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Gertrud Koch: Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even

Gertrud Koch

Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even

Translated by Daniel Hendrickson

Softcover, 96 pages

PDF, 96 pages

In 62 Episodes until Death

Breaking Bad is known for its grim and gritty outbursts of anger and violence. In the chaotic story of a meth-dealing high school chemistry teacher, time seems to collapse, and we feel as though the lives of the characters are moving inevitably closer to their ends. This warped perspective wends its way through virtually every aspect of the story, intensifying the meaning we attach to the characters’ precarious lives.

Hoping to cultivate a deeper understanding of the series, Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even offers a new way of approaching its course though its complex treatment of time. With its grotesque portrayal of life on the brink of death, argues Gertrud Koch, we can best view Breaking Bad as a black comedy between Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux and film noir. Koch takes readers through the ways in which this is accomplished through the show’s various visual elements and masterful temporal and narrative structuring.

  • 7–14

    It's a trip!

  • 15–29

    In 62 Episodes to Death

  • 31–41

    Time Going Backward, Time Going Forward

  • 43–55


  • 57–66

    Chain Reactions

  • 67–77

    On Value

  • 79–80


  • 81–93

    Five Iconic Scenes

  • pop culture
  • USA
  • aesthetics of film
  • film experience
  • drugs
  • Evil
  • serial
  • violence
  • crime
  • television
  • contemporary culture

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Gertrud Koch

Gertrud Koch

is professor for Cinema Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and visiting professor at Brown University. She is head of the DFG-Collaborative Research Centre ›Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits‹. Her research focuses on aesthetic theory as well as film and image theory. She also works on the question of political and historical representation.

Other texts by Gertrud Koch for DIAPHANES