TV about teachers!

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TV has made a comeback in my life, via the Internet.

I have 2 new favorite shows that, since I don’t have pay channels, I’m watching online for free. AMC/FX’s Breaking Bad features Malcolm’s dad, Bryan Cranston, and HBO’s HUNG features Thomas Jane, both actors I haven’t paid a huge amount of attention to til right now. That has far more to do with the acting and just WHAT those two actors are portraying. Let me explain.

Both shows are centered around teachers whose lives are falling apart for different reasons. In HUNG, Thomas Jane is a high school history teacher whose real function at the school is basketball coach. He used to be their star athlete back in the 80s, but now is a divorced father, whose house has burned down, and due to a lapse in insurance payments, he’s got no cash to rebuild. In Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is a nebbish high school chemistry teacher, who has a son with cerebral palsy, and if that weren’t hard enough, Cranston’s character also apparently has inoperable lung cancer. These two guys’ lives are falling apart, and they need to find ways to make ends meet, so they can hold their heads up high, if only to their families.

I can relate to the life falling apart, and in a few years, I’ll be able to relate to the teaching. But it’s not the misery I’m attracted to, it’s the thing both of these guys are doing to make ends meet for their families.

Bryan Cranston’s Walt White turns to engineering and selling drugs, and Thomas Jane’s Ray Drecker turns to man-whoring, with Jane Adams (a female version of nebbish, to be sure) as his pimp. I’ve watched more HUNG as of this writing, and it’s laugh out loud funny in places, and somewhat touching, seeing a dumb jock like Ray Drecker try to interact with his kids, his ex-wife, and his small but dedicated list of “clients”. Makes me wonder if the teaching thing doesn’t work out, maybe I should investigate being a “happiness consultant”. I don’t have the purported fleshy wherewithal of Ray Drecker, but hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Breaking Bad feels like it’s going to be a winner, once I get on the stick with watching all the previous episodes. I’ve had it recommended to me by a few friends in the acting/Comedysportz world, and they know good acting when they see it. The pilot hasn’t disappointed, so I’m sure the rest will be just as quality. I mean, come on, a meth lab set up in a Winnebago? Can’t go wrong with THAT!

Last but not least, you might be wondering how I’m watching these shows, as I don’t have FX or HBO. I won’t help in the delinquency of you upstanding internet citizens. You’ll just have to find the sites (like Hulu, or others) on your own. Unless, of course, you’ve got FX and HBO. Lucky you.

TV has made a comeback in my life, via the Internet. Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet.