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


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#31

birdythurs

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 12:51 PM

That'll learn me to shoot my mouth off. Holly wasn't wearing her cap this episode! And she wasn't in pink! But should I be nervous that she was wearing yellow, which was basically Gus's color before we really saw his dark side?

Betsy Brandt has talked about purple as just the whole royalty, attention-getting thing. I think she said on a podcast that now she can't even look at purple in real life--she had to switch coffee mugs with her husband because the one handed her was purple!
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#32

orangepop

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Posted Jun 12, 2010 @ 1:04 PM

Gus is yellow--although in his case he has the excuse of the Pollos shirts/color.


The opening backstory scenes are heavily saturated in yellow - especially the ones that take place south of the border. And nearly every one of these "yellow" scenes is unexpected and violent. I think this portends Gus's true colors, so to speak.

Wondering what yellow signifies in alchemy.
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#33

calliek

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Posted Jun 13, 2010 @ 7:52 AM

They are wearing yellow hazard suits in all the promo shots for the season...I wonder if yellow is the "hazard" color?
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#34

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted Jul 30, 2010 @ 2:09 PM

They are wearing yellow hazard suits in all the promo shots for the season...I wonder if yellow is the "hazard" color?

I don't know. Jesse always has yellow on during his "happy" scenes.
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#35

HellsBellsTrudy

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Posted Jul 9, 2011 @ 1:28 PM

From the NY Times article:

This, it turns out, is an abbreviated version of a process that Gilligan goes through with virtually every article of clothing, every choice of color, every prop and every extra who appears in “Breaking Bad.” “You see this shirt?” said Dean Norris, who plays Hank Schrader, as he sat on the veranda between takes. He spoke in a stage whisper, out of the side of his mouth, like an inmate describing a warden who has gone insane. “Vince had to see five versions of it before he chose it. Five different shades of a gray T-shirt. That’s unique,” he said, heading into the house. “That’s beyond.”

http://www.nytimes.c...;pagewanted=all
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#36

Harriet 12 3

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

She associates purple with royalty and, thus, everything must be purple.


Yeah I've heard a few places before colour is associated with royalty and those who surround themselves with it have delusions of grandeur and self-importance. I wouldn't go so far as to say that about Marie but I do think she thinks quite a lot of herself.

I actually didn't notice the other colours till you mentioned them I think the colour yellow's meaning depends on the context. As previously stated with Gus and the suits in promo pictures it could associated with hzard but it is worn by Jessie and also seen on his bed covers in happier scenes.

The laundry the lab is in has a lot of pale blues in it, like the meth. There's some white as well but it's a laimdry so that I don't think is intentional.
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#37

Booji

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 6:12 PM

That is interesting Harriet123, I too think Marie is associated with royality by her wearing of purple, but I also see it from a Greek mythology angle. The Greek goddess Pandora seems to fit, she is obsessed with gifts(Marie stealing, the jewelry she gave to Skyler, "trading" in her hospital shoes for high heels), and there are a number of paintings that show Pandora dressed in purple. In the shoe store scene Marie is shown beside a large grecian urn, in the original myth Pandora's Box is actually a jar/urn and was only changed to a box in later translations.

I see the color yellow used a lot as well, but I can see its use from an astronomical perspective. I guess I started thinking that maybe BB was using astronomical imagery after the episode where Gale recites "the learn'd astronomer" poem, would they have put something like that in the show if it were not a clue?

I would like to discuss this more on here, I am a fan of David Lynch Eraserhead movie, it is full of hidden meanings and I think BB has some hidden meaning as well.
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#38

birdythurs

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Posted Jun 27, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

The Season 4 DVD set has a special feature called "Color Me Bad," talking about the significance of color schemes for the characters. Very light and quick (honestly I think we'd talked about all of them here) but the brief rundown:

[*]Walt started in milquetoast beige, but at the end of the pilot he had the green shirt for new life, and feeling alive. Deliberately ironic given the terminal cancer diagnosis.
[*] Skyler picked up the green in Season 3 as she started to get more involved in the drug bidness and therefore she started feeling alive
[*]Gus and Pollos Hermanos got yellow because they already had that in overall color schemes, but then Gus had his changes to darker, drug business type suits in Season 4
[*] Saul's wild fashion is fun to play with.

Not one mention of Marie and her purple! How could they skip over that?

Through other special feature segments they talk about the red in the superlab (the color of violence, conflict and power struggles, etc.) and thus choosing that neon green box cutter so it would show up/stand out.

Edited by birdythurs, Jun 27, 2012 @ 11:30 PM.

