David Byrne’s American Utopia On Broadway

Is this the white “Homecoming”?

Yes, Beyonce stunned Coachella with a huge production featuring the ethos and activities of historically black colleges.

David Byrne stuns Broadway with a big production featuring the ethos of the Caucasian art school experience of the last century.

Now the Byrne story is not new, he’s been trooping this show around the world for over a year now, hell, he even did it at Coachella.

Now Coachella is the dominant festival in the U.S., and it leads the summer festival circuit but…it has now switched generations, it has gone pop/hip-hop (of course with EDM, a constant, in the Sahara tent). The days of reuniting old rock bands that even most baby boomers don’t care about are gone. Now it’s all today, every day.

But David Byrne is positively yesterday. I remember going to KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in 1992 and the girls in front of me wondering who this guy was on stage.

But Byrne kept pontificating and making music and art instead of becoming defeated and stopping, or going on tour as an oldies act. He’s kinda like Robert Plant, but with a whole lot less attention. Yes, Byrne’s a critic’s darling, the “New York Times” and other sophisticated outlets keep featuring his words and reviews of his art, but it’s been for an ever-dwindling audience until this.

While his contemporaries are going on the road in a final dash for cash, Byrne has reinvented what once was and is adding in new flavor to boot. Furthermore, unlike the music of yore, like the music today, the show is an experience, you cannot get it on wax, not even a streaming service, you have to be there!

But, for some reason they did not include Yondr sleeves at previous shows, so you can see what it’s actually like.

Then again, Byrne isn’t Springsteen. Byrne is cold whereas Springsteen is hot. Springsteen wants to shake your hand and get in your blood whereas Byrne wants to keep you at a distance, marveling. You could talk about your life if you met Bruce, about Asbury Park, guitars and cars, if you met David…you’d probably keep your distance, you appreciate his art, but you’re not sure you’ve got anything in common.

Now Beyonce batted you over the head to convince you. She was about domination.

Byrne believes if he just does his act, you’ll come closer, you’ll have to see it, like a moth comes to a flame. It’s like Byrne is inside a snow globe, and Beyonce is working out with you at the gym. They’re both performances from their world, but they’re very different.

Now if you go to Byrne’s site and click to buy tickets, you’ll be stunned that there seem to be ones available for nearly every show:

David Byrne’s American Utopia – Hudson Theatre

Then you click through and you see there are singles, not two together. Or just seats available here and there. This show is a success (although it’s hard to make money on Broadway). Furthermore, tickets are reasonably priced, at least by Broadway standards. Sure, you can go on Saturday night and pay $329 to be up close and personal, but after the first ten rows the tickets on the side are all under $200, and to sit that close at the show of a baby boomer superstar in a typical venue, you’d probably pay even more.

But still, most people don’t know.

Beyonce is one of the biggest stars in the world, she gets blanket coverage in all media. But David Byrne? It’s slow, baby boomer word of mouth. Furthermore, people have to overcome their bias, believing they’ve seen it all before.

But they haven’t. “American Utopia” is a great leap forward, kinda like “Stop Making Sense.”

And this could be the only way to sell new music. If you’re not in the Spotify Top 50, it’s almost like you don’t exist at all. People are overwhelmed, they won’t even find you even if they’re interested. But chances are they’re not, interested in your new music, that is.

So you take it on the road, to where people can see it.

Word of mouth is gonna be incredible. As the shows play, the story will get bigger and bigger. This is the opposite of dropping it, hoovering up cash and moving on. This is about long term. Everything’s about long term these days, even “new” stuff, how long did it take Lizzo to break?

But what is most fascinating about the Byrne show is the conception, as in how did he come up with this?

That’s the essence of art. People think it’s all about execution, but that is wrong. The Ramones were a concept, that pushed music in a whole new direction. Even better is the abstract impressionist painters, you say you could do that, but you didn’t and couldn’t come up with it!

Byrne’s visual art background seeded this show. He’s demonstrating his roots, where he comes from.

And that’s just as important as where Beyonce comes from.

Then again, if you’re white…

Oh, don’t get me wrong, but with the self-cancellation of whites, with everybody talking about “white privilege,” many don’t want to acknowledge the breakthroughs of those not of color.

But this is one.

“I Zimbra”

“Burning Down The House”

Olive Again

Olive, Again: A Novel

What if you’re just not that important?

