By Michelle Leibowitz, Bloc Reporter
Kelly Cresap, a UMD English instructor, led an open forum March 4 at Stamp Student Union, which delved into the real-life issues of television series “Breaking Bad.”
The forum, made up of approximately 10 students and visitors, met at 7:30 p.m. in the Prince George’s Room of the union.
The forum occurred in light of the show’s induction into the Guinness World Records 2014 edition.
The show was named the Highest-Rated TV Series, thanks to a Metascore rating of 99/100.
“I think despite how pleasurable ‘Breaking Bad’ is, it is also throwing hot spikes at us,” Cresap said. “It’s challenging our way of life, whether we’re poor, middle class or wealthy.”
The show, created by Vince Gilligan and produced by AMC, focuses on a chemistry teacher named Walter White, who starts cooking meth after doctors diagnose him with lung cancer.
White befriends meth cook and former student Jesse Pinkman in order to understand the process and the business behind cooking and dealing meth.
White becomes a master meth chemist, creating a 99.1% chemically pure crystal known as “Blue Sky.”
What starts out as a desire to support his family financially, turns into a tale of crime, murder and ethical dilemmas.
To highlight specific issues in “Breaking Bad,” Cresap played clips from particular episodes on a projector screen.
He shared his insights, while offering an interactive discussion with the audience.
“It’s not just a stop and think show, it’s a stop and make you wonder what galaxy you’re in kind of thing,” Cresap said.
Cresap said the mundane moments in the show keep the audience engaged and craving more action.
“There are what I call being alive or being at the edge of your seat moments and there are dead moments where nothing happens,” he said.
For fans like 55-year-old Paul Orsinger, the show offers versatile critical thinking.
“The show really gets me to think deeply and at a lot of different levels,” Orsinger said. “I came to this forum because the show challenged me to look at the issues it brings up.”
The show presents the central issue of whether or not dealing drugs is acceptable in any circumstances.
“I had to get over a very strong anti-drug feeling,” Cresap said, referencing a particular scene where Pinkman secretly tries to deal “Blue Sky” to a meth recovery group.
“I see it as profoundly disturbing. It’s confronting our way of life and saying here, live with this,” he said.