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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Colors and 'Breaking Bad' Part I


Colors. Colors all the way down.

If you haven't seen Breaking Bad, this will make little sense. If you haven't read The Great Gatsby, this will make even less sense. But colors in both works are very important.

If you know the primary color wheel, you may manage to get through this post, though.

Here, for illustrative purposes, is the primary color wheel:

I'm sure you remember this from either elementary school or GladLock commercials. Yellow and blue make green, amiright? Red and blue make (class? class?) purple. Yellow and red make (anyone?) orange.

Here's a link to how important color is to Breaking Bad. And it's true that I spend too much time thinking about this show, but life's short, and attention must be paid. (I also think 'Death of a Salesman' is important to this show.)

Here's the thing (and it's a nice thing, I promise): the characters on the show are rather primary, but occasionally mix into secondary colors. They're flat. As are we all--we're all rather dull and flat and one-dimensional. But the characters mix together, and get more complex, as do all of us. The main character is named 'White.'

White is not an absence of color, btw. White is a combination of all colors. When we see 'white,' we see blankness.

Here, by the way, is what the secondary color looks like:

See that secondary primary wheel? That's the main colors of the show.

Walt is green. Hank is orange. Marie is purple.

It's interesting. Sky(blue!)ler wears mostly blue. She's primary, after all. The most important thing in Walt's life is Skyler (and his blue meth). Gus is yellow. The meth lab is red.

Too long version: Red is the wild card, and the color is most closely associated with Jesse. Yellow is Gus Fring, who was pure intelligence. Blue is aspiration, because Sky is who Walt believes he is trying to help. But once you start mixing all the primary colors together, you get secondary issues: Walt becomes green because he's Gus and Sky; Hank is orange because he's Fring and Jesse; and Marie is purple because she's Jesse and Sky.

To be continued...

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