An Ulterior Motive by Sharon O’Donnell
In an attempt to expand the topics which my two oldest sons and I can have conversations about, I recently completing watching the last five seasons of “Breaking Bad”. This is the TV series about a high school chemistry teacher who, when faced with a lung cancer diagnosis, he turns to making meth to make a lot of money quickly so his family will be taken care of after his death. Of course, complications ensue. To be honest, when I first heard about the show several years ago, it didn’t appeal to me very much. Thus, I never watched it. But in the past year, my two oldest sons discovered it and got caught up by watching all the previous episodes on NetFlix — which just might be, in my opinion, more addictive than most drugs. I didn’t have the time or the motivation to watch past seasons, and you really had to watch all of them to appreciate the new season that started in July and ended I think, in September. But my sons would have conversations about the latest, suspenseful episode, and I felt left out. The show I used to watch with them was 24, and since that ended, I miss that connection with them while anticipating a new episode and talking about our reactions to it.
But watching Netflix meant learning how to work a whole bunch of buttons on the remote that I had never used before. Rather intimidating. Yet, I envied the conversations between the two of them about this. ’24’ was so ‘yesterday’.
The day after the finale of the latest season of Breaking Bad, my son David, 18, was talking with his girlfriend about how awesome the finale had been. Then he turned to me and started to explain what had happened in it, but his girlfriend yelled, “No!” and put her hand over his mouth. “She might want to watch them and you don’t want to spoil it for her.” Well, that was all it took. For another female to think it was such a great show that she didn’t want it to be spoiled for me, I decided it was time. That night I learned what buttons on the remote I had to push to get NetFlix to appear on the screen — and then — well, I was totally captivated for the next week or two. Whenever I had any free time, I’d run to the TV and watch an episode. And yes, the finale was awesome. Too bad the next season will not be until next summer. That’s crazy. But I will be in the know instead of outside the loop and will understand ‘Heisenberg’ jokes.
And all of this gave me a wonderful idea on how to lure my son Billy, a senior in college at a local university, home more often. A brilliant plan, if I must say so myself. I subscribed to Showtime, which he cannot get via his computer like he can NetFlix. Showtime is the only place where the Emmy-award-winner for best show, Homeland, is shown, and the episodes of the first season are not available on Netflix. And Billy is too cheap to pay extra for Showtime at his apartment. Knowing the second season was about to start one week later at the end of September, I went out and bought the DVD of the first season and gave it to Billy to watch at his apartment. While he was getting hooked on it, I watched the first season episodes via Showtime On Demand. We were quickly both up to speed on the show’s plot and characters since there was only one season thus far to watch. Now we look forward to each new weekly episode and talk with each other about it — just like we did “24”. Whenever my other college son comes home, I plan to give him the first season DVD, knowing full well that he will have to come home again and watch the episodes from this season on the On Demand channel.
Ah, quality time.
I’m greatly enjoying the show itself. But an ulterior motive . . . you betcha!