by Lane Severson
Last Sunday night, a Chicago area man chose to watch the series finale of the critically acclaimed AMC show Breaking Bad. He claims the decision was made on a whim, having never once felt the need to watch anything more than the show’s pilot.
"Yeah, I watched the pilot when it came out, but it didn't really grab me," said Lane Severson with a vapid grin. Obviously pleased with himself for ignoring one of the best pieces of dramatic television in the last five years, he continued, "But people seemed to be really into the show, and I didn't have any fantasy players in the Sunday Night Football game, so I thought, ‘What the heck, let's see how this wraps up.’"
Breaking Bad has been nominated for forty-two Emmy Awards in its original run, but not once did Severson ever consider that he was missing out on a unique cultural phenomenon. "Have you ever seen that show Kenny VS Spenny?" Severson asked, referring to a reality-style television show featuring two Canadian friends who dare one another into asinine situations. "The one where they see who can stay tied to a goat the longest? That’s a classic!"
Severson, a graduate student in theology, attempted to position his cultural naiveté as social commentary, calling it an act of prophetic symbolism. "Pop culture is basically the modern church. We don't actually say this, but it is true. And watching shows in order, that’s like liturgy. By taking the ‘eucharist’ of the finale, without attending the rest of the show’s ‘symbolic journey,’ I spit in the face of this false god."
Before viewing the episode Sunday, Severson crafted both a tweet and a Facebook post to announce his plan. "That'll get people wound up," he told his wife smugly. At the time of printing, not one of Severson's nearly two thousand connections had so much as ‘liked’ these self-obsessed pleas for attention.
Friends and family say that this barely scratches the surface of Lane Severon's neurosis. "He'll probably have the balls to write a long diatribe about how Walt never actually says he's sorry, or what Breaking Bad teaches us about the human condition," said long-time friend, Al Cedeno. "Lane loves to talk about stuff he doesn't know anything about,” added Severson’s wife, Laura, “which is basically everything."
Despite skipping sixty episodes of intense interpersonal drama, manipulation, murder, the rise and fall of a drug empire, and a lot of other stuff Severson doesn't know anything about, he said he didn't feel like he missed too much. "You know, the only flashback in the finale was back to the pilot," Severson said, puckering his lips for some reason, "and I saw the pilot."
Is Severson on Team Walt? He doesn't know what that is… but sure.
How does Severson feel about the conclusion to Jesse's story? "It was pretty good," Severson said. "He was in the first episode, so I was kind of wondering whether he would show up in this one or not."
"Mainly, I'm glad Walter White got out of that car wash," said Severson, referring to Walt's second job in the opening episode. "His boss there seemed like a real jerk."
At the time of writing this article, Severson was strongly considering catching up with the rest of the episodes on Netflix, something he could have done easily at any time over the past year, but just never got around to.
Lane Severson is a former child prodigy, current father of five, and Anglican. He blogs regularly at The Guilty Conscience. You can follow him on Twitter @_LxNx.
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