should have known after the titular “Trinity” season four and exit of original showrunner Clyde Phillips that Dexter would never be the same.  The ending of the show didn’t feel like closure to an entity I had spent 96 hours watching, but a punch in the gut by a friend you considered close.

I won’t sit here and bore you with an entire recap of the episode.  That would be unfair to you, the reader, as I myself do not want to sit and waste my time.  Also, if you’re are in fact reading this, chances are you sat through the last hour as I did and have no need to sit through it again, unless you are in the small minority.  In the end, after struggling with his inner demons, grasping to be “human,” Dexter Morgan took one last leap at life.  Unfortunately, after the death of sister Debra, that leap fell all too short.  Dexter simply could not run off to Argentina with girlfriend Hannah and his son.  He blamed himself for his sisters death, for everything bad that ever happened to anyone he “loved.”  In one last heart wrenching conversation with Hannah and Harrison, Dexter lamented how much he loved them.  Disposing of Debra’s body into the ocean like all his other kills (symbolism) and dropping his phone into the stormy waters, Dexter rode his boat into the incoming hurricane, shielding his loved ones from himself once and for all.  Everyone believed Dexter dead – Miami Metro, friends, even Hannah.  Except, surprise! Dexter wasn’t dead.  In fact Dexter had faked his death, moved to the opposite side of the country, grew a ginger beard, and became a sullen lumberjack devoid of all life! Instead of death, instead of turning himself in, Dexter decided exile was his best course of action.  And there is where the show went wrong.

Serial killers can’t have a happy ending.  I wholeheartedly agree with that.  But, Dexter was never about a serial killer with no empathy.  This was about a killer with a code, a family, and a life full of people and things to care about.  Yes, Dexter teetered on the brink several times, inadvertently causing the deaths and destruction of ones he held near and dear.  Even so, he continued to try and redeem himself, making the audience compassionate and root for Dexter.

In my opinion, Dexter’s ultimate downfall was the introduction of Hannah McKay.  Another killer with her own type of code.  She killed to protect herself.  Dexter empathized with her and ultimately fell in love with her.  He knew their love was dangerous, hence him turning her in for her actions towards Debra and others in season seven.  The writers couldn’t let her go though, Hannah was Dexter’s Achilles Heel, his true love.  They brought Hannah, now an escaped convict, back to Miami.  The entire story felt rushed and redundant.  She made Dexter feel more human than he ever had and therefore was losing his urge to kill.

Running off to Argentina could have been the end of it.  Even Debra was rooting for Dexter.  She wanted him to live a happy life with his son.  Apparently even Debra’s word meant nothing to Dexter in the end.  And there lies the irony, Dexter seemed to cling to all of his sisters words and advice but instead left his son to be raised by someone similar to him, someone with no qualms about killing if they felt threatened.

Above I mentioned a few spoilers that had floated around the internet early on in the season.  These spoilers were only half true.  According to these leaks, Debra dies and in retaliation Dexter seeks revenge on Oliver Saxon, Debra’s murderer, except Dexter has lost all his urges to kill.  He is caught by Quinn who confesses to Dexter he has known all along he was a killer and he supports his code and his decisions.  Quinn kills Saxon instead and takes on Dexter’s code.  Dexter then runs off to finally be with Hannah and Harrison in South America.  These spoilers wouldn’t have worked for the sheer fact of Quinn’s sudden admiration for Dexter.  If we remember correctly, Quinn spent a season trying to prove Dexter was a shady killer.  He only backed off because of Debra.  But, it seems like the way this last season went, these spoilers could have been plausible.  All of a sudden Quinn no longer harbored any negative feelings towards Dexter, he kind of liked him, even considering him a friend to take on midnight watches.  In the last episode we watched Quinn’s face as Dexter tried to cover his ass after killing Saxon on police cameras.  Quinn knew Dexter didn’t kill in self defense and he was okay with that.  That was it though.  He never confronted Dexter, he never said another word, he let him go.  And even if Dexter didn’t deserve a happy ending, running off to Argentina was more interesting than leaving Dexter all alone.

