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Characters and Color Symbolism: The Meth Isn't The Only Thing That's Blue


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#1

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted May 4, 2010 @ 6:03 AM

Each character has a signature color on this series. Walt's signature color was originally green (because he was in it for the money originally?); the color is now slowly changing to blue, which is the shade of his pride-inducing meth.

Marie = Purple (her clothing, colors in the bedroom, flowers Hank had in parking lot)
Jesse = Red/Black (his car, his cell phone, clothing during legit job interview)

Edited by HellsBellsTrudy, May 4, 2010 @ 8:26 AM.

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#2

LethalCandy

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Posted May 4, 2010 @ 7:38 AM

I remember in season 1, Skyler seemed to wear almost entirely all blue, and in this season I've seen her wearing a lot more green. So it's interesting that she and Walt seemed to have traded colors ;)

I loved when they had Walt wearing that bright fuscia color in Season 2 that matched the teddy bear in the pool.

Edited by LethalCandy, May 4, 2010 @ 7:39 AM.

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#3

berrysnarky

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Posted May 5, 2010 @ 10:24 AM

There is so much going on under the surface in this show - it's so layered, and I think that's why it's so amazing to watch.

The color thing never really stood out to me, but now that I see it - it is so cool to pick things out.
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#4

Ankai

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Posted May 5, 2010 @ 10:50 AM

Let's not forget Walter WHITE and Jesse PINKman. Also a bit of a stretch, but Salamanca, Spain is known as the Golden City. Personally, I thought of Salmon when I first heard Tio's name.
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#5

LethalCandy

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Posted May 5, 2010 @ 12:25 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the color red is associated with criminality. In the beginning, Jesse (who was nothing more than a junkie drug-dealer at that point), wore a lot of red, drove a red car, with big fuzzy red dice in the mirror. And in the current season, everything is red in the meth lab Walt works in (most noticeably the glaring red lights at the door). The furniture in Walt's new apartment is red, IIRC, as well as the giant "BETTER CALL SAUL!" sign on the roof of Saul's building.

It may be a coincidence, but there's an awful lot of it :)
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#6

Constantinople

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Posted May 6, 2010 @ 11:36 AM

Let's not forget Walter WHITE and Jesse PINKman.


Walter's former partners were Gretchen & Elliot Schwartz; schwarz is German for black; their company is called Gray Matter (white + black); and Walter 1) seems to think he's always the good guy; and 2) his first reaction tends to be absolutist and doesn't always work well with shades of gray.

Sometimes I wonder if the color red is associated with criminality. In the beginning, Jesse (who was nothing more than a junkie drug-dealer at that point), wore a lot of red, drove a red car, with big fuzzy red dice in the mirror.


Interesting then that Jesse's last name is Pinkman, pink being white + red; as if when we first met Jesse, he'd gone a little bad, but not all bad.
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#7

Ankai

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Posted May 6, 2010 @ 12:07 PM

Walter's former partners were Gretchen & Elliot Schwartz; schwarz is German for black; their company is called Gray Matter (white + black)

Duh me. How did I miss that?

Maybe Pinkman is White's ticket into the red world?
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#8

freespeech

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Posted May 6, 2010 @ 2:15 PM

Wow, you guys are sharp.

Only thing I can add is that the weapons dealer says the bullets are called "black death." (This is the bullet in One Minute that saves Hank and kills one of the brothers.)

The brothers are (often? always?) in shiny silver suits which match the shiny silver axe they like. Jesse last stares at the red pain face on the chart in the hospital before he closes his eyes in One Minute.

If you fast forward through One Minute there are a lot of primarily red- and blue- influenced scenes.

Edited by freespeech, May 6, 2010 @ 6:42 PM.

