July 16, 2012
Like roughly 2.9 million other people, I watched the season premiere of “Breaking Bad” on Sunday night. Good for me, I know. I’m not going to ruin the episode for those who haven’t seen it yet, but let’s just say there were several of those moments that just leave you… perplexed.
All the moments that caused those “Wait, huh?” and ”Of course they did” reactions are reasons why the show is great, but they can be almost laughably absurd at times. Which got me thinking — what if a day in the life of a marketing professional was reenacted in an episode of “Breaking Bad”? Like the craziest day ever.
Let’s get the rules straight: This marketer, we’ll call him Walt, is just having a day structured like an episode of “Breaking Bad.” He’s not actually in the show — so no drugs, breakfast scenes with Walt Jr. or appearances by Saul. Assume this Walt is kind of like Walter White from season one. And let’s imagine Walt had a perfectly normal day before the following day plays out. He was just planning on having another regular day at the office.
Opening scene: Walt is on an airplane and connects to the in-flight internet. It’s nighttime and he’s wearing a nice suit with a loose tie. He frantically opens TweetDeck to see hundreds of @replies coming right at him. His inbox is full. Everyone on the plane is staring at him. He looks at us, the viewer, with an expressionless face. Opening credits.
10:00 mark: Walt starts his day. It’s about 8:30 a.m. He sends a few emails from his iPhone while in line to get some coffee. He’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
17:00 mark: Walt arrives at his office, it’s about 9 a.m. He starts a planning meeting with a few colleagues to chat about a tech client’s new product that is launching in two days. He participates in the meeting as usual, engaged in the discussion.
24:00 mark: It’s about 11:30 a.m. and Walt leaves the office, telling his colleagues that he is off to a networking meeting. On the way to the meeting, he gets a call from the aforementioned tech client. The viewer, from the view outside the car’s windshield, sees Walt’s demeanor change – he was talking relaxed but now looks stressed and is making wild hand gestures as he speaks. Then a police car pulls him over for talking on his cell phone. Turns out Walt has a few outstanding parking violations and the officer arrests him.
31:00 mark: We see Walt in a holding cell. It’s about 2:30 p.m. He is pleading with the staff to let him go, saying, “But I’ll lose my job if you don’t! I’ll be ruined!” No dice. They say he needs to wait for his lawyer to show up.
39:00 mark: It’s now 3:15 p.m. Walt is still locked up and now pacing around his cell furiously. He even checks into the police station on Foursquare and syncs the check-in to Facebook AND Twitter. He is outraged. He pulls his phone back out and posts a grainy Instagram photo of the cell with the caption “Over parking tickets?!?! #SMH” He has a 4 p.m meeting with the tech client.
48:00 mark: It is now 3:40 p.m. Walt whispers to the other inmates, one by one, but the viewer can’t hear him. He then looks studiously at the staff on the other side of the bars and takes a deep breath. Commercial break.
53:00 mark: Now 3:45 p.m., the viewer only sees Walt’s phone, his index finger scrolling from page to page until it lands on the button “activate.” Walt, who was recently named “one of the top tech minds in marketing” by TechCrunch, hits the button. All the lights suddenly go off. And the cell door unlocks! Everyone races out!
58:00 mark: Walt is running down the street, grinning. No cop cars behind him.
END OF EPISODE.