Ex-showrunner Clyde Phillips shared his original ending.  One in which Dexter is finally caught as the Bay Harbor Butcher.  He wakes up, we are lead to believe it is just a dream, except the camera pans back to reveal Dexter lying on an execution table, being put to death for his crimes committed.  In the viewing area we see all of Dexter’s loved ones who have perished because of his actions (Rita, Doakes, LaGuerta, etc.), looking on. End Series.  Even though I have actively rooted for Dexter and his happiness, I would have enjoyed this much more.  It provides a real end, if anything, to the characters and story.

Dexter has been a bumpy ride, with some great seasons, characters, and stories.  If someone asked me if they should watch the series my response would simply be, “watch until season four, then watch at your own risk.”  Towards the end, too many stories fell flat and we never received any kind of closure to a character we had grown with.  The producers and writers have tried defending their season and ending, but it just seems forced, as if money was their main motivator during the last episodes.  Their aim was to please themselves, not the viewers, and instead of receiving a small backlash like any series finale warrants, they unleashed hell on finale earth.

Too many questions were left unanswered: What happened to the people at Miami Metro? (I always was a Batista fan), what about Harrison’s biological relatives still living? Will Hannah be a good surrogate mom? How does one sneak a dead body onto a boat surrounded by people?  Is Dexter secretly sending child support money to Argentina?

My heart hurts.  I am sad to see a show I’ve loved for so long go.  I am sad about what the show had become.  I applaud the cast for some of the best acting I’ve seen on TV.  I applaud the writers for coming up with some of the best storylines.  And though that flame may never burn as brightly, I will always hold a soft spot in my heart for Dexter Morgan.

Breaking Bad: 5 Things You Missed Last Night

Breaking Bad’s antepenultimate episode, “Ozymandias,” was by far one of the greatest hours of television to date.  It provided tears, heart palpitations, and feelings that I bet you still haven’t shaken today.  The hour long episode felt like a roller coaster ride, never slowing down until the very last second.  We witnessed some gut-wrenching and blood boiling scenes which made the little things easy to pass over:

1. Welcome back, Walt’s pants: The title “Ozymandias” refers to the rise and fall of a king.  A line from said poem states:

“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.
 Near them, on the sand,”

Nothing, and I mean nothing, in this show goes without purpose.  Every cause has an effect.  As Walt began rolling his barrel of money through the desert he passed by a piece of history that may have gone unnoticed to the casual eye:

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That’s right.  Walt’s pants from the very first episode of Breaking Bad were still intact, chillin’ in the desert sun. This was a connection between where Walt was only a few short years ago and where he stands today, or as some would say: the rise and fall of a king.

2. Walter White & Gus Fring, One in the same: A clear parallel can be drawn between the moment that Walt watched Hank, his own brother-in-law, die and in a flashback in season four, when Gus Fring watched as his closest comrade and partner was killed by drug lords:

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Walt struggled for so long to distance himself, rid the world of the evil he thought was Gus Fring, but in the end only ended up in the same exact place – a once good man, hidden in plain sight, reaping the consequences of his actions.

3. Skyler absolved: Many people tried to make sense of the phone conversation Walter had with Skyler  towards the end of the episode.  While the feds listened in, Walter belittled Skyler to her breaking point, blaming her for being a terrible wife to him.  This conversation was Walt’s lowest point, he had shown his true colors and they were the ugliest in the box.  This conversation wasn’t just a way for Walt to completely sever ties with his family but to clear Skyler’s name of any and all blame in his actions.  He played Skyler off as the victim, knowing the cops were listening in.

4. Bullet to the head: Hank met his demise with a single bullet to the head. Minutes later, Walt left the scene, in his car riddled with bullet holes.  A foreshadowing or a representation on what has passed? Could Walt meet his maker in the same way?

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5. Baby Emmy’s: Walter interacted with his infant daughter Holly more so in the last minutes of the episode than any other time on the show.  Unfortunately, the interaction was heartbreaking.  Walter kidnapped his own child due to his inability to accept that his family no longer wanted to follow him and accept him for the man he had become.  Baby Holly cried out for Skyler.  Her look of sadness and fear was better acting than most grown adults on television today.  When Walt finally did the right thing, leaving her at a fire station to easily be found, the look of abandonment was strewn across the infant’s face, sparking emotion in even the hardest of hearts:

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Little things may mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but in Breaking Bad, they mean everything.  Only two episodes remain.  Who will still be standing at the end of the series? Will anyone earn a happily ever after?

Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Summer Watch List

Remember those hot summer days when we had nothing to do for two (or more) months but relax, sit indoors in the air-conditioning (or outdoors, if that’s your thing), and spend countless hours doing nothing? Well, maybe that’s still true for the lucky few of you.  Me on the other hand, I like to pretend those are still my summers.  I like the spend my down time doing something people don’t really consider too crazy anymore: binge watch television shows.

This summer I’ve binged watched six shows so far, with a few more up on the docket.  Some shows I watched for the very first time and some shows I watched all the way through for my second (or third, shhh, don’t judge me) time.  All of these shows come high on my list of recommendations.  So, without further ado, I bring you:

Erin’s Summer Watch List 

The New Shows

orphanblackOrphan Black (BBC Aamerica): #CloneClub for life! Orphan Black is by far the number one show I’ve recommended to people over the past few months.  I’ve been trying to convert as many members to the “Clone Club” as possible.  In short, the show centers around a girl named Sarah who discovers that she is, you guessed it, a clone!  Sound kind of cheesy? It’s not. This BBC America sci-fi show boasts some of the best acting I’ve seen from one person (still pressed over Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy snub).  The supporting cast is just as talented and the show does an amazing job at making you believe that Maslany is actually seven+ clones.  The show has ended its ten episode freshman season and is poised to be back in 2014 for season two.

Hannibal (NBC): This show came to my attention after the members of ONTD fawned over the series throughout its first season run.  I was apprehensive at first since a second season for the show hung by a thread for a few months.  I didn’t want to get completely enamored by the show if it wasn’t going to continue on.  The series is fashioned from the infamous Hannibal hannibalLecter character and books, focusing on protagonist Will Graham.  Graham, a criminal profiler with a “gift” to emotionally understand serial killers, befriends psychiatrist Lecter after they are brought in to work together on a case.  The relationship becomes tumultuous as Lecter begins manipulating Graham and taking advantage of his special skills.  The show is equal parts creepy and thought provoking.  For NBC, the series could also be considered pretty gory, not taking away from the horror that is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Mads Mikkelsen (Lecter) and Hugh Dancy (Graham) lead a talented bunch of convincing actors.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix): During the writing of this blog I decided to give OITNB a shot after hearing rave reviews from everyone who had watched.  My one episode trial turned into a full oitnbseason binge watch. The show is based off of the real life accounts of Piper, a white, affluent, woman who gets sentenced to a fifteen month prison stay after her past catches up with her.  Piper, though, can be considered the “Trojan horse” of the show as the assemble of diverse women are just as largely focused on throughout the thirteen episode first season.  Each character becomes relatable through flashbacks.  Every woman does an excellent job of bringing just the right amount of pain and sympathy to their characters.  In the end, it’s hard not to root for almost all of them.

New-ish Shows

New Girl (FOX): If you asked me to watch a random episode of a show when its right smack dab in the middle of its season I would probably laugh at you.  Not because I don’t trust your judgment on shows, but because I like to start fresh from the beginning so I’m not left newgirlasking a million questions.  Fortunately in this case I have some pushy friends who insisted I would love New Girl.  They were right.  After watching a random episode in the middle of the second season, I fell in love with the sophomore show.  I continued to watch all the way to the season finale of the second season and then went back to the beginning and marathoned the whole series to date.  The show is charming, funny, and ridiculous.  Quirky Jess moves into an apartment with three very different guys who are all best friends.  What ensues is your typical Zooey Deschanel comedy, but the show has a lot of heart.  The relationship between Jess and her roommate Nick (Jake Johnson) is really what sealed the deal for me.  The FOX comedy is an easy watch that will suck you in.

Re-watches

hocHouse of Cards (Netflix): This re-watch came only a few months after I first watched the Netflix hit’s first season.  I had the lucky opportunity to be an extra on the show (filmed in and around my home city) and experience the amazing production of the political thriller.  Kevin Spacey (now nominated for an Emmy for his role) plays House Majority Whip Frank Underwood.  What ensues throughout the show is a whirlwind of dark manipulation through Washington D.C. and its politics.  Spacey takes the lead with an outstanding supporting cast that will have you crying buckets by seasons end.  The second season will be available next year on Netflix and is sure to bring even more craziness than the first season.  (side note: You can also catch me as “sweaty background extra #48” in season 2, episode 5 next year!)