A tear literally came to my eye as I finished this book. Which completes the story of Olive Kitteridge, the protagonist of Elizabeth Strout’s book of that name back in 2008. Yes, they made a mini-series of that book back on HBO five years ago, but Frances McDormand, as great an actress as she is, could never be Olive Kitteridge, who is large and imposing and…

A creation of your mind.

You read these books and you can see them. Not that I have a fully-developed picture of Olive. She’s tall and she’s large, but I’m not sure of her shape, she’s imposing, but she’s not beautiful, like most people in the world, she’s just living her existence, in small town Maine.

I’ve lived in small towns, I never want to do so again, because everybody knows your name and they develop a notion of who you are which is nearly impossible to change. And you keep bumping into them, saying hi to people you haven’t talked to in eons, or avoiding their gaze. That’s what I love about the city, the anonymity. Furthermore, no one in Los Angeles cares who you are because there are real stars all around.

But everybody is hustling to make it in the City of Angels, they’re trying to become famous.

But this didn’t used to be the case elsewhere.

But now, with the internet, with social media, seemingly everybody wants to become known, and hopefully rich. There was this story in the “Times” about school TikTok clubs. Yup, trying to go viral. The platforms may change, but everybody today wants to reach beyond their circle.

Of course there are oldsters who are left out, who tell you they use a flip-phone and don’t go on social media, but most boomers, and they are the old people these days, have a Facebook account, Instagram too, they want to know what their peers are up to, and they want to post the highlights of their lives to burnish their image and make other people jealous. Every picture tells a story, but not necessarily the true one. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, you never know what is truly going on in someone else’s relationship.

“Olive Again” is a set of linked short stories. The only thread is Olive herself. But, at the end, even characters from Strout’s first book appear, but that’s just the cherry on top as opposed to the essence.

We get a picture of lives in Maine. Have you been there? I’m not talking Portland, but beyond. The towns get ever smaller and smaller. And the weather gets worse and worse. And you either stay or you leave. Either you like the nip in the air or you can’t wait to get away from it. Yes, there is something to being hearty, to enduring the elements, it makes you feel alive! I don’t get cold weather in the city, with its concrete canyons, but in the hinterlands? A brisk winter morning, with the sun shining, it can only make you smile, it invigorates you. As does a day with precipitation. When a blizzard pulls a shade over visibility, when flurries set your mind a-thinking. When rain makes you feel warm and cozy inside.

Olive stayed in Maine. Her son moved to New York City, but she held fast.

But there are others who go from the city to the country, usually retirees, they paid their dues and now they want a slower lifestyle, they want to retreat from the hustle and bustle.

Like Jack Kennison.

At some point you become over-the-hill. Sure, you can get plastic surgery and try to fool yourself, as Lowell George sang, but most people know the score, that you just can’t let go. But letting go is freeing. That’s another point in this book, a woman reaches a certain age and she goes unseen, which is also freeing, the catcalls are history, yet so are the favors. And since Olive’s scribe is a woman, Elizabeth Strout, she can utter truisms, depict women’s thoughts in a way men no longer can, for fear of backlash, for fear of being me-tooed. Strout talks about one women’s enormous breasts. A waitress’s huge behind. This is how women think. As much as men scrutinize women’s bodies, women do so even more. With men it’s a pecking order of money, with women it’s a pecking order of looks. Women are constantly comparing themselves to each other.

Jack taught at Harvard. But he was blown out in a sexual harassment case and he’s gotten fat, with a huge belly, and his wife has died and he’s no longer a looker. What happens when you no longer count? Where does that leave you in the world?

Pining for Olive Kitteridge.

Elizabeth Strout’s depiction of Jack is genius. His self-knowledge, his attitude. We’re all prickly about something, we’re all getting away from something, we’re all wondering where we fit in this world, and almost all of this goes unexpressed, it’s in our heads, and it’s in this book. That’s the glory of fiction, getting inside one’s brain, their thoughts, hopes and failures. Kinda like Elton John says what attracts him to music is melancholy. Yup, he said that in yesterday’s “New York Times” Book Review. I resonated. Those are the songs that get me most, that touch my soul, that’s why I constantly play Reg’s “Sixty Years On” and “The King Must Die.” As well as “Where To Now St. Peter?” and so many more. Sure, there’s fulfillment in the upbeat, but it’s these melancholy tunes that touch our soul.

