'Breaking Bad' Lands An Emmy

cranstonreuters.jpegBack in March, C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley reviewed "Breaking Bad," the quirky new TV drama about terminally ill high school chemistry teacher Walter White, who turns to cooking methamphetamine to ensure his family's financial future. In one of the biggest surprises at last night's Emmy Awards, actor Bryan Cranston, who plays White, nabbed the Emmy for best actor in a drama series. Cranston himself was so shocked, according to the LA Times, that network censors had to bleep out his initial reaction. Cranston's sporting a shaved head these days--he told the LA Times that his character, who has inoperable lung cancer, is in the middle of a course of chemo. C&EN's review of the show raised some hackles (see here), but it got readers talking about what it is C&EN should be covering (see here and here). That's a discussion that I think is worth continuing in blog form. I haven't been following the show beyond watching the first episode or two, but I think it's great to see an actor win for portraying what is obviously a very complex character, something beyond the stereotypical depictions of scientists on TV. That's something I think is worth C&EN's time to cover. What do you think? Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

Author: Carmen Drahl

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  1. Was a pretty good show I thought.

    Interesting thaton Sept 8 you had this item in C&EN Student Suspected Of Making Meth so maybe the series wasant too fantastical…

  2. I’m typically quite pleased with the content of C&EN; what I don’t read, I feel that I should be reading. I find C&EN to be interesting and informative and when I’ve had the privilege of meeting C&EN staffers, I’ve been pleased to see how interested they are in the views of their readers.

    Nevertheless, I imagine that the most underserved portion of C&EN’s audience is the middle-aged domestic industrial bench researcher. These folks (of which I am not) seem to me to be the most aggrieved, especially in the letters and blog comments. I find their concerns (job protection, career switches, moronic business decisions of senior-level management) to be relatively undercovered. While I personally would not enjoy C&EN’s conversion to a print version of Lou Dobbs Tonight, I think a significant minority of your readers wouldn’t mind a little.

  3. But wait! An on-topic comment:

    As for pop culture and science, it’s probably best suited for the e-version or the blog. It’s us kidz that are interested in it and we’re the ones who can find our way through the tubes.

    As for really bad chemistry on TV, have you seen any of “Fringe” on FOX? In the five minutes I saw, there was an impressive amount of chemobabble (‘magnesium-based ethylene glycol with an organophosphate trigger’, ‘synthesize calcium gluconate with a thiamine base’).

  4. @Klug–It’s good to see someone else who knows that the internet is, in fact, a series of tubes. I don’t think your first comment was off-topic. I know very little about the economics of globalization vs. protectionism (if you can even categorize what’s happening in the world in neat little boxes like that) but I guess I wonder what I (as a science/tech as opposed to business reporter) could be doing to better inform those readers if they feel underserved. I have yet to write an ’employment’ article for C&EN, though I have a few raw ideas up my sleeve. I wonder if it’s better to write about career “successes”, ie, people who’ve made a career switch or found a new job post-restructuring, with the hope that they’ll serve as inspiration, or is it commiseration and discussion about their concerns that people are after? Blogs seem to me to be the better forum for the latter.
    Oh, and I’ve never heard of “Fringe”…

  5. Here’s some info about “Fringe” from the Fox site. It’s a new fringe science/sci-fi show by J. J. Abrams (of “Lost” fame). Wired’s “underwire” blog spoke with Abrams about the show. I had wanted to check it out, but after hearing some less-then-flattering reviews, I decided not to add another show to my viewing lineup. May have to make room for “Breaking Bad” though…

  6. I should note, however, that there were an impressive number of Buchi-type water-cooled rotovaps in the ‘fringe science’ labs. Hollywood types love, love, love spiral-shaped glassware.

  7. Speaking of chemistry and pop culture, apparently one of the plot points of the new season of Heroes (on NBC) is a secret chemical formula, seen here: http://heroeswiki.com/Image:The_Formula.jpg

    There’s all sorts of chemical gibberish on the sheet, but there’s clearly a ladder polyether toxin on the sheet. I wonder what the set people were thinking…


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