Being Human US (Syfy): I think I’ve spoken about this show ad nauseam by now, which is funny since only several months ago in an earlier blog I referred to the SyFy series as “okay.”  The re-watch of the current three seasons also came on a whim.  I was testing the bhcast2Netflix app out on my iPad and thirty-nine episodes later…well, here I am. The show takes the premise of the beloved UK series and follows the turmoils of a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost as they try to make their lives human-ish as roommates.  The first season of the US remake takes a handful of storylines from the UK’s first season while adding their own twists to it all to accommodate their thirteen episode seasons.  The show veers in its own direction by season two and season three does an amazing job with their ability to make all characters, main and supporting, compassionate.  It’s also fun to note that the cast regularly interacts with fans through social media, conventions, etc. and is one of the most genuine and hilarious casts of a show I’ve witnessed.

Ridiculous Theories: Breaking Bad Edition

Well fellow Breaking Bad fans, the beginning of the end is officially underway.  The second half of season five premiered last Sunday to an audience of 5.9 million viewers (a personal record for the hit show).  For weeks now, fans have been speculating some pretty incredible theories on what events will transpire in the final eight episodes.  Who will live? Who will die? Will the White family be destroyed beyond repair?  Will Hank persecute his own brother-in-law?

Four ridiculous and highly improbable Breaking Bad theories

Walter Jr. is no longer friends with Louis – uses the name as a code word for drugs/Louis is Jr.’s drug dealer: Since the beginning of the show, Walter’s son Jr., or Flynn as he likes to be called, has been consistent in two things: eating breakfast and constantly hanging out with his friend Louis.  Viewers have only caught a few glimpses of Louis throughout the series, but Jr. has continued to rant and rave about Louis nonstop.  It’s been a while since fans of the show have actually seen Louis on screen, which begs the question: where is Louis? bb2What do the two do together, as it seems they hang out on a daily basis? One theory is that Louis and Jr. are no longer really friends and to keep his parents in the dark about his extracurricular activities, Jr. has been using “Louis” as a code word to use drugs, specifically the blue meth so famously made by patriarch Walt.  Since season one I’ve been waiting for Jr. to take a more prominent role in the series, for Walt’s double life to gravely effect his children.  I’ve been holding onto the theory since the beginning that Jr. has been into the blue crystal and that one day Walt would walk in on his son, seeing first hand the destruction his pure product has caused.

Another theory is that Louis is in fact Jr.’s drug dealer.  In Sunday night’s episode, a dinner conversation surrounding college found Jr. discussing Louis and his carelessness towards higher education.  Walt and Skyler laughed off their sons blasé attitude towards expanding his knowledge beyond high school because his friend felt the same, but could this lead towards bigger problems? Have Jr. and Louis become wrapped up in a darker life than their parents really know?

Walter poisons baby Holly with ricin: Rumors have been swirling for several seasons now that the death of Walter and Skyler’s infant daughter, Holly, was imminent.  Many bb3viewers even thought that the end of season 5A, before Hank took his year long dump of realizations, would bring Holly’s death as Jr. pushed her around in a toy car dangerously close to the pool’s edge.  This was mainly due to the fact that the color pink has continuously represented death on the show (the pink bear from the plane crashes, the pink lipstick found on Jane’s cigarette after her death, etc.) and baby Holly has continuously been fashioned in pink garments.  Viewers have also learned that color is a very significant benefactor on the series, usually indicating something much deeper within the characters themselves.

bb4In the beginning of season 5B, the cold open shows Walter making his way back to his now condemned house for one thing: the ricin which has still been hidden within the walls power circuit.  It’s pretty evident on Walter’s neighbor Carol’s face when she see’s him that she knows who he really is.  In a last ditch effort to save himself could Walt use the ricin on his own infant daughter to gain sympathy from others? It’s been established that Walter will do anything to save himself, even poisoning a child already to manipulate Jesse.  Could his ultimate act of selfishness lead to him murdering one of his own children?  Gus Fring threatened to kill Walt’s children without an upwards glance and Walt has proven to be even more conniving than his predecessor.

