Walter White Fandom In Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad

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From fan-made movies to memes, the fandom that surrounds the television show Breaking Bad is one rich in creativity. Like other fan cultures, the Breaking Bad fandom has a way of ‘poaching’ the original text and reconstructing it in order to relay certain ideas and ideologies that may not have been intended. In this essay, I will analyze the fandom that surrounds the television show Breaking Bad, how I participate and interact in this particular replay culture, and how gender roles and norms are reflected in the text, as well as how these ideologies influence me, as a viewer. The media text I will be analyzing throughout this essay is the television drama Breaking Bad by Vince Gilligan. This show depicts the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher, who decides to start producing crystal meth with one of his former students after being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, in order to…show more content…
A participatory culture, as Jenkins describes, is a culture around a media text in which fans take their views and reactions to a text and translate them into social interactions and creation (1988). For Jenkins’ example, he describes how female Star Trek fans will rewrite episodes into fanfiction with strong female leads and feminist ideologies (1988). This is a form of participatory culture considered textual ‘poaching’. Viewers take the parts of the text that they enjoy, and recreate what they believe to be lacking. In a similar vein, while the show was still releasing new shows I was an active participant on the Reddit Breaking Bad thread. Here, myself and other fans would create and share theories about the shows progression, or about specific character’s storylines. This allowed me to be forward thinking about the text and story line, as well as allowing me the freedom and creativity to predict where the show might venture next and what the characters might do in
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