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#39

Booji

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Posted Jun 28, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

In the episode where Hector and Jesse are being questioned by Hank and Steve Gomez, Steve Gomez asks Hector if he is on the planet Mars or Saturn. Mars is the red planet, and Saturn when viewed by the naked eye or through binos appears yellow, so red and yellow planets. I was thinking that the red/yellow theme may suggest a pairing of two "worlds" or spheres of influence. Right before that scene there is an image etched into a glass panel that appears to show a depiction of a banded planet, so that is where I got the astronomy connection from, when the character Gus Fring is introduced I saw an even stronger connection, and when Gale recites Walt Whitman's "When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer" that pretty much confirmed it for me.

There have been occasions where some of the characters have worn colors that definitely clash with each other and do not go together, I started to wonder if these color combinations were suggesting the colors found in flags, such as state flags or national flags.

I agree that Gus's colors shows that he "special" and that he is not like any of the other characters.

Saul's colors and their constant changing may suggest that he is able to fit into any situation that comes along and become part of it, like a cameleon.


I agree with the green for Walt and Skyler, a new life, new growth, maybe not good growth, but just growth.
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#40

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Posted Jul 8, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

I was just thinking of Skyler and Walt walking into Elliott and Gretchen's party, and Skyler remarking that they "didn't get the beige memo." She was wearing bright blue; I don't remember what Walt was wearing.
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#41

Booji

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Posted Jul 8, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

Yeah, bright blue, I guess just a reference to the color the meth was finally going to be, but that's a guess. In one of those scenes there is a shot of Skyler's back where the round designs on her dress seem to be over-emphasized, there is a lot of the, I don't know, "eyes" theme that I see in BB. Some of the BB episodes are on YouTube now if you want to re-watch them.
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#42

Unspoiled

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Posted Jul 8, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

At the party Walt wore a navy double-breasted jacket (I sure didn't like it). Wonder what all those party people in beige is supposed to mean? That their lives are conventional and safe? I never get this stuff.
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#43

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Posted Jul 16, 2012 @ 1:25 PM

Last night (S5, Ep 1) Jesse, Walt and Mike were dressed very much alike – in dark-colored shirts and pants, at least in the beginning. I don't remember if the colors changed at all later on, but the similarity there did strike me.
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#44

pomme de divan

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Posted Jul 16, 2012 @ 1:55 PM

All great observations.
I couldn't help but notice the big silver shiny cuff bracelet that Sky was wearing.
It reminded me of a glittery shackle or handcuff.
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#45

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Posted Jul 23, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

So.... a sign on Mike's fridge that says "Blue is good, yellow is bad, [green] is nice".
An awful lot of red black and white in Jesse's apartment, including the black and red roomba and the black-red-white-grey couch that they sit on. Perhaps a connection to the Madrigal bathroom of doom?
And Saul's blindingly blue carpet on prominent display.
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#46

myname2use4now

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Posted Jul 30, 2012 @ 6:51 AM

The scene in Madrigal where we see the lobby of the corporate offices and everyone is going about their business...all the techs wear white lab coats and just about everyone else wears blue (the color of meth?). I mean, everyone seems to have it on. The shot is almost monochromatic. The only other color I see worn are in the ties, with Herr Schuler's being red, white and blue. Come to think of it...the red of the bathroom, the blue of their clothes, the white of the lab coats (or Walter White for that matter). Seems like there's something to it.
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#47

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Posted Jul 30, 2012 @ 3:19 PM

Hmm, hadn't noticed that! I did pick up that Baby Holly has a little more variety in her wardrobe, not all-pink anymore but a mix of pastels and a few brights. (Is it sad that I still get nervous when she wears Gus's yellow? Or when I see a picture of her in red and think DOn't you dare!?)
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#48

Booji

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Posted Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

What has baby Holly got on her head? It looks like a pink Skinny Pete cap with some sort of emblem on it, did anyone make out what it was?
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#49

PlayCrack

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Posted Apr 10, 2013 @ 9:38 PM

about all the yellows on the show -- i noticed something. you mentioned that it could be a special case for gus fring, but i think it might still fit with everything else we know. the two most prominent instances of yellow that i can think of are: 1) jesse with jane (yellow sheets, yellow shirts), and 2) gus fring, when he was first introduced. let's take into consideration what yellow means on the road: road warnings are typically yellow, and for traffic lights, yellow means "slow down" or "caution." a common thread that runs between the two instances i mentioned is how, in the beginning, both jane and gus seemed to represent a "better" or a road to something "more." jesse was happy with jane. he was prepared to run away and start over with her. and walt insisted on working with gus because he knew it was the only way he could get his product out there--therefore, a bigger market, a greater gain. yellow, in both these cases, represented something good. a positive influence. but, of course, jane relapsed and took jesse down with her. and we all know that gus was anything but a positive influence. i think it's safe to say that yellow, within breaking bad, appears when there's something to look out for. yellow here would mean "danger ahead."

