Breaking Bad finale: 10 life lessons from the show

NEW YORK (AP) — Sunday's "Breaking Bad" turned out the lights on one of the darkest shows in television history.

Even as this drama cooked up storylines that celebrated evil and depravity, "Breaking Bad" gleamed with a bright side, too. There were plenty of positive messages for the viewer who acknowledged them during the series' five-season run.

Here are 10 lessons "Breaking Bad" leaves behind:

— Stay in school and study hard!

As Walter White demonstrated after he ditched teaching for producing crystal meth, you can make millions from a subject like chemistry that far too many youngsters (including Mr. White's bored students) find annoying and useless. Walt (aka drug lord Heisenberg) proved otherwise with his storage shed of money.

— Chemistry has everyday applications.

The next time you dispose of a corpse with hydrofluoric acid, all you devoted "Breaking Bad" viewers will know not to dissolve the body in a bathtub, but instead in a plastic container. You learned this valuable tip in Season 1, when Walt's lab assistant Jesse Pinkman disregarded his instructions and regretted it. The acid memorably dissolved through the bathtub and floor at Jesse's house, leaving a bloody mess in the hallway downstairs. You won't make that mistake.

— Family is oh, so important.

"Breaking Bad" reminds you that entering the drug trade and messing with the wrong people in it can lead to your wife and teenage son despising you. It can also lead to your brother-in-law getting brutally murdered. You would hate that if it happened.

— Build a better mousetrap!

Steve Jobs knew it. Jeff Bezos knows it. Walt White serves as a mythical champion of their kind of acumen: Offer a better product with an obvious advantage, and the world (or, anyway, addicts who loved Walt's super-potent "blue sky" crystal meth) will beat a path to your door.

— Need a lift? Try a personal makeover.

If you're stuck in a rut, like Walter White at the start of "Breaking Bad," consider a new look. Shave your head, grow a tidy, I-mean-business beard and fit yourself with a black pork pie hat. Then come up with a new name. Like Heisenberg. In your new identity, people will fear you and you're sure to go far.

— Keep your personal vehicles, especially your RV, in good running order.

A regular checkup to keep Walt's rolling meth lab in tip-top shape would have spared him and Jesse inconvenience, not to mention mortal danger.

— Keep a shrewd lawyer on call, especially if you mean to routinely break the law.

Sure, he may be a sleazebag and a shameless self-promoter. But a lawyer like Saul Goodman ("Better call Saul!") is worth his weight in hundred-dollar bills to a client like Walter White, whom he represented faithfully, if more than often sarcastically. With his mastery of trade practices — legal and illegal — Saul was the most impressive TV lawyer since Perry Mason.

— Like it or hate it, Obamacare might cut down on illegal drug trade (at least on TV).

If financially strapped schoolteacher Walt White had had better health care when he got his cancer diagnosis, maybe he wouldn't have begun cooking meth to help cover his expenses. Meanwhile, his long-term problem — leaving his family provided for after his death — might have been a non-issue had teachers in his district been better paid. On the other hand, if Walt had found himself in less of a jam, there would have been no "Breaking Bad."

— Finish what you start.

It's never good to leave hanging important tasks. Walt is a shining example of a guy determined to tie up loose ends. That was part of why the "Breaking Bad" finale was so good.

— Follow your bliss (and be willing to forge a different path getting there).

Walter White discovered this lesson. Vince Gilligan demonstrated its wisdom in real life by creating "Breaking Bad," a radically different series. So did AMC execs by airing what turned out to be perhaps the best drama of all time. How many other networks are willing to learn?

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

or Subscribe now so you can share your opinion! It’s only a penny for a month trial.

Latest Forecast
More Entertainment News
Ky. brewery adding new Louisville location
Ky. brewery adding new Louisville location

A Kentucky brewery plans to boost production by more than 400 percent with a new facility in Louisville.

Pickled plums + waffles? Oh yes!
Pickled plums + waffles? Oh yes!

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it: Go to Findlay Market. Stop and buy Belgian waffles, then arugula, then brie cheese, and…

Winners of extra LumenoCity tickets notified
Winners of extra LumenoCity tickets notified

The day has come for those who submitted their names for the lottery whether or not they will receive extra tickets released to the sold out…

The best local summer beers to beat the heat
The best local summer beers to beat the heat

If the hot summer heat has you reaching for a cold one, give these local seasonal beers a try.

WATCH: Relive Buckle Up Music Fest weekend
WATCH: Relive Buckle Up Music Fest weekend

The second day of the Buckle Up Music Festival brought some of the biggest legends of country and bluegrass to Sawyer Point.

'Planet of Apes' continues its rule at theaters
'Planet of Apes' continues its rule at theaters

The summer box office continued to lack mojo, as the R-rated "Sex Tape" failed to turn on moviegoers over a weekend where…

VIDEO: James Garner's most memorable roles
VIDEO: James Garner's most memorable roles

Legendary actor James Garner died at age 86 Saturday of natural causes. In celebration of his long career, here’s a look back at some…

James Garner, movie and TV legend dies
James Garner, movie and TV legend dies

Actor James Garner, wisecracking star of TV's "Maverick" who went on to a long career on both small and big screen, has died.…

Chicago, REO Speedwagon join forces on tour
Chicago, REO Speedwagon join forces on tour

Two iconic rock bands from Illinois will hit the road together for the first time this summer in a co-headlining tour.

FOLLOW LIVE: Buckle Up Music Festival
FOLLOW LIVE: Buckle Up Music Festival

Follow all the action from Cincinnati's inaugural country music festival.