Drugs, death, denial and cancer care: using Breaking Bad in the spiritual care of cancer patients

Ewan Bowlby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article argues that watching Breaking Bad (2008–13) could encourage people affected by cancer to recognise and reconsider damaging reactions to their condition. If viewers are invited to see the series’ antihero, Walter White, as an iconic ‘silhouette’ of a better path not taken, this can provoke them to entertain more honest, constructive attitudes to cancer and death. Using the theological concept of a ‘silhouette of goodness’ and Jung’s theory of the ego-life and true Self, this article suggests that symbolic moments in Walt’s descent into chaotic criminality could help caregivers to meet the ‘need for symbols’ in cancer care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-238
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020

Keywords

  • Breaking Bad
  • Spiritual care
  • Cancer care
  • Television aesthetics
  • Iconography
  • Jung

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Drugs, death, denial and cancer care: using Breaking Bad in the spiritual care of cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this