Last week, I thought I had finally found an aspect of “Breaking Bad” that no one else had delved into.
I should have known better. As into the series as I am, I knew that there were people out there who apparently have no lives whatsoever, and they’re always going to be several steps ahead of me.
But here’s my post on the subject anyway…
Volumes have been written (although probably not yet actually assembled into physical volumes) about the main characters, such as this one last week wondering if Hank Schrader was turning into Walt White. Or rather, into another Heisenberg.
But how do you really get to know somebody? Well, you go to his house, and you look at what he’s got on his bookshelf. (Or, if you’re Rob Fleming in “High Fidelity,” you look at his records, and then judge him unmercifully.)
Last week (the episode before last night’s, that is), we got a look at Hank’s and Marie’s bookshelf. Jesse Pinkman walked over and idly picked up a copy of Edmund Morris’ Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. I half-expected Jesse to remark on it, but he didn’t. (If he had, what would have had said, yo?)
Since Jesse said nothing about it, I froze the screen and looked at what else was there. A sampling:
- They’re into Stephen King; I see four books by him.
- There’s The Final Days, except it doesn’t look right. That WoodStein classic should be thicker, and have a white background rather than a maroon one. Turns out it’s actually this later book, which has the subtitle, “The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House.” Which gives us a different impression, but one more suited to what we know of Hank and Marie.
- Western themes are amply represented — Horse Sense, The Body Language of Horses, Crazy Horse and Custer, The Indians’ Book, Black Range Tales, and so forth. We Easterners suppose Westerners spend their time thinking about such things. There’s also a DVD set of “Deadwood.”
- Tom Clancy makes an obligatory appearance with Rainbow Six, which you would also find on my bookshelf. One of his lesser-known works, centering around John Clark rather than Jack Ryan, but the one that launched a family of first-person shooter games. Which, I like to speculate, is how Hank got into it. After all, the game was released before the book.
- One is not surprised to find books based on, or collecting, works of Paul Harvey and Lewis Grizzard.
- There are various business self-help books, including not one, but two copies of Who Moved My Cheese?
- I’m intrigued by Citizen Lazlo, by Don Novello. (You know, Father Guido Sarducci.) I’m even more intrigued that Amazon says that people who viewed that also viewed Cold Mountain, which can also be found on Hank’s and Marie’s shelves. I don’t know what the connection might be.
Anything else jump out at y’all as revelatory?
I love details such as this. I’ve always thought I’d love to work in movies (or good television). I’m fascinated by the people who come up with these little obsessive details to put in the background, details that reveal character subtly, or which reflect an era accurately — when done right.