And these melancholy books that reach us too.

Oh, you can read self-help, bios… All the successful write them, as if you could follow in their footsteps, as if the only thing lacking in your quest for success is a blueprint from someone who’s been there. But as much as we are alike, we are even more different. Your life is your own, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself. The key is to not be burdened by the viewpoints of others, worrying about what they’ll say, how they’ll tell you to be. Which is why when your parents die the silver lining is the freedom from judgment, now you can do it your way, I hope. Not that you can completely unburden yourself from the past, as the book says, “The things that happen in childhood do not go away.” Unfortunately that is true. Our whole lives are tainted by our upbringing.

And characters in the book say they’ve been bad parents. That their kids are bad children. Reach a certain age and you can own the truth, even speak it.

And not everybody came from a happy home. And you lose your job and then your identity, never mind your income. And those who make it might be unhappy. That’s the thing about life, at best you can know your own.

Not that the book is full of aphorisms, the truth is in the characters’ lives.

But I loved when Jack accuses Olive of being a snob. He’s old and wants to fly first class. Olive can’t do that, she sees it as a waste of money, she judges anyone who ponies up the exorbitant fee. And then Jack says:

“You think being a reverse snob is not being a snob?”

Eureka! People are so proud of being poor. As if it covers up for lack of motivation, as if it proves to those who’ve succeeded that they’re flawed.

I’m not talking about billionaires here. But Olive struggles in coach, on the way back she flies up front and realizes how wonderful it is.

Kinda like Olive chastising Jack for eating from the minibar.

My father died and my mother could finally make a phone call from her hotel room, my dad always went downstairs and used the pay phone.

Olive is not really likable, and that’s one of the things that makes the book so great. We constantly hear in art that there’s no character people can relate to. Well, can you relate to everybody, anybody, in real life? Sometimes everybody’s a villain, everybody’s a loser. And the truth is, everybody makes mistakes, does bad things, they may not own them, but they do them.

And as you get older, after you’ve earned your money and raised your kids, then what? Do you get along with your spouse? Did you have an affair? What do you tell and not?

And the reason all these people interact is because they live in the same small town, or its environs. That’s one thing you do lack in the city. Move away, and nobody cares, your absence is not noted, but in a small town…

Despite Strout’s rep, despite the HBO show, you cannot feel “Olive Again” in society yet. Let’s put it this way, “Olive Again” has 74 reviews on Amazon, its predecessor, “Olive Kitteridge,” has 1,940. The newspapers come and go, the hype is here then gone, what remains? Bob Iger’s book has been featured everywhere, but not “Olive Again.” Oh, the ink is coming, but the point is a book permeates society slowly, it gains steam, it becomes a point of discussion.

And most men are left out. They’re too macho to read fiction. It’s got to be bios and business, all the time. But the truth is you learn more from fiction, from real people. Think how to sell to the people in Crosby, Maine, as opposed to Iger and Dalio and the rest telling you how to do it.

So, as time goes by, you’re going to hear more and more about “Olive Again,” the train has just left the station. You can get on now and be ahead of the curve.

But that’s not really what it’s about.

Reading “Olive Again” is a singular experience. It’s just about you and the book. It’s about how you feel while you’re reading it. And the story. If you’re from the Iowa school, style trumps plot, and that’s topsy-turvy. You don’t have to wade through a slew of description, fancy words, to get “Olive Again,” the story keeps flowing, the time keeps passing.

Like life.

Music Is Like Television

And the Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100 are like network.

Actually, we might have already experience the breakthrough, with “Baby Shark,” which was so successful it’s now on tour. Yup, if you think about this song and the hit parade, the only one that will survive fifty years from now is “Baby Shark.” Do you think they’re going to be playing all the hits with the 808? The bland pop songs, the evanescent Ariana Grande numbers, the hip-hop cuts with their diss tracks, with everybody trying to appear down and dirtier than their contemporaries, with no melody extant?

This is where we have arrived.

The modern music business began with the Beatles, back in ’64 in the U.S. Then we had the experimental free-format FM, then the codification of FM into AOR, then MTV and then the internet.

