Posted 09 August 2011 - 03:32 PM
Mike, I was pretty disheartened to read that article, too, coupled with a couple of the other recent media pieces about AMC's lineup. The idea of Gilligan/Sony having to shop the show around is one thing-- Matt Weiner did the same thing to drive up the asking price for MAD MEN last go-round-- but the fact that AMC's scaling back the per-episode expenditures on BREAKING BAD and the zombie show. I wonder whether the increased cost of putting on MAD MEN is to blame-- I tend, fairly or not, to see AMC like a professional sports team working under a salary cap, and so I don't like to think of MAD MEN getting the Peyton Manning money while everybody else has to rework their deal. On a bigger front, I hope this doesn't signal a trend that AMC's business model isn't working.
Or maybe I should say it another way: I hope that AMC is able to adjust its business model without having to forego the dramatic ground they've carved out. I'm dying to cut the cable TV cord, but AMC is holding me in there. I could get an iTunes season pass of BB or MM for about $30, which is between 33% and 50% of a month's worth of cable, but I'd save a good bit more than money.
On topic, I've been pleased with how the season's played out thus far. I love the way in which the writers bring new, urgent dramatic tension to Walt's situation in new and unforeseen ways. Every time he thinks there's an escape, he's disabused of that idea. Meanwhile, his fetid stench spreads outward, now thoroughly infecting his quasi-wife and drawing her into his language of lies. That moment on Sunday where Walt in the dress rehearsal fake-apologized to Skylar for dragging her through this, and she momentarily thought it was a real apology-- the first one he'd ever deigned to make, that blameless provider-of-income-and-security--and she paused, and for a moment words actually stood for their real meaning, and not for some expedient way to a end, but then it was clear that he was still lying, but this time in collaboration with her, instead of to her. That's great drama.