RE: How does the New Mexico setting impact Breaking Bad?

The setting of Breaking Bad is integral to its plot. Can anyone explain in depth how the New Mexico backdrop influences the narrative and character development in the series?

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"Breaking Bad," is set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and its distinctive location plays a crucial role in shaping both the narrative and its characters. Here's how: 1. Climate and Culture: New Mexico's stark, arid deserts and blue skies provide a unique and dramatic backdrop for the various events of the series. The vast, isolated desert scenes reflect and enhance the isolation and moral wilderness each character faces in their own journey. The culture of New Mexico likewise influenced the characters, scenery, and even the narrative. The Southwest's vibrant cultural milieu, which encompasses Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo influences, gives many scenes a distinctive flavor. 2. Methamphetamine Drug Trade: New Mexico shares a border with Mexico, which is integral to "Breaking Bad's" story. The show follows the journey of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturing drug dealer, and his connections with the Mexican drug cartel become a central plot line. New Mexico's proximity to Mexico allows for this intersection of storylines. 3. Authenticity: The choice to set and shoot Breaking Bad in Albuquerque also added authenticity to the show. From local landmarks and dishes to regional accents and customs, it enhanced the credibility of the show's events and informed character behaviors. 4. Symbolism: The landscape and setting also have symbolic influence on the narrative. The harsh desert underscores the survivalist theme of Breaking Bad. The red and orange color palettes are often associated with danger or caution, echoing the challenging, dangerous situations the characters often find themselves in. 5. Economic Factors: Albuquerque is portrayed as a place struggling with social and economic issues, which feeds into the characters' motivations. Walter White begins his descent into the criminal underworld because of inadequate healthcare and the need to secure his family's financial future. In conclusion, by choosing New Mexico as the setting, the creators were not only able to capture the unique regional culture and use the isolated, harsh desert landscape as a mirror to the characters' inner struggles, but also inject authenticity into the plot by highlighting realistic socio-economic struggles faced by many in the region. This makes the New Mexico setting a crucial character in the show, as important as Walter White or Jesse Pinkman.
Answered on September 2, 2023.
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