So, before the Beatles, you were either on the radio or you weren’t, you were known or you weren’t, if you happened to have a hit, just one, you could tour for the rest of your life on it, albeit in smaller and smaller venues. You had broken through. You’d gotten a record deal. This was long before DIY, when you had to record in a studio and distribution was locked up, never mind radio airplay.

The scene expanded with free-format, i.e. FM underground radio. Anything could be played, if it was perceived by the deejay and audience to be cool. Could even be classical.

Then the scene was tightened up by Lee Abrams. So we had two scenes, FM and AM. The latter was forgettable ditties, the former was a relatively wide breadth of rockers, but not as wide as it had been in the free-format era.

As for MTV… It blasted acts to the moon. Forget that they fell back to earth almost as quickly. If you were on MTV, you were known by everybody all over the world. And with the advent of the CD, more money than ever was rained down on labels and artists, this was a golden age, before piracy, before the techies and their internet broke big.

Then came Napster.

And everybody who had traction previously bitched about piracy and payouts, even though they were charging ever more money for their concert tickets.

Then hip-hop decided to give it away, with their mixtapes and Soundcloud and now we’re in the present. With the aforementioned Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100.

The industry, the media, they still believe it’s the MTV era, that there’s a thin layer of hits we all adore, that it’s a walled garden that they control.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

So in the old days, there were only three networks. And then ultimately Fox became the fourth. Shows had insane ratings. Twenty to thirty million people could watch a show in prime time. Sixty or seventy million could tune in for a finale.

And sure, in the seventies we got HBO, but that was mostly movies and comedy specials, until the nineties.

Then HBO and Showtime started original programming. You remember “Dream On,” don’t you? How about “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” where Tom Petty was Garry’s neighbor? No? Well, maybe you didn’t have HBO, never mind Showtime, but then came “The Sopranos.”

Anybody who watched Tony and the family knew this was better than anything else, possibly ever, on television. Suddenly, people were talking about the show, the noise got louder, and soon Sunday night was for HBO.

Network show ratings went down. (Sure, they went down with the advent of basic cable, but a lot of that was pure dreck.)

Then Netflix flipped the switch to streaming and…

You had options.

But everybody didn’t watch “House of Cards,” everybody didn’t watch “Orange Is The New Black.” Amazon Prime won a Golden Globe for “Mozart in the Jungle” and I doubt most of you have even seen it.

It became a news story. How many scripted shows there were on TV. 300! 400!

Meanwhile, network ratings kept on going down.

“The Sopranos” was pitched to network, it was just too dangerous and too different.

Don’t bother pitching anything other than hip-hop and pop to the major labels, they’re just like the aforementioned networks. But the networks ultimately purchased the cable channels. If they were smart, and they’re not, the major labels would get all acts under their tent. But after Napster, when not a single soul at the Big Three has an ownership interest, everybody’s playing it safe. Can you say INNOVATOR’S DILEMMA?

So with little cash in recordings, acts took to the road. Hip-hop was more of a recorded medium, with pop if you don’t have hits you can’t even tour, but every other genre…

Suddenly, we have acts selling tickets all over the country, all over the world, who sound nothing like the Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100. We’re almost at the tipping point. Many listeners don’t like the “hits.” There’s even a jam band-based festival, Electric Forest, and pure electronic festivals, and we’ve got Americana and all sorts of genres burbling. In most of them you cannot get rich, but you can make a living. It’s all pre-Beatles, when you were either a star or you were a musician. If you’re not on the Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100 you’re first and foremost a musician, and wear this badge proudly, it is not about corporate gigs and clothing lines, you’re only selling your tunes, with credibility.

Now Billie Eilish is a harbinger of things to come, but she’s not quite “The Sopranos.” Her music sounds different from the Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100, but it’s something the younger generation, very younger, is eating up, she has not been anointed by everybody, Eilish is not a quantum leap forward. But what happens when an act comes along that is?

Yup, in the future, not the very near future, but within five years, an act is gonna come along that sounds nothing like the Spotify Top 50/”Billboard” Hot 100 and yet will be as big as anything on those charts. That’s what “The Sopranos” was. And “Stranger Things.” And “Game of Thrones.” Network would make none of them, wouldn’t spend the money, isn’t interested because the perception is there is not a wide enough audience for them. Meanwhile, shows like this boosted us into a golden age of television, to the point that only cartoon heroes triumph in movies, when TV is the king of all media.

And the spoils fall down to everybody. Now there is a place to watch documentaries, you don’t have to go to theatres, people eat docs up.