Marie kills Walt: The progression of the final episodes of Breaking Bad have brought all of our main characters to do unspeakable and uncharacteristic things.  One character who has stayed pretty grounded throughout the series has been Hank’s wife, Marie.  Marie has tried to stay the voice of reason (in her own mind) for her family but has had some missteps along the way, including a bout of kleptomania here and there.

bb5With Marie constantly teetering on the brink, could she step out of the shadows and deliver a final blow to her brother-in-law? The first scene of Sunday’s episode showed Marie wearing all yellow, a drastic change from her purple she seems permanently attached to.  This could mean a shifting change in Marie and whats to come.  We also heard Marie’s voice as she called Walt “the devil” in a joking manner.  A horrendous incident like the death of one of her family members may just send her off the edge to commit an act so out of character.  She adores her niece and nephew and would do anything to protect her own sister and husband.

It was all a dream: Possibly the most ridiculous and cliche of the theories.  The it-was-all-a-dream theory has floated around for every show, movie, book, etc. since the series ending to the 1980s show Newheart.  Walt’s continual battle with lung cancer has put him in the chemo chair several times now.  Could the chemo have had a lasting effect on Walt? Was  this entire show dreamt up by the side effects of his cancer battling treatment?

As we’ve seen over the past few years, everything and anything is possible and if we’ve learned anything, it’s this: Expect the unexpected.  The final few hours of the series is sure to bring tragedy, triumph, and a few (or episodes worth) of tears.  Breaking Bad has defied the way viewers watch and interpret television, consistently surprising us at every corner.

(this list was compiled by myself and some of the lovely members of ohnotheydidnt)

Erin Reacts to the Emmy Nominations

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If you can’t decipher what I just wrote then it must only mean one thing: Emmy nominations have been released!

On July 18th at 5:40 AM (8:40 AM here) outstanding (or what the committee deems outstanding) shows and actors were given recognition for their dedicated and hard work in television.  Some nominations were awesome (what up, Jonathan Banks!) but once again the Emmy’s failed to recognize some of the most outstanding newcomers (Clone Club, unite!) and veterans.  So, let’s get to it:

2013 Emmy Snubs:

orphanblack*Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black): This was by far the biggest snub (in my opinion and many critics’ as well).  Tatiana’s breakout performance as not one but SEVEN DIFFERENT characters on BBC America’s Orphan Black should have been enough to garner an Emmy nom.  Unfortunately, the committee has always been known to snub sci-fi themed shows.  It’s a shame because sci-fi and supernatural shows have come into their own, able to hold their own ground in today’s TV world.  Tatiana is a force to be reckoned with as Sarah, Cosima, Alison and various other clones.  Hopefully her day will come as Orphan Black only just recently ended its freshman run.

*Corey Stoll and Kata Mara (House of Cards): Although I’m jumping up and down for joy right now over House of Cards‘ multiple nominations, I can’t help be bet a little sad over the supporting actor/actress nominations.  Corey Stoll’s epic performance as congressman Peter Russo came to a heartbreaking, blood boiling end during House of Cards‘ last few episodes.  This was Corey’s only chance to be nominated for his achievements on the show and I can’t help but want to throw a shoe at my television because his name missed the nominations.  On the other hand, Kata Mara will get another chance next year but her portrayal of Zoe Barnes on the shows first season run should have been enough to lock down that nomination.

jcarp*Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter): Come on, Emmy voters! What were you thinking? This year Dexter didn’t make the cut, no nomination for Outstanding Drama and no recognition for leading man Michael C. Hall…and I’m okay with that.  The show has been in a decline since season four and I can somewhat understand the snub.  But, supporting actress Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Dexter’s sister Deb, really shined last year as her character discovered and came to terms with finding out that her brother was a serial killer.  Maybe next year? *crosses fingers* As the show has reached its last season, Jennifer has one more chance to score a nom.

*Arrested Development: The fourth season of the reboot had its ups and downs.  In terms of overall Outstanding Comedy Series, I could let that go.  Jason Bateman received a Outstanding Lead Actor nom. and I’m happy about that.  I am a little heartbroken though over the snubs of Will Arnett (Gob), Jessica Walter (Lucille), and Jeffrey Tambor (George Sr./Oscar).  Each actor is talented enough to earn their own separate nomination.  I would have also included Tony Hale (Buster) to my list but he was nominated for the role he plays on Veep (a show I haven’t had the pleasure to watch yet but am happy nonetheless as Tony is a phenomenal comedy actor).

parksandrec*Parks and Recreation: Once again, my spirits are crushed as Parks and Rec missed out on an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination.  Amy Poehler was rightfully nominated for Best Actress but supporting actors like Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt), and Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer) deserve to be on that list just as much.

