Thank The X-Files For Giving Us Walter White And The Breaking Bad You Love

We believed and it paid off.

It probably goes without saying that Breaking Bad is one of the greatest TV shows ever created and Walter White is one of the all-time great fictional monsters characters ever conceived. One of the show’s biggest themes revolves around the idea of “every action has consequences” and the Walter White and Breaking Bad we love may well not have happened if it weren’t for The X-Files.

We found the truth.

Before inspiration struck in the form of a meth lab in an RV, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan was an executive producer and writer for The X-Files and he penned a number of the show’s most memorable episodes.

One of these episodes was titled ‘Drive’ and it required an actor who could pull off loathsome yet also sympathetic in order to play the anti-Semitic antagonist who was dying from an illness. Despite the role being cast, Gilligan and the casting director decided to give some unknown actor by the name of Bryan Cranston an audition for the role just to see what happens.

Keep in mind that at the time this episode was being made (1998), no one knew who the hell Bryan was so expectations he could pull off the part were low. To the surprise of everyone, he nailed it and was cast as the creepy bad guy in the ‘Drive’ episode of The X-Files.


Cut to some eight or so years later, The X-Files had ended (for the time being) and Vince was putting together what would become the pilot for Breaking Bad. His goal for the series was to turn the protagonist into the antagonist over the course of the show, as how he describes it: “turning Mr. Chips into Scarface.”

This grand plan required an actor who could convincingly make Walter White both loathsome and yet sympathetic to his increasingly horrific actions and the only person Vince though could pull that off was that Bryan Cranston chap from his X-Files days.

While Vince was convinced, the show network, AMC, were less so since everyone at that point in the story (about 2006) knew Bryan as the goofy dad from Malcolm in the Middle and there’s no way he can pull off the part of a ruthless drug lord.

Presenting the man who would be Walter White.

Vince ultimately managed to persuade the AMC suits that this Bryan Cranston chap was perfect for Walter White by showing them the ‘Drive’ episode he did on The X-Files ages ago. That was enough for them to give him the green light and the rest is TV history.

There were a lot of factors behind Breaking Bad‘s success and we may well have gotten a version of the show that was also great, though chances of that happening were lower if reports about AMC wanting John Cusack or Matthew Broderick for Walter White are to be believed.

But the particular version of Breaking Bad and Walt we ultimately got wouldn’t have happened had Bryan Cranston not showed up on Vince Gilligan’s radar all those years ago.

So here’s a toast to The X-Files for giving us one of the greatest TV characters of all time. We wanted to believe and it actually paid off big time.

The Trailer From Gaten Matarazzo's Show About Pranking The Unemployed Is A Big Old Nope

Who on earth thought this was a good idea?

Folks kicked up a (rightful) stink when Netflix announced that Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo will be hosting a TV show called Prank Encounters, which the premise involved messing with unemployed people and making them think they’re getting a paycheck only for Gaten to come in and yell “it’s just a prank, bro!”

Well the first trailer for Prank Encounters is here – and it’s even worse than what the initial premise sounded on paper. Just imagine that aforementioned cruel prank premise combined with dodgy horror and supernatural-themed pranks, all of which is intercut with Gaten Matarazzo coming in and blurting out his version of “you’ve been punk’d!”

Not only was all the “pranking unemployed people” stuff a bit uncomfortable and more than a bit tone-deaf, but the actual pranks are just bad and unoriginal. There’s nothing really entertaining or exciting about a teddy bear that moves or recreating the infamous chest-bursting scene from Alien.

And while we’re on the topic of unoriginal, Prank Encounters is basically a rip-off of the 2003 hidden camera prank show Scare Tactics that just happens to be hosted by a Stranger Things star with a warped definition of humour.

She’s not the only one who’s crazy.

Having withheld judgement on Pranked Encounters until some footage has come out, we can confidently say that the show is unnecessary, not particularly funny and dumb to the point of being mean.

After all the controversy that forced Netflix to issue out a hasty apology clarifying that the (unemployed) participants were in fact paid for their time and everyone had a jolly experience filming the series, I certainly hope everyone was well compensated for partaking in this dumpster fire of a “prank” show.

If Gaten Matarazzo’s dodgy prank show is still on your binge list, the eight-episode season of Pranked Encounters will drop on Netflix starting October 25th.

South Park Is Saying What We're All Thinking About The Chinese Government

How has South Park has become the moral compass for the Western world?

South Park has been making fun of everything and everyone for over 20 years now (good god it’s been around for that long?!) and yet its somehow managed to outdo itself by taking some huge shots at China and its slew of controversial censorship bans.

First it began with South Park‘s episode ‘Band in China,’ which lampoons China, its influence on Hollywood and businesses, and the ridiculous lengths at which it brings down the censorship hammer.

Unsurprisingly (and ironically), China banned the episode because it wasn’t too pleased with at how South Park made fun of it and decided to chuck an Eric Cartman-sized tanty.

The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, weren’t deterred and issued out an apology that was dripping with their trademark insincerity:

“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”

The duo then doubled down on their anti-China stance in South Park‘s 300th episode by getting Randy to literally declare “f**k the Chinese government”:

It’s big, bold and a typical South Park thing to do. But even more than just making fun of China and its censorship hammer, Randy’s big “f**k the Chinese government” moment is basically voicing what we’re all thinking at the moment.

Over the past week or so, we’ve been shown first-hand just how companies and people are bending over backwards to avoid pissing off China despite knowing about its stance on democracy and censorship. Seriously, this past week we’ve seen:

That’s putting it lightly.

And yet despite all those cooked incidents, South Park has been the only big mainstream Western thing (besides the internet) that’s come out and directly slammed China for being an arsehole to the world and democracy.

In the (probable) words of Eric Cartman, Trey and Matt are the only ones with balls at the moment.

It’s doubtful that Trey and Matt planned to have South Park go from vulgar animated show to being the moral compass for the Western world but that’s where we’re at right now.

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