And just like the album killed the single in the sixties, the all at once dump has killed the weekly drip paradigm. That’s how we want it, all at once so we can dig down deep. The oldsters still think they’re the gatekeepers, they’re concerned about water cooler moments. But the truth is when you binge a show you become passionate about it, tell everybody about it, you become an evangelist, you feel like you’re the only person watching this show, you want to spread the word!

And we all want to spread the word about non-hip-hop/pop acts. This isn’t about denigration of these genres, even though I did so above, but the truth is “hits” reach fewer people than ever before. Just ask someone to sing two songs off of any album, other than hard core fans, most people cannot.

Now the only people aiding this process are agents and promoters. They’re interested in what sells tickets, they’ll glom on to anything. They broke Maggie Rogers, so many other acts…Rogers is playing Radio City Music Hall! But that’s about as big as these non-“hit” acts get. They play theatres.

But they’re gonna get bigger.

It’s gonna be one act at first. And it’s probably not gonna be brand new, and it’s probably not going to be made up of people under twenty, it will have paid its dues, have its sound and vision honed. And then word will spread slowly and then burst into a supernova.

This is positively guaranteed to happen.

Never in the modern era have hit playlists been so narrow, so one-dimensional. Never have hits spoken to fewer people. The internet broadened distribution yet hit music got narrower? No! It’s just that hit music is still the largest audience, the biggest slice of an ever-growing pie. Kinda like the networks. They got the most eyeballs as their audience was shrinking.

Distribution has been figured out, music is miles ahead of every other artistic medium. Now it’s about content.

And musical content can come straight from the gut, it can embody humanity better than almost anything. I’m not saying you can’t do this with twenty writers, but chances are you won’t. With all those writers you’re trying to polish a hit, you’re playing by the rules. In your basement, quite possibly alone, the rules don’t apply.

And it’s when the rules don’t apply that we become intrigued.

This is why YouTube influencers are so successful, it’s straight from their heart to yours.

But most of those “influencers” are in it for the money. They chart statistics. Statistics come last, they’re evidence of success. You can have fewer than fifty million streams on Spotify and be very successful on the road. The two don’t necessarily align, not right now.

But they will.

We’re looking for acts that break the rules, that don’t hew too them.

Right now it’s all about me-too. (As in just like you, not sexual harassment.)

But the new hit acts will be so outside, so exotic, so great, that we’ll be running to pay attention, we’ll tell everybody to listen.

Because like “The Sopranos,” they’ll be nothing like what came before, that which is offered by the usual suspects. They’ll be creative and dangerous and truth-telling.

It’s coming.

El Camino

It wasn’t great, but at least you find out what happens to Jesse Pinkman.

This is what happens when you give someone too much money. Not Jesse, but Vince Gilligan. What was notable about “Breaking Bad” was how fast and flat it was shot, demonstrating the capital constraints of basic cable.

And “Breaking Bad” did not really flourish until it was on Netflix, deep into the show’s run. Yes, it did look a bit better thereafter, but still…

“El Camino” is gorgeous. And the camera angles can be startling. With all that cash, Gilligan could deliver what he could not before, a great look, the only thing being the story, the execution of the plot, was not up to the visuals.

Now one thing that was great is there was no catching up and no explaining. No trailer before illustrating what happened previously and no amplification of references. You were supposed to know everything, who the people were, how they figured in, the plot…

This is so different from movies. Most movies are only seen once, it’s all got to be explained. But when something can be repeated and analyzed on the tube which is no longer that, but a flat screen of LED or OLED or…you’re immersed in the medium, in the story.

You’re shocked when Badger and Skinny Pete reappear. You haven’t thought of them for a long time and they look older. But they’re still the same doofuses. And Skinny Pete’s reverence of Jesse is notable, we’ve all got our heroes, yet most people don’t know they serve that role for others.

Pinkman/Aaron Paul also looks older, he now looks mature as opposed to immature, but you adjust.

Which leaves us with the plot.

People were looking forward to “El Camino.” But the reviews were not spectacular, at least not in the mainstream media, and for those of us whose time is as valuable as our money, we still pay attention to these things. I watch nothing without checking Rotten Tomatoes first.

But Rotten Tomatoes gives “El Camino” pretty good ratings.

