But just as they can’t stop meth, Ewing can’t stop watching “Breaking Bad,” the five-season drama about meth kingpins that came to an epic close last night.
Ewing, an assistant district attorney in the 33rd and 424th District Attorney’s Office in Burnet, says he loves the show for the writing, the well-developed characters and its depiction of moral struggles.
“It’s in many ways a highly moral show. It shows how a person who has a relatively normal view of the world can slowly become a monster,” he says of the show’s protagonist, Walter White, a high-school chemistry teacher who is dying of cancer and turns into a drug czar.
But Ewing says that five or six colleagues — investigators, officers and other prosecutors — do not share his admiration for the show. They, too, come in contact with real-life meth addiction, and they see its impact on the addicts and their communities, he says. They fear the consequences of exposing the broader population to the the meth world.
Ewing says he thinks that most people will not face negative consequences from watching "Breaking Bad," but he questions how such a compelling show that has pervaded mainstream culture would impact some people on the “margins” of society.
“A lot of people have argued to me it will decrease meth use because it does show it to be very destructive,” says Ewing. Hoping for that scenario, Ewing still wonders whether “[t]here is a risk it will affect some people’s lives in a bad way.”
Ewing, who is on vacation, says he’ll watch the season finale online soon. He says he’s ready for the “nerve-wracking” show to be over.
“It is one of those shows that you enjoy watching, and you get connected to the storyline, but you can’t wait for it to be over,” he says. “Every episode is just excruciating.”
-- Angela Morris