Tag Archives: Six Feet Under

Music Monday: A Farewell to Breaking Bad

30 Sep

“Breathe Me” by Sia, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead” by Delta Spirit are three songs that accompanied the final moments of season finales that I hold in high regard.* The last episode can be controversial and divisive (see Lost and The Sopranos), all round hated (the Dexter swansong) or generally satisfying (Friday Night Lights30 Rock). As Julie Hammerle points out in her excellent Breaking Bad review the last outing is rarely the best episode of the show and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan even stated that the penultimate penultimate episode “Ozymandias” is the best hour of this show.

Breaking Bad last episodesFor me Breaking Bad falls into the generally satisfying category and yes the story was wrapped up neatly, but it felt fitting to what we have been watching; a show that has been chaotic and reckless, but has always had a strong structure much like the crystal meth that Walt has been making.

*Those shows are Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and Friday Night Lights

The closing song choice as Walt lays down to die surrounded by meth equipment similar to what allowed to be a king is Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” a song which starts with the line “I guess I got what I deserved.” While this notion might be in contention as Walt got to die pretty much on his terms and as he told Hank he would die before he was convicted – from a gunshot and not the cancer as he predicted. The song title is also a not so subtle nod to the color of the meth that made Walt so famous and as he lays dying in a lab it is pretty fitting.

What a final song choice needs as we witness the last few minutes of a character, that we have not only watched but discussed for hours is some sort of finality and while something like The Sopranos refused to give that with its closing scene (a scene which I love) the end of Breaking Bad is not ambiguous in any way. Walt’s story is over and while characters like Jesse will be haunted by what has happened in the unseen hours of the show (fanfic time!) our protagonists tale is over. This neatness is not the ending that all will find satisfying but on this occasion I’m more than happy with the end result.

So long baby blue.

Chris Messina and the Art of a Strong Supporting Role

6 Jun

The Emmy pre-nomination discussion season continues with a look at supporting actors over at The Hollywood Reporter. This group of individuals might not be the star of their show but they are just as important in many ways.

The one person that I want to focus on from this group is Chris Messina who has been playing these strong supporting roles since his arc on the final season of Six Feet Under as Claire’s love interest Ted. Messina is currently in The Mindy Project and will be returning to The Newsroom as a guest star in July. Just a glance at his IMDb page and his credits from 2012 reveals a variety of roles in both film and TV including ArgoCeleste and Jesse ForeverRuby Sparks and the final season of Damages. Yes they are all supporting parts, but Messina is an actor who has an impact whether he is in two scenes or twenty. 

supporting_actor_hollywood_reporterIn The Mindy Project Messina plays the curmudgeon of the office, he’s bitter about love thanks to his divorce, but beneath this tough cool exterior Danny cares about his co-works and his job as an OB/GYN.  It’s the playful banter with Mindy and the chemistry between these two actors that kept me watching even when the show was having teething problems. Without this dynamic and his performance I might have quit The Mindy Project midseason, but I’m glad that I didn’t as the show has got both stronger and funnier.

One story that has developed as the season progressed and took a strong turn in the finale is that Mindy and Danny have entered ‘will they/won’t they’ territory. This isn’t a surprise as romantic comedies are an obsession of the lead character and they have the whole love/hate opposites attract thing going on. While this could be a tad early as the friendship between Mindy and Danny has more to give before romantic complications set in, the final scene in the season 1 finale made me forget these reservations for a moment as it was crackling with tension. I’m pretty sure this was thanks to Messina and like Mindy I pretty much held my breath when he took her glasses off.


As I’ve been writing this I’ve had Six Feet Under on in the background because it’s been a while since I’ve seen these final episodes. To come in this late to a show like this and leave an impact is hard, but it’s another case of great chemistry and despite Ted and Claire’s fundamental differences (hey he’s a Republican after all) they work as a couple, particularly after Claire’s other less functional relationships. 

Messina recently took part in a Skype chat as part of the DP/30 Emmy Watch series. It’s a long interview (which you can watch below) as he discusses his days on the stage, his dancing ambition, how he landed the part on Six Feet Under just as he was about to give up on Hollywood and his current role in The Mindy Project.

I have no doubt that Chris Messina would be fantastic in a lead role, but there’s also nothing to suggest that these supporting parts are less worthy. As this Hollywood Reporter piece shows (and the supporting comedy actress panel from yesterday) sometimes these supporting characters are more beloved than the title character.  

To quote my friend and Mad Men conversation partner Kerensa Cadenas the reason why Messina is so versatile and why he leaves such an impression is because he’s a “smart brodawg.” He can play cocky, but he has the intellect and charm to back it up.  

Not convinced? Watch the interview below and get back to me.

Images courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

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