Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writing is F**king Awesome (feat. Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul)

First off, if you haven't watched the Breaking Bad series finale, don't watch the following video.  It contains major spoilers, since it shows Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul during their first reading of the final scene of the script.

Also, if you haven't watched any of Breaking Bad in general, then you are missing out.  Go ahead and start from the beginning of Season 1 and come back.  I'll be waiting.  And honestly, once you start, nothing much will get in your way as you have no choice but to plow through the seasons.

Okay, now watch this:

Awesome, right?

You can tell that they are taking in the words slowly and thoughtfully, the way one might eat a delicious filet mignon, not wanting the act of consumption to end.  They know the words are finite, that the story which they have devoted the past half-decade of their lives is about to end, yet they have to read on to find out what happens.

Bryan reads the words "End of Series," and they realize their destinies.  Walt is sentenced to death and Jesse gets to go on to "something better."  I love when Bryan asks Aaron "how do you feel?" and reaches over to rub his shoulder as if he is a defendant in the court of law and just received his verdict.

As a fan of the show, it is fun to see the actors who play the roles as they absorb their assignments for the first time.  But as a writer, it is inspiring to see how words on a page affect Bryan and Aaron.  While they are the actors that play the roles that we have come to love, there is someone who writes what they are going to say, tells them what they are going to do, and inspires their performances.

Vince Gilligan and the other writers on the show are the ones responsible for creating this world in which the actors play.  Even Heisenberg himself is at the writers mercy, like the man on trial to the jury.

Call me a power-hungry egomaniac, but this video inspired me to write an amazing script for a hit TV show, for the sole purpose of killing off characters and watching the actors' reactions when they read of their fate.

Katherine Heigl, of course, is my #1 target*.

-Youngman Brown

*But that, of course, would require me to actually cast her for the show and write her in as a character in the episodes leading up to her ultimate demise.  Though her mere presence in the show would ruin the actual show, making it completely unwatchable, it would still be worth it, so long as her death is prolonged, gruesome, and satisfying for the audience, while completely unsatisfying for her as an actress.


  1. Not had the pleasure of watching this serial. But from your taster, I can recognize excellent script- writing. I'll look out for it - do you know if it has reached the UK?

  2. Writing really is an underrated profession. I don't think I could count the number of things that have been changed in this world because a writer was ballsy enough to bring it to the attention of the public. Look at Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Thomas Paine, Harriet Beecher Stowe...I could go on and on and ON. A great writer can force a society to stare into the face of their greatest flaws, without them even knowing it until they are faced with a real-life situation, and suddenly they're seeing everything differently...

    It's amazing what writers can do. So keep doing it, people! The world needs you more than they realize!

  3. I am ashamed to say I've never seen this show. I don't have HBO and haven't tried renting it, although I can see a marathon of it coming on for me in the near future.

    I haven't ever thought much about how much power the writers for tv shows have. It seems like the character is the actor who is playing it, but really the character is the writer and the actors just have to do what they are told. Power indeed!

    I hope there is a tv show written by you someday, Youngman!


    Miss Junebug.

    I loved The Sopranos and think it's the greatest show in the history of television, but Breaking Bad is right up there and had the better ending.


    1. Youngman, I am trying to gather 80 birthday cards for my (former) MIL's 80th birthday. If you haven't sent a card yet, would you please, ASAP? I still need 46. Her name is Margaret. Address:
      Janie Goltz
      PO Box 61371
      Jacksonville FL 32236

      You don't have to use your real name. I would appreciate it so much.

  5. I find it strange that Schnauz writes the script using metaphors. When I took a screenwriting course in college I was told to stay away from them, but I thought they were somewhat useful as it'd give not only the reader but the actors a better visualization of the scene around them. So, I'm definitely backing Schnauz's method.

    I still thought the Gus tier of the show was the greatest seeing as it was more psychological than brute force warfare. The neo-nazi guys were good villians, but I felt that Walt had a huge leg up on them. It was mostly the interference of outlying factors that gave the neo-nazis the upperhand at moments.

    But yeah, writing (and television, in this case) that can make you feel as attached to the characters as much as Breaking Bad is truly an artform. You can see Bryan and Aaron emotionally drained by the end. Pretty neat stuff.


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