Casting Cars

Breaking Bad is undoubtedly one of the best acted shows on television; led by two-time Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris and Bob Odenkirk give some of the best performance on the small screen. The show is one of the best looking with its use of vistas of New Mexico — different enough from Southern California, Vancouver or New York to be striking. But one of the best, least heralded aspects of the show is how well the production team selects the cars that its characters drive.
Someone’s car can say a lot about their personality. A BMW driver is likely to be a bit arrogant, but less so than a Porsche driver. A Volvo owner is concerned with safety. A Prius owner wants to save the environment, while a Hummer owner wants to exhibit his dominion over the environment. A Toyota Camry owner doesn’t enjoy driving. Someone who lives in Brooklyn is likely to drive a Subaru or a Mini. Someone from Detroit, something American.
Each of Breaking Bad’s characters’ choice of cars says something about that character. Walt’s Pontiac Aztec was the ugliest car of the early 21st Century. As such, he was probably able to buy it relatively inexpensively (because who really ever wanted n Aztec?) But he likely saw the sense in the practical style of the car. The sound mix of the four cylinder engine and slushbox that the show used, especially in the first season, carries a distinctive sense of patheticness.
Saul Goodman drives a Cadillac, Marie a New Beetle, Hank a new Jeep, and Skyler a classic Jeep. Each of these cars fits the characters perfectly. Of course Gus drives a Volvo. And the Winnebago Meth Lab is as much of a character in the show as any of the other locations or actors.
From tonight’s episode, Jesse pulls out of a parking lot in his Toyota wagon with its single windshield wiper is a perfect vehicle for where the character is by the end of this episode.

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