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#9

Xbones

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Posted May 6, 2010 @ 6:12 PM

I'm impressed - never thought about it but certainly will now.
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#10

The Gimp

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Posted May 8, 2010 @ 10:32 AM

I don't know what Saul's signature color is, but I'm hoping his signature look involves ultra-cheezy tracksuits from here on out.
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#11

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted May 9, 2010 @ 2:06 PM

I don't know what Saul's signature color is, but I'm hoping his signature look involves ultra-cheezy tracksuits from here on out.

I believe Saul's color is a Gold (Duh! LOL). He is rarely without his gold pocket square. If he is, he has on a mustard gold colored dress shirt under his suit. The Constitution in his office is illuminated with golden lights. And if that is too subtle, there is a banker's lamp on Saul's desk where the traditional green shade has been replaced (custom?) with a golden shade. Also, his advert park benches are yellowish gold.

Maybe Pinkman is White's ticket into the red world?

And White is Pinkman's ticket out of the red.

Has anyone been able to pick out Walt Jr.'s color?

Edited by HellsBellsTrudy, May 9, 2010 @ 2:09 PM.

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#12

TexasTallGal

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Posted May 9, 2010 @ 2:34 PM

I don't know what Saul's signature color is, but I'm hoping his signature look involves ultra-cheezy tracksuits from here on out.


You can Dress Like Saul.
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#13

LethalCandy

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Posted May 9, 2010 @ 8:35 PM

Funny stuff, TexasTallGal! I seem to remember Saul wearing a salmon color on occasion, but gold does seem to be his primary color palette. I love the socks though!

I haven't noticed Walt Jr. having his own color scheme yet, but I may be mistaken. We don't really see very much character development with him, so maybe it hasn't been necessary this far in the show.
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#14

iggypop123

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Posted May 9, 2010 @ 9:40 PM

There is also blue tape for Walt's car winshield. the colors are too obvious
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#15

birdythurs

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Posted May 10, 2010 @ 2:03 PM

Junior is almost always in stripes--maybe conflicted? So far I haven't noticed any painfully obvious green/blue stripes.

Hank started out in a lot of orange--I remember in one podcast or Q&A or something Dean Norris made the comment "Who the hell wears orange?!" and lately they've toned it down/darkened it to brown.

Gus is yellow--although in his case he has the excuse of the Pollos shirts/color. The contrast to Walt's cool colors? The bright, sunshiny happy color masking the dark truth?

If colors mean as much as we're reading into them--which they probably do--I noticed Saul often wears lots of clashing colors--the ties not with the suit, things like that. Trying to play for every team in hopes to sort out the winners without losing options?

The only time I got really overwhelmed with Meaningful!Color! was when Jesse was in the hospital after Hank beat him. Walt's blue shirt, Saul's black tracksuit with blue trim, Jesse engulfed in blue sheets and covers and hospital gown. The blue meth is surrounding them! They can't escape! That was the one that seemed especially heavy-handed, the rest are nice visual cues but not usually distracting until you start looking for them.
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#16

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 6:01 AM

If colors mean as much as we're reading into them--which they probably do--I noticed Saul often wears lots of clashing colors--the ties not with the suit, things like that. Trying to play for every team in hopes to sort out the winners without losing options?

Excellent observation.
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#17

Xbones

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 3:46 PM

I agree - I think Saul is just a very "tacky" guy
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#18

smurfty

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Posted May 13, 2010 @ 10:37 AM

So is there any.....em.....significance to the colours?
Or is it just something the writers considered cool to do without it actually having any real meaning?
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#19

SultanOfSurreal

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 1:49 AM

I think my favorite bit of color symbolism on BB was the ribbon people wore in remembrance of the plane crash. Same color as Walt's meth. Maybe it's kind of heavy-handed but I thought it worked really well. Shame they seem to have disappeared. In the show it's only been, what, a month or two since the crash?
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#20

LethalCandy

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

Actually I could've sworn I saw Saul wearing one on his tracksuit while visiting Jesse in the hospital :) I think he's the only one still wearing it, though.
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#21

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 8:16 AM

Jesse had on custom made white sneakers with black and red detailing.

