For years, I’ve been seeing the tweets and Facebook posts and media reviews about how great Breaking Bad is. Some call it the best writing on TV or the best TV show ever. Occasionally the posts are a little freaky, like this one: “So finally watched last night’s #BreakingBad, and I’m going to spend the rest of the day curled in a little ball while twitching.”
I’ve never seen the show and I never will. The protagonist makes methamphetamine in his garage, and I assume he sells it as well. Regardless of how well the show is written or acted, this is not my kind of protagonist.
My niece is a meth addict. She’s 31, homeless, toothless, and skinny as a rail. She has abandoned her child, whom I now have part-time parental responsibility for. A nine-year-old with worries no kid should ever have.
Meth addiction ruined my niece’s life, and I don’t know if she’ll ever recover. I don’t know how long she’ll even live. Meth kills brain cells and makes people permanently less intelligent. It changes people’s personalities, making them short-tempered, angry and often violent.
Seeing my niece—who spent a good chunk of her childhood in my home—the way she is breaks my heart. I have no idea how to help her. I’m reminded of all this today as I prepare for Thanksgiving and accept that she probably won’t be at the table again this year.
For me, people who make and sell meth are not protagonists. They are not entertaining, even when they’re portrayed as the bad guys. I don’t watch movies or read books about drug cartels either.
For the record, I don’t believe that drug dealers are technically criminals either. I don’t believe in sending people to prison for getting high or for helping other willing adults get high. But still, meth cooks are evil, greedy, selfish bastards. Glorifying them is a sad excuse for entertainment.
I’m not judging anyone who watches or enjoys the show. And I’m sure I’ll get a certain amount of flak for posting this. But I felt compelled to finally say it. I’m glad the show is over, and I no longer have to see all the posts about how great it is.