John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What If “Breaking Bad” Was About Shoes?

A kinder, gentler Breaking Bad?

I love this series but it can be over-the-top with fringe plot developments and crazy characters as the mild mannered former high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, becomes a successful meth dealer.

I was wondered the other night what it might look like if Breaking Bad had been written with a more mainstream and gentler, kinder theme. Maybe call it, “Veering incautiously” instead of the rogue sounding “Breaking Bad.” And instead of making Walter White an ever-hardening meth dealer, write a more mainstream method for handling his personal crisis. What if, for example, instead of cooking and selling meth, Walter instead became a celebrated shoe cobbler (selling custom made and hand crafted suede shoes that become very popular in some circles)?

jyb_musingsSure the series may have a different feel and tone, but would it also be more plausible? Would it widen potential audience appeal since more people can identify with shoe-makers than meth dealers?

Here’s a video clip giving us a peek of what this series might have looked like as Walter sells a pair of blue suede shoes to internationally known shoe fashion designer Tuco Salamanaca. (Just imagine shoes and not methamphetamine is being transacted in this scene.) Tuco is renown for his exacting taste and relentless drive for perfection in his shoe line. Despite being skeptical about Walter at first—and being obviously flustered that the shoes he tries on are too “tight” —Tuco is still won over by Walter’s attention to detail and skilled craftsmanship. In fact, so much so, Tuco buys them on the spot (even though they are an unusual “blue” shade) and suggests future purchases for his shoe line in pink and yellow.

But there is still the critical question, Would the series work as well with Walter as shoe cobbler —or is something lost.

Warning: Foul language even though we are pretending they are talking about shoe design.

But remember, the high end shoe market is a brutally competitive business. So this scene may not be too far off the mark. ; )


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