Heisenberg poster from the Breaking Bad Store.
There are obvious reasons for watching “Breaking Bad”: for once the Hollywood hype surrounding the television series is justified. But there is also a less obvious reason: it is one of the best studies available of the dynamics of modern business. A Harvard MBA will set you back $90,000 (plus two years’ lost income). You can buy a deluxe edition of all five seasons of “Breaking Bad”, complete with a plastic money barrel, for $209.99, or a regular edition for less than $80.
“Breaking Bad”, whose finale airs on September 29th, takes place in a recession-ravaged America where most people are struggling to get by on stagnant incomes but a handful of entrepreneurs live like kings. The hero, Walter White, is a high-school chemistry teacher with a second job in a car wash. When he is diagnosed with cancer he is also shaken out of his lethargy: he decides to go into the highly lucrative methamphetamine business to pay for his cancer treatment and leave his family a nest-egg.
Read Schumpeter: The best show on television is also a first-rate primer on business, in The Economist.
Thanks to our friend who could’ve saved his tuition at Harvard Business School for the link.
Interesting how some of the best television shows of the 21st century are about business. Deadwood chronicles the rise of the free market during the Gold Rush. The Sopranos is a primer on capitalism. The first season of The Wire is a dissertation on the drug trade.
Update: Our friend’s spoiler-free review of the final episode of Breaking Bad.
“Pitch-perfect ending, like a good poem.”