The result is that while many viewers are no doubt cishet white men, few will truly identify with what Kilgrave illustrates not just about rapists and abusers, but about negative ideas about masculinity itself.
Check out all of the posts from our Masculinity Theme Week here.
Slippin’ Jimmy was to James McGill what Heisenberg was to Walter White–a hyper-masculine alter-ego. OK, Slippin’ Jimmy was only conning a few business men out of their Rolexes, but essentially both men created an alternative, more masculine version of themselves in order to survive and gain success.
‘Breaking Bad’ is one of those well-written, well-acted shows that somehow inspires people to scream at each other in CAPSLOCK. The debate about Walter White and his wife and their drug-trade boils down to your answers to three deceptively simple questions that act as a rorschach test on masculinity in American culture.
Check out all of the posts for our Unlikable Women Theme Week here.
What exactly, then, makes a character “unlikable”? How can we define this complex term? Broadly, a character is unlikable when they behave in an amoral or unethical way (which, of course, depends upon our individual morals and ethics), particularly when their motivations are unclear. However, when it comes to female characters, this term seems to diversify and pluralize.
Naturally, we are all on these anti-heroes’ sides, despite their bad deeds. And Tony Soprano, Don Draper, and Walter White all have an antagonist: their wives. They call their husbands out on their lies, moral failings, and oppose them. Thus, they are seen as the nagging wife that everyone hates.
So what about ‘Better Call Saul’? Will Gilligan and Gould offer us more female characters (to either love or hate)? So far I see only one major female role being advertised, that of Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), a tough lawyer foil for Saul. At this stage, it just feels thin, and we all know that Gilligan and Gould can absolutely produce some interesting female characters to add to their Alberquerque setting; the question is, will they?
Because Jesse doesn’t fall into the same masculine megalomania that Walt does, he prevails. He suffers–god, does he suffer–but he is not sacrificed. He peels out of that Nazi compound in that old El Camino, tearing through the metal gates and sobbing and laughing his way away from his life as a prisoner of toxic masculinity–first Walt’s, then Jack and Todd’s.
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Breaking Bad promo still. Written by Leigh KolbSpoilers ahead (through “Ozymandias”) “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Stand in the desert. … And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’” – “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley In an analysis […]
Breaking Bad promo still. Written by Leigh Kolb “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Stand in the desert. … And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’” – “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley In an analysis of the Sept. […]