Also, trying not to read too much into the solid color balloon placement in Hank's hospital room...

Edited by HellsBellsTrudy, May 17, 2010 @ 8:17 AM.

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#22

Kris

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Posted May 18, 2010 @ 8:05 PM

Also, trying not to read too much into the solid color balloon placement in Hank's hospital room...


You're not the only one.

But it seemed strange to have those solid color mylar balloons in the hospital room - blue, green and red. Usually when people bring balloons to a hospital, they'll have messages on them like "Get Well Soon" or "Feel Better." But those solid colored balloons stood out very starkly to me.

Edited by Kris, May 18, 2010 @ 8:08 PM.

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#23

TexasTallGal

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Posted May 31, 2010 @ 10:42 AM

I loved Jessie dressed in yellow when he was with Jane ... happy Jessie wearing a happy color.
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#24

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted Jun 1, 2010 @ 8:17 AM

I loved Jessie dressed in yellow when he was with Jane ... happy Jessie wearing a happy color.

Contrasting with the all black outfit he had on in the end of the episode.
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#25

Evilida

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Posted Jun 3, 2010 @ 6:42 PM

I loved Jessie dressed in yellow when he was with Jane ... happy Jessie wearing a happy color


I loved the little tassel on the hat. I can't see Jesse wearing something like that this season. Not when he's trying so hard to be the bad guy. Bad guys don't wear tassels.
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#26

birdythurs

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Posted Jun 4, 2010 @ 9:17 AM

Bad guys don't wear tassels.


Or poof balls. Because that's when you go to a different store!

I think I mentioned this on the old show thread, but does Baby Holly have any clothes that aren't pink? I know that they knew baby was a girl, but there are other colors out there. I guess they thought it was slightly less anvil-ly than white for the sweet young innocent. She's always wearing the cap, which seems strange for indoor scenes. Maybe that just helps to hide that they have to use so many different babies for the part.
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#27

Xbones

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Posted Jun 5, 2010 @ 6:33 AM

that's funny, maybe its a money issue - they talked about how much it cost and how difficult it was to have a baby in a scene one of the podcast.
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#28

LethalCandy

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 4:56 PM

I'm sure neither of these have any significance, but I thought they were neat:

- I loved the scene with Wendy in the motel, where everything was bright green, with the baggie of meth glowing bright blue in contrast.

- Saul's lime green shirt and purple tie. I love, love his tacky clothes!
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#29

celestialpie

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:30 AM

I thought some of the color symbolism in the show was a reference to alchemy-- since Walt is a chemist, his color would be green, the color of the Emerald Tablet brought by Thoth. There's the green lion, a medieval alchemical symbol. Green is also the color of sickness and putrefacation, so there's that.

Red is a symbol of transformation, its animal symbol is a pelican. In alchemy, it's depicted as a white bird- red+white = pink. This suits Jesse Pinkman.

Orange for Hank - a symbol of fire, a nice alchemical connection there. It's also the modern symbol of safety and caution, which is a nice association for Mr. Law Enforcement.

Blue for Skyler, whose nickname, not coincidentally, is Sky - in medieval art, the Virgin Mary is always clothed in blue, a celestial color of divinity and purity.

Purple for Marie is a bit tougher. I know a lot of metaphysical associations that don't fit Marie's personality, unless something is going to be revealed about her. (I've only seen Season 1 so far).

This is just what springs to my mind when you mix chemistry and colors. If it is an alchemy reference, I think the writers are keeping it around the chemistry-centered characters. Black, white and yellow are the other prime alchemical colors, which covers Gray Matter.
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#30

Ankai

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:45 AM

If her blog is to be believed, Marie loves Marie Antoinette. She associates purple with royalty and, thus, everything must be purple. Why she was humming La Marseillaise in the last episode may be because her understanding of French history does not go very far beyond her sharing a name with a Queen.
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