After having recently completed viewing the entire “Californication” series, I am (not altogether) shocked at how much I love the main character, “Hank Moody”, who has to be the biggest dick on the planet. Until, through the course of the series, I got to know him and kind of fell in love with him. Is it because he’s a writer, a stereotypical one at that, with a rock-and-roll edge, and all that goes along with a rock-and-roll lifestyle? No.
If that were it, then why did I love Dexter Morgan, the serial killer? I do not ever condone violence, unless it is for self-defense reasons, but Dexter Morgan represents vigilantes worldwide, doing for society what it lawfully can not do for itself: weeding out the “bad guys” and in some cases “bad girls”. That sounds a bit genocidal, which I vehemently oppose, yet on-screen, “an eye for an eye” doesn’t seem so bad when Dexter Morgan’s “dark passenger” does the dirty work. And it’s all surreal, a way to live vicariously through the evil in the world to get to some sort of justice.
And so that brings me to Walter White, the devil himself, the meth maker. My feelings for him changed over the course of “Breaking Bad”. At first, he exuded honor and nobility, although illegal and most probably promoting violence, drug addiction, and death. He wanted to ensure his family was secure in his “absence”. (In the spirit of never trying to spoil anything for anyone, I hope this does not give too much away.) Along the way, Walt weaves lie upon lie upon lie, and the fabric of them is so tightly woven. His honor and nobility morph into greed, power, desperation, arrogance, and omnipotence. He becomes his own nightmare. Yet the entire time, I hoped he would redeem himself, would come clean, would salvage some dignity for himself and his family.
I love these characters because they are all flawed, heroic and honorable at some point, and, in their own, sometimes sick and illegal way, seek justice, seek what is right, and seek themselves.