Parental Notice: Adult language quoted in the episode.
The study of moral choice, character, and identity in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was unprecedented in TV drama. Many experienced the two TV series as a journey through Dante’s underworld, even through to his Purgatorio. In a recent conference at the University of Notre Dame, five scholars of theology and philosophy analyzed various dimension of the moral and spiritual imagination in these two dramas. The name of the conference, as play on the name of the show’s creator Vince Gilligan, was “Gilligan’s Archipelago: Justice and Mercy in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.”
My guest today is the convener of the conference, who also delivered a conference lecture on “Men and Women in Gilligan’s Archipelago.” Francesca Murphy is professor of theology here at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of many books and articles. She is one of my favorite lecturers and someone I’ve had the joy of working with in a number of lecture series and conferences, including one on C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, which became a book we both contributed to called Chronicles of Transformation: A Spiritual Journey with C. S. Lewis (Ignatius, 2022). Today we’ll talk about the question of manhood in Breaking Bad, womanhood in Better Call Saul, and what makes one show an infernal comedy and the other a purgatorial comedy.
Follow up Resources:
This episode is sponsored by The CatholicTV Network on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/CatholicTV
Church Life Today is a partnership between the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and OSV Podcasts from Our Sunday Visitor. Discover more ways to live, learn, and love your Catholic faith at osvpodcasts.com. Sharing stories, starting conversations.