This one is a bit of a stretch, I admit, but I think it works on a thematic level well enough to make a solid connection.
The tv series Breaking Bad, AMC’s runaway success about a terminally ill chemistry teacher that turns to “cooking” crystal meth to provide for his family, shares an overarching story element with that of (at least portions of) the Christian bible. This parallel is brought to light in an interview with Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, in which he lays out the general philosophy of the series to The New York Times:
“If religion is a reaction of man, and nothing more, it seems to me that it represents a human desire for wrongdoers to be punished. I hate the idea of Idi Amin living in Saudi Arabia for the last 25 years of his life. That galls me to no end. I feel some sort of need for biblical atonement, or justice, or something. I like to believe there is some comeuppance, that karma kicks in at some point, even if it takes years or decades to happen. My girlfriend says this great thing that’s become my philosophy as well. ‘I want to believe there’s a heaven. But I can’t not believe there’s a hell’.”
Breaking Bad certainly isn’t the first series in which most (if not all) the events in the narrative build on each other as it progresses, but it is unique in the way that so much time can be spent dealing with the fallout from the actions of the protagonists. Often times, a lengthy sequence of episodes will center around cleaning up after something that happened at the beginning of the season; such as when Walt (Bryan Cranston) commits his first murder, or has to find excuses to tell his wife so as not to let her find out about his illegal activities.
The Christian bible is similar in that much of it is spent dealing with consequences for the actions of humanity. This mainly pertains to the Old Testament (or the Hebrew bible), where certain sins or otherwise unforgivable actions are given grim punishments. The biggest parallel, however, is in the concept of original sin. Most of the bible discusses the fact that humans are still paying for taking the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and have to be redeemed for it. Breaking Bad is similar in the fact that practically every action or decision can be traced back to Walt’s choice to make meth.
P.S. I was going to make another vector for this, but with the map as chaotic as it is, I figured I’d just put it here. It’s a Breaking Bad and ‘Half-Life’ mash-up courtesy of The Oatmeal. If you love both (like I do), this ought to make your day:
It’s more than fitting for Gus to be the “G-Man”, but I’m not sure why Jesse needed to be a headcrab zombie…