You see the first hour is slow. And you can’t figure out exactly where it’s going.

But when you do, after Pinkman visits Robert Forster, which is so weird, since he just died, the movie picks up, you’re engaged, how is it going to play out?

Now I’ve got a free subscription to Apple TV+ because I got an iPhone 11 Pro Max (isn’t Promax an energy bar?) You don’t have to buy one, unless you’re still stuck in buttonland, as in an iPhone 7 or 8, sure, the processor is faster than on last year’s phone, and sure the camera is superior, but it’s hard to sense the speed and I haven’t taken a photo since I got it. But I signed up for the new phone every year program, now that the discounts are done. I mean what device do I use more than my iPhone? It’s worth it to have a new one, at least to me! And, I bought the Apple coverage for breakage and loss, so I’ve got peace of mind. I know, I know, it’s a bad deal economically, but I don’t want to have to worry about my phone.

So, Apple TV+ is gonna have a large number of subscribers because everybody who gets a new Apple product will get a year’s free subscription.

As for HBO and Disney’s offerings…

The truth is Nickelodeon has faded, there are so many options for children’s entertainment these days. So, parents don’t have to rush to sign up for Disney Plus, even though it’s so damn cheap. The problem is getting people to sign up to begin with…keeping them engaged, as in paying monthly, is much less difficult.

As for HBO Max… $14.99 is actually more than Netflix, at least for most subscribers. So the channel will be hit dependent. As for decades of previous HBO product…that’s been available for years, it’s not such a draw.

My point is there’s a first mover advantage. It’s kind of like Spotify and Apple Music. People know and trust Apple, but Spotify broke ground first, and although Apple Music’s subscriber number is about the same as Spotify’s in the U.S., it lags greatly in the rest of the world, and will probably never catch up.

Although Spotify and Apple Music feature essentially the same product, which is not the case with these streaming television services.

So, I expect Disney Plus and HBO Max to have millions of subscribers instantly, but it will be a long hard slog to reach Netflix’s numbers, which I don’t think they’ll ever reach, only Disney Plus has a chance, not only because of the price but those damn Marvel movies, which the brain dead watch over and over again.

But streaming television is not about high concept popcorn flicks. Streaming television is about story, it’s about depth.

The world is hooked on story. He or she who can tell a tale well is the winner.

So you’ve got to give Vince Gilligan credit. He’s a great storyteller. But “El Camino” had too much weighing on it, if it were shot quickly on the cheap with less aforethought it would have been better.

Then again, the best part is when Pinkman has breakfast with Heisenberg, proving that “Breaking Bad”‘s success was based on Bryan Cranston and his interaction with Aaron Paul.

So I’ll watch the next “Breaking Bad” movie, if there is one, I know these characters, I’m invested in them.

And what I like most about Vince Gilligan is he respects his viewers. You don’t find this in studio movies, nor on network TV, not even on the channels like HBO and Showtime which dribble their series out, making you wait. Talk about getting blue balls…

We live in an on demand culture, we want it all and we want it now. If you try to artificially prevent this, the joke is on you. People are not gonna buy CDs after they’ve encountered streaming. Of course some will, but most people are addicted to the new paradigm.

And the great thing is if you touch someone, all they want is more. This is what purveyors don’t understand, they’re all caught up in marketing, second-guessing the viewer. Deliver something spectacular, especially on streaming television, and people will find it and spread the word about it, because almost everybody has a subscription, everybody’s searching for stuff to watch and when they have a EUREKA! viewing experience they want to tell everyone about it.

Now a great show does not let your mind wander. And mine did a bit during the first hour or so of “El Camino,” but the concepts are there to ingest and contemplate. I haven’t thrown my popcorn in the trash and forgotten about it. Actually, now that I know what happens, I almost want to watch “El Camino” again, to soak up the other elements.

As for the card to Brock Cantillo…

Gilligan knew viewers would freeze the frame, this is not a movie theatre where you miss something, where the story has to be up front and center. “El Camino” is deep. There’s tons of explanation online, like “Esquire”‘s article delineating all the “Easter Eggs”:

A Comprehensive Guide To Every Breaking Bad Easter Egg in El Camino

It doesn’t really matter what I have to say about “El Camino,” if you watched “Breaking Bad” you must see it, and will.

But to tell you the truth, I’d be more interested in a movie about “The Americans.”