*The Walking Dead: Two years ago I would have laughed at the idea of TWD being nominated for anything, but these past two seasons have really said otherwise.  The show as a whole has become a lot stronger in terms of acting, drama, and pace.  Andrew Lincoln holds his own as Rick Grimes.  His portrayal of a survivor who lost his wife, countless new loved ones he has met on his journey, and his slow descent into insanity made for excellent television.  Again, the committee seems to forget about the sci-fi/supernatural shows so it’s no surprise a show like TWD was forgotten.

shameless*Shameless and Emmy Rossum: WHAT. THE. HELL.  It continues to boggle my mind every year where Showtime’s Shameless is once again forgotten about.  It’s on one of their favorite networks and plenty of other shows and actors from Showtime made the cut this year.  But not Shameless.  The show is beyond excellent.  Emmy Rossum’s portrayal of Fiona Gallagher is fantastic.  Her ability to bring Fiona’s inherent sadness and struggle to the screen should have garnered her a nomination in the lead actress category.  Along with Emmy, any of the supporting cast could have easily have scored a nom, especially William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, Fiona’s alcohol riddled and neglectful father.

newgirl*New Girl: I recently fell in love with Fox’s New Girl.  The show is funny and light hearted, making it an all around great show to watch and one that the voters should love as well.  Actors Jake Johnson (Nick Miller) and Max Greenfield (Schmidt) bring their own form of humor to the show as two very different roommates.  Johnson’s lazy but charming Nick gives the show heart and Greenfield’s over the top and ridiculous Schmidt is what sets the show apart from its competitors.  Either one of these outstanding men are strong enough to compete with the others.

Other snubs: Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal on Hannibal), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones), Danny DeVito (Frank Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jason Gann (Wilfred on Wilfred)

It can’t all be bad news though, right!? Thankfully there were several nominations that made me weep with joy:

hoc1*House of Cards/Kevin Spacey/Robin Wright: House of Cards‘ first season run on Netflix was some of the best hours of television I have experienced yet.  Spacey’s portrayal of ruthless Frank Underwood sets a high bar for others in his category.  Wright’s portrayal of Frank’s equally as manipulative wife Claire is bone chilling. The show has a great chance of taking home some awards as last seasons sweep of Homeland proved that a freshman show can hold its own in the fierce competition.

bb*Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad): YAY YAY YAY.  Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut left the show in a heartbreaking showdown between him and lead man Walter (Bryan Cranston).  Banks really pulled out all the stops in his last few episodes, showcasing a bad guy who you just couldn’t help but want to hug (best grandpa ever!)  I’m super excited Banks’ name made the list this year, right next to his co-star Aaron Paul.  It’s going to be a tough race but Banks has the chops to take home the award.

*Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story): I’ve been saying these two deserved nominations since the shows second season came to a close.  Paulson and Quinto shine in the up and down, crazy show that is American Horror Story. Quinto (Dr. Oliver Thredson/Bloody Face) has the innate ability to play evil and psychotic characters, evident in AHS as he portrayed a mass murdering psychiatrist who skins women alive because of his mommy issues.  Paulson (Lana Winters) gives a great performance of a reporter who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time as she struggles with breaking free from Briarcliff Insane Asylum after being wrongfully committed.  The miniseries category hasn’t always been my favorite but this year I will be keeping my eye out for these two.

Episode 105*Mandy Patinkin (Homeland): I’m still racking my brain on how it’s taken until the second season of Showtime’s Homeland to recognize Patinkin (Saul Berenson).  Saul may be the best character on the show and Patinkin is strong enough that he may just pull out a win this year.  He deserves it.

*Jane Krakowski (30 Rock):  Finally! Janes portrayal of over the top and ridiculous actress Jenna Maroney has been a show stopper since the shows first season.  Unfortunately, it took up until the shows final season for the voters to see that.

Also happy for: Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates on Bates Motel), everything Breaking Bad, everything Homeland, Joan Cusack (Sheila Jackson on Shameless), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live).

For a complete list of Emmy nominations click here.