Film Studies Alumnus R. COLIN TAIT Breaks Down Bryan Cranston’s “Breaking Bad” Performance

Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston’s universally lauded, multiple Emmy Award-winning performance in “Breaking Bad”

I Am The One Who Acts: Breaking Down Bryan Cranston’s Breaking Bad Performance
by R. Colin Tait  / Texas Christian University

“Despite Breaking Bad’s series creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan’s protestations to the contrary, orthodoxy surrounding the “showrunner” as the primary author of TV is a discourse rigidly embedded within the discipline — one that sweepingly omits the contributions of many collaborators and actors in particular. This omission is partly due to the lack of scholarship that concretely explains what an actor does within a given show. Since an actor’s labor is ethereal in nature, credit tends to be attributed to other agents, such as writers and directors, or ignored completely.

Acting is not commonly discussed in relation to television. More often than not, television acting, and by proxy, television actors, has been viewed as inferior to film, which is more often associated with prestige. Although TV’s cultural value is on the upswing, perceptions about TV acting is still an under-examined subject, especially in latest era of great television. However, as Torben Grodal reminds us, scholars and critics are drawn to directors, while audiences relate to actors and their performances.
So, while TV may now be more cinematic, good acting is still what ultimately fuels the engine.”

Finishing reading Alumnus R. Colin Tait’s article here: