Among the most-prominent alumni of Zappa's Utility Muffin Research Kitchen (UMRK) studios were Warren Cuccurullo, and Dale and Terry Bozzio, who formed the 1980's New-Wave band, "Missing Persons." Among their most-popular songs was "Walking in LA," which satirically notes how few people walk anywhere in sprawling Los Angeles, and more-importantly, that "only a nobody walks in LA."
The 1993 film "Falling Down," starring Michael Douglas, is virtually the prototype of "Breaking Bad." The film follows a nobody named Bill Foster (the proto Walter White) on a walk across central Los Angeles. Many "Breaking Bad" themes are directly-anticipated: the same gallows humor, Golden-Age decay, Latino hoodlums, complaints about wretched consumer service, obsession with family, a neo-Nazi, and interactions with the police. In addition, many visual elements are anticipated too: a pesky fly, Art Deco architecture, playground equipment, hanging lamps, and Whammyburger as the proto Los Pollos Hermanos. And the music is very similar too.
Vince Gilligan took a lot of the elements of "Falling Down" and weaponized them for "Breaking Bad."
In some ways, "Breaking Bad" is Frank Zappa's direct descendant.
Scenes From "Falling Down" (1993)
Hanging ceiling lamps are shaped as icosahedra with tetrahedral symmetry, a Platonic solid representing water. Platonic solids represent a premature "Theory of Everything" which modern physics is still working on.
"Breaking Bad" objects to positivism. So does "Falling Down." The hanging ceiling lamps, for example, are icosahedra with tetrahedral symmetry, a Platonic solid representing water. Platonic solids are a premature "Theory of Everything" - alluring but misleading - as are orders of fries at Whammyburger, or Gus Fring's spices at Los Pollos Hermanos.