Friday, October 5, 2012

The Grumpy Bulldog: Strategery!

Lately I've been watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix--I'm into Season 4 now, which leaves like 1+ seasons left--and what I've found is the family drama parts of the show are so boring to me.  I like it a lot better when they're making meth or trying to outwit cops and other dealers.  Now part of that might have to do with it's more exciting when there's gunfights or killing someone with a bike lock or a Pontiac Aztek, but then I got thinking that what I really like is those are the parts that involve more strategy.

Hannibal on the A-Team used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together" and I think I like watching a plan come together.  That would explain why I like those parts of "Breaking Bad" and also crime movies like "The Godfather" and heist movies and even revenge movies.  They all involve a lot of planning and often intricate scheming in order to accomplish whatever the goal is.

Maybe that's not all that surprising because my favorite video games are strategy games like "Conflict" for the NES and "Age of Empires" for the PC.  I'm also fascinated with tracking box office numbers though I don't bother to go to many movies, which again I think is just that I like to follow which strategies pay off and which don't.  Maybe that's why I like baseball too.  I think it extends to writing as well because I often find the planning of a story to be more fun than the actual writing of the story.  It's fun for me anyway to figure out how things will fit together.  Some stories I think I end up abandoning because they were a lot more fun planning out on paper than they were to actually write, or the high concept sounds great but getting into all the gory bits proves to be too cumbersome.

Anyway, the odd thing is that I have no affinity for puzzles and I don't read many mysteries either.  Though in the last year or so I got more into noir detective stories, perhaps for the reasons I describe.  I don't think "cozy" mysteries would interest me as much; not enough violence and action.  I did read a lot of military fiction like Tom Clancy and stuff back in my younger days.

There you go, a little Friday rambling.  After I've watched the whole series I'll probably do a full "Breaking Bad" entry plus should my book ever get published I have a guest post for Michael Offutt's blog comparing Walter White and the Black Dragoon of my book.  That will be fascinating I'm sure.

The far more important thing is I can finally announce Neil Vogler, Sean Craven, and I have signed on to do a project with December House Publishing.  More details will follow over the next few weeks.  It's sad they already have my bio up.  The publisher of A Hero's Journey?  Not so much.

Monday's Phony Photos is one for the ladies...


  1. The plots of my novels tend to be complex, and the comment I often get from agents is, "To much in the plot pot." Of course I disagree, thinking I have just the right amount to keep things interesting.

  2. I'm the opposite - I love puzzles and story lines that are puzzley. I watched the first season of Breaking Bad and was more intrigued by the motivation of the guy than the thing where they melted someone with acid or took an ax and cut him up - or whatever other gross things they did when I changed the channel. Gross.

  3. Congrats on the new project. I saw the website this morning for some reason. I've not watched Breaking Bad, I'm sure it's great.

  4. What bothers me about "Breaking Bad" is that Walter has done all this strategizing without apparently realizing what a terrible corner he's painting himself in. A certain amount of it is to how it all started, but...still. It's become just another weirdo cable gimmick that's edgy enough for some people to think is really awesome.

  5. Way to go on the new project. You really are becoming a bigshot author. *clenches fist in jealousy*.

    I always liked heist movies, like Ocean's 11 or Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels (I think that's what it was called) for some of the same reasons: I like seeing a plan come together. But I could never really get into Breaking Bad.

  6. Congratulations on the new project and for Breaking Bad to hold your interest that you've made it to season four. I'd love to find out what your favorite moments of the show are. I definitely like Gus, and I loved the way that Hank took out the two Cartel assassins in the parking lot. Man I was sitting on pins and needles during that intense scene.

    And yes, cooking meth is one of the best parts of the show.

    1. That scene in the parking lot was awesome. I mean I knew as soon as I saw the bullet on the ground he'd try to use that but when he was fumbling with it it's like, "Come on man!!!" Not really happy about what's happened to Hank after that. They made him all whiny and obnoxious now.

      When the Chicken Man comes in and slits that dude's throat that was pretty awesome too. I mean he just walks in and changes into the rubber jacket and then grabs the box cutter and kills Victor without saying a damned word until he gets back to the top of the stairs and says, "What are you waiting for? Get back to work." That was intense!

      But was it just me or did Skyler get really fat between seasons 3 and 4? It's weird because it's supposed to be like the same day and yet she looked a lot bigger to me. I was like, "Is she pregnant again or something?"

      It sucks Season 5 isn't On Demand and obviously it's not on Netflix yet. Maybe AMC will have another marathon and I can catch up on it. Or maybe it's on their website. I'll have to check.

    2. Skyler did put on some weight. But I overlook things like tgat because I have problems with weight management.

    3. Well so do I but I'm not an actress in a successful TV series. Put down the fork!

  7. Have you tried the Dresden books?

  8. Hey PT,
    Just had a look through "December House Publishing" and I read the write up about your good self. It seems you had a passion for writing from an early age. Keep up the good work. That show you mention, "Breaking Bad" is something I've never heard of. Must go check that out.
    Take care, Gary

  9. I've tried to watch that show a few times, but it doesn't hold my interest long. I'm usually trying to catch up on blogging posts or something else while I'm watching TV. For me, a mark of a good show is I forget what I'm doing on my computer. Someday I think I should just sit down and watch this in an all day marathon thing.

    I do watch some other shows for the same reason you describe - I love watching how it all works out. Sons of Anarchy are one of those.




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