'Breaking Bad': T minus two days ...
I have seen the finale, and let me just plan your Sunday night: Do what you want until 10 p.m., then tune into AMC. Turn off the cell phone -- no texting, no tweeting -- and don’t even worry about the DVR, unless it’s just to relive it after. You need to see this as soon as possible.
Then, good luck trying to fall asleep.
Yes, the teddy bear question will be answered. And no, you don’t know how it will end up in the pool. You may think you know. You don’t.
With that in mind, here are some “Breaking Bad” notes for those of you thirsting for Sunday’s second-season finale, along with a story you might not want to miss: Aaron Paul on “The Price Is Right.”
-- On Thursday’s “Tonight Show,” Jay Leno cracked a joke about some women getting busted at a retirement home for methamphetamine possession. I just had to Google, and when I punched “methamphetamine” into the news tab, not only did I find the story, but also these current events: a meth bust in the North Pole (OK, so it’s the town in Alaska, but still…) and increasing use of the drug even in lovely Maui.
-- SaveWalterWhite.com is up and running. No really. The site Walter Jr. made for his dad on TV can be seen here, and the "donate" button takes you to the National Cancer Coalition.
-- The Whites named their new baby girl "Holly," which also happens to be the name of Vince Gilligan's longtime girlfriend. The "Breaking Bad" creator has a history of referencing Holly in his scripts and found some especially creative ways to do so during "The X-Files."
-- I’m glad it isn’t just me with drool on his lips. This show continues to get all kinds of love. Newsday hopes for an Emmy win for both the show and Anna Gunn. Entertainment Weekly casts a supporting actor nomination for Aaron Paul. The Star-Ledger says this is “the worthiest heir we have to ‘The Sopranos’ right now.” And hey, that’s a Jersey paper talking.
-- With all of these journalists taking it upon themselves to nominate, allow me to go out on the Emmy limb here: Bryan Cranston, Bryan Cranston, Bryan Cranston. OK, maybe I’m a bit overexcited, but last year’s Emmy “stunner” should at least be considered the early favorite to repeat this season, at least in my book. We’re just used to his greatness now, but we need to occasionally remind ourselves to appreciate it. At this point, can you even think of any other actor playing this role?
-- Speaking of Cranston, he had some very kind words for Paul that I feel compelled to share here since I didn’t get a chance to fit them into a feature about Paul that will appear in Saturday’s paper. “You know, a lot has been said about my character being able to be sympathetic despite my actions in the show,” Cranston said in a recent phone call, “but I would draw your attention to Aaron, who is able to be sympathetic without the help that my character has. My character has cancer -- you get sympathy points for that -- and he makes this bold move, but it’s for his family, so you get sympathy points for that. With Jesse, here you have a guy who’s basically a high school dropout, a drug abuser, a drug dealer, and this guy is sympathetic? How is that possible? It’s a testament to Aaron’s ability to draw people into that humanity that he provides as Jesse, despite his shortcomings.”
-- Here’s one last Aaron Paul tidbit that I couldn’t fit into the story but absolutely have to share, for keeping it to myself would be much too selfish: In his younger days, Paul and his buddies would attend tapings of “The Price is Right.” Repeatedly. They guessed that if you were somewhere between the 150th and 225th person in the door, you had a better chance of getting your name called, as you sat at least halfway deep into the audience. The show, Paul and his friends noticed, seemed to pick people who had longer distances to run, perhaps liking the excitement from seeing someone having to fight through an excited audience, rather than just popping up from their front-row seat.
After nobody was called up on their first attempt, Paul and his buddies positioned themselves accordingly upon their subsequent returns, and each time, one of them was called from near the back of the audience. Three of them eventually made it up on stage, including Paul, who lost his chance to win a new car but did have the chance to spin the big wheel … in the opposite direction. That had long been his dream. But by this point he was so loaded up on Red Bull (to get in, you line up in the wee hours of the morning) and adrenaline that when it came time to spin, he forgot about the opposite-direction idea and did it the old-fashioned way. A combined spin of $.95 got him through to the Showcase Showdown.
His showcase included a new Camaro, $1,000 in cash and an Apple computer system.
But he overbid by $132 and so he left empty-handed, except for the residual payment he earned from a 1-800-COLLECT commercial he did alongside Mr. T that actually aired during one of the breaks.
Oh, and one other consolation: His friend was soon taking him on a vacation to New Orleans, as he'd made it to the Showcase Showdown of another episode and won, his prize including a trip to New Orleans, London and Fiji.
“I know it’s not the same without Bob Barker,” Paul told me, “but hey, if you want some extra cash, dude, go and be between 150 and 225. Use this method.”
-- Josh Gajewski
Photo courtesy of AMC.