(then, there's the cousins, whose scenes were often heavily saturated with yellow. i don't think any of us saw them the first time and thought they brought good things. nah, the cousins meant danger from the beginning.)
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#50

SethDodsworth

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Posted Jul 12, 2013 @ 4:00 AM

Gale would be some sort of Rainbow colour :D Being a hippie and all.


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#51

KidPoker21

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Posted Jul 13, 2013 @ 8:59 AM

 

 i think it's safe to say that yellow, within breaking bad, appears when there's something to look out for. yellow here would mean "danger ahead."

 

That theory makes a lot of sense, did anyone notice anything yellow in season 5 part 1? I'm about to re watch those episodes to see if I can pick anything up.



Edit: Okay, so I just had a decent idea. Does anybody think the colors of the vamanos pest tarps could mean anything? Solid green and yellow stipes. If yellow symbolizes a good thing that goes bad (Gus & Jane), then perhaps something goes wrong with vamanos pest in the last eight episodes? Maybe Todd starts his own cook and a house blows up or something? And I suppose the green could symbolize the ridiculous amounts of cash Walt made while cooking in those houses.

 

I think I might be on to sometihng, so let me know what you guys think about it.


Edited by KidPoker21, Jul 13, 2013 @ 9:00 AM.

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#52

purplefishy

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Posted Aug 6, 2013 @ 1:37 AM

I'm as obsessed with purple as Marie is (oh.. if you could see my living room/bedroom), and I'm embarassed to say that it took me 3 seasons to realize it. Anyhow... I should note that with all the talk of red and blue in this topic, purple is a combination of those. Further, it is opposite orange on the color wheel.


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#53

birdythurs

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Posted Aug 14, 2013 @ 10:38 AM

I saw another interview with Betsy Brandt (unfortunately I can't find it, argh) where she said that when talking to the wardrobe mistress early on the wardrobe lady said "Well, Vince likes you in purple, so that's going to be Marie's color."  But it was Brandt collaborating with wardrobe and the rest of the crew that decided if Marie likes purple, she really likes purple and is going to go all out.  So I'm not sure the specific color is as important as what Marie's use says about that obsessive character.  (My guess: and the fact that Hank goes along with it says something about him!  At the very least he knows to pick his battles.)

 

Nice catch on the striped tents, KidPoker!  I vaguely remember a podcast saying that it took some doing to get the stripes because most tarps are solid color, but they're definitely working in the color scheme.  Maybe to reinforce that Walt (usually Green) is the (Yellow) Danger?


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#54

Heatrae

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Posted Aug 15, 2013 @ 8:40 PM

Episode 5-1, Badger's "script" for Star Trek. Chechov's beamed out blueberries. That was hilarious.


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#55

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Posted Aug 16, 2013 @ 5:02 PM

I guess I didn't remember from where the first half of this season left off. But when Hank goes back out to the party, Marie is wearing a bright yellow shirt under her purple sweater. Also, it appears as though Hank's shirt and Walt's shirt are also yellow hued, but  not as bright as Marie's shirt. Also, Skylar is in a bright blue shirt. I also noticed Hank wearing a dark jacket over his shirt when he leaves. In keeping with the darkness that has befallen him. I've always associated yellow with 'warning' but I guess we'll see how it goes. 

 

I loved that Holly was still in a hat.


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#56

birdythurs

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Posted Aug 19, 2013 @ 7:04 PM

I loved that Holly was still in a hat.

 

myname, The hat was adorable!  But they probably had a practical reason.  On Talking Bad Anna Gunn said that they used a "creepy baby" doll to stand in for Holly during the grabbing/shouting scenes so they wouldn't really scare the baby.  My guess is the hat was to make the shots of the doll less obvious.


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#57

Puds38

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Posted Aug 20, 2013 @ 12:28 AM

I think because there are several different "Holly's"  but no twins, it's easier to put a hat on the baby so we ca focus in on the fact that there are a few of them.


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#58

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Posted Aug 20, 2013 @ 3:38 AM

I thought the Louboutins on Lydia were a nice touch this episode...an indication again that she appears to be put together but also the red soles symbolizing the bloodshed left in her wake. 

 

I'll assume that was intentional... :)


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#59

Janizzz

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Posted Aug 20, 2013 @ 7:00 AM

Maybe the red soles symbolize the blood she is walking on, even later in that scene when walking between the dead bodies.

What about the RC car? It changed from yellow(S2, getting crushed) to red.


Edited by Janizzz, Aug 20, 2013 @ 7:01 AM.

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#60

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Posted Aug 20, 2013 @ 8:17 AM

I thought the RC car was yellow in the most recent episode.


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