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Breaking bad in 60 minutes

Miles Allen is chuggung on the humour bandwagon -- Photo: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

Miles Allen is chuggung on the humour bandwagon -- Photo: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.  

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Comedian Miles Allen talks on his show based on the hit TV series and on the growing popularity of television shows

Comedian Miles Allen was watching the last episodes of the popular series, Breaking Bad, in 2013 with a group of friends, and was impersonating the characters.

His friends loved his performance and decided on a YouTube experiment, where Miles did a Breaking Bad impression on the street. The video was uploaded and went viral and One Man Breaking Bad, a parody version of the show was born.

Set in New Mexico, Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher who starts selling crystal meth to provide for his family, after he is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.

Before his performance at Alliance Francaise in Bengaluru, Miles said, “I never imagined the parody will be such a big hit. It started off with a YouTube video and has now lead to almost 140 performances in nine countries. I have enjoyed working on this show. It allows me to play all characters from my favourite TV show and combines that with my love for acting. I have attempted to pack all the key moments from the show into 60 minutes.”

Miles says though he does follow a set script, he often improvises in the course of a show. “I like to make some changes, especially when there are hecklers in the audience.

“It was a tough task, picking up the peculiarities of each of the characters and keep the audience involved. I have always felt that Breaking Bad is a TV series that lends depth and complexity to each character, such as Walt Junior’s love for breakfast and so on.”

The comedian says Jesse Pinkman, Walter’s partner in crime is his favourite character. “Initally, Jesse is not very likable. His personality changes for the better during the course of the series. The opposite is true in Walter’s case.

“I had concerns about playing Walter’s son who has cerebral palsy. “I felt that not including him in the sketch will also be discriminatory. People have enjoyed my portrayal.”

Condensing almost 60 episodes into an hour-long show is a tough ask, says Miles. “You have to observe the peculiarities and ensure that the audience is hooked. I love parody and comedy. Though a lot of TV shows are lending themselves to comedy shows such as the Game of Thrones musical by Coldplay, single man acts are still not common. It’s scary, because you have to carry the show on your own.”

Miles says this is the platinum age for television series and contends that increasing budgets for TV series and the shift of the drama genre from film to TV is one of the prime reasons for this trend.

“I think shows like The Wire were pioneers in heralding a new age in television. A show like Breaking Bad manages to engage well with the viewers and has ended up rivalling super hit movie franchises such as Star Wars. I think it is a great development. I think there is bound to be great content on television in the years to come.”

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:14:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/breaking-bad-in-60-minutes/article8188360.ece

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