College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

USM Professor to Publish Timely Book on "Breaking Bad"

"Breaking Bad" book cover

Devoted fans of the popular AMC TV series “Breaking Bad” will find out on Sunday, Sept. 29, how the series concludes and what ultimately happens to its beleaguered main character Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Just in time, USM Professor David Pierson's new book on the TV show, “Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Context, Politics, Style and Reception of the Television Series,” will be published in November by Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield.

Pierson is associate professor of Media Studies and chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies.

“Breaking Bad” follows the exploits of Walter White, a mild-mannered, put-upon New Mexico high school chemistry teacher, who, upon learning that he has terminal lung cancer, secretly decides to begin producing and selling crystal methamphetamine so that he can earn enough money to secure his family's future.

Premiering in 2008, “Breaking Bad” has been critically acclaimed and called one of television's best all-time dramatic series.

Pierson's new book will be the first publication to conduct a scholarly study of the series from a diverse range of critical perspectives all in an effort to deeply probe into the complex worlds of “Breaking Bad” its characters and stories.

The edited collection closely examines the series in relation to: neoliberalism and its discourses; our cultural obsession with the economies of time and their manipulation; and the assumptions underlying White's criminal alias Heisenberg.

The collection also investigates the TV show’s representation of masculinity, Latino Americans, and impairment and disability. The final section takes a close look at the series' unique cinematic style, its representation of place, its use of sound and music, and the integral part that emotions play as a form of dramatic action in its episodes.

For more information about Dr. Pierson, go to: http://usm.maine.edu/com/david-pierson