Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Chekhov’s Gun (Updated)

UPDATE (April 9 2012): It has just been brought my attention that Mad Men will run for seven seasons total, not five as I previously thought. Any predictions made below regarding Mad Men, while certainly still possible, are subject to change. I will revisit them once season 6 ends (assuming the show has not gone down the toilet by that point). Breaking Bad remains firm.

Last year, I discovered two shows that coincidentally were both broadcast on the AMC network: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Both are absolutely amazing, and I would be kicking myself for waiting so long to watch them if I wasn’t so busy enjoying them.

One thing I applaud the writers and producers for is intentionally limiting the series — both will be entering their fifth, and final, season this year; This was a planned demolition, so to speak, and the shows will die in a dignified and respectable manner, unlike some shows that have taken on an almost undead / Frankenstein’s monster type feel. (*coughSimpsonscough*)

One nice thing about a tightly-run series is that it becomes a lot easier to make predictions about the direction the show is going based on character arcs; sort of a derivation of Chekhov’s Gun. My idea is that skilled writers will resolve the characters naturally to let them make their landings, gracefully, in turn. Continue reading