Breaking Bad is a rich, complex parable about a good citizen’s descent into supervillainy through wholesale distribution of illegal narcotics. As it turns out, though, the entire show can be boiled down to a little boy wearing a fake mustache, singing, “I’m going to use my science knowledge to make the purest rock candy this town has ever seen.” At least that’s what happens in Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical.
As the real show begins, its end-run into the great meth lab in the sky, Internet-famous jokesters Rhett and Link affectionately offer a spoof version as part of their recent Middle School Musical series. In it, Bryan Cranston’s chemistry-teaching wallflower Walt White decides, right in the middle of class, to start manufacturing and selling “rock candy.” (Although it looks like the show’s “Blue Ice” meth, it actually is supposed to be rock candy.)
What works well about the short video is the attention to detail, both in terms of how a middle school production looks and the specific characteristics of Breaking Bad. The sets include a cardboard RV with cardboard cactuses going by it, and the lyrics have just the right level of sanitizing that is often applied to darker material in a school play. Rhett and Link also work in some good jokes about how easily Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank, who works for the “Candy Patrol,” is easily fooled.
Perhaps best of all, though, are the kid performances, which rival those in the kids’ production of “New Warden” on Arrested Development for incongruity between material and actor.