The Financialization of Domestic Space in Arrested Development and Breaking Bad

  • Julia Leyda


Julia Leyda focuses on the sitcom Arrested Development and the ground-breaking drama Breaking Bad. Both shows portray the moral and ethical laxity—in the business world and in US-American society and the family—that would later be invoked as the fulcrum of popular understanding of the economic crisis. However, both also depict the commonplace neoliberal appeals to self-improvement and individual responsibility that provided justification for the risky financial behavior that fueled the housing boom and ultimately brought down the economy. Leyda examines the ways in which the material and emotional spaces of the home were opened up to public scrutiny during the early years of the millennium, revealing the ways in which financialization had begun to permeate televised domestic spaces in the USA.


Housing Market Great Recession Personal Brand Housing Bubble Model Home 
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This chapter originated as a conference presentation entitled “‘It’s Not a Trick, Michael!’: Complexity, the Housing Bubble, and Arrested Development,” delivered on May 23, 2013, at the Nordic Association for American Studies Conference, held at Karlstad University, Sweden. The Breaking Bad section draws on the arguments developed in a series of conference presentations in June 2013 (in Erlangen, Germany; Leicester, England; and Freiburg, Germany) on Breaking Bad, which has been expanded and revised into an article entitled “Breaking Bad: A Recessionary Western” (see below). I am grateful for brainstorming and manuscript comments from Joshua Dale, Bo Ekelund, Sarah Goodrum, Richard Martin, David Maynard, Christopher Shore, and Marie Thorsten. Special thanks are also due to Sieglinde Lemke and Wibke Schniedermann for their thorough and insightful editorial suggestions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Leyda
    • 1
  1. 1.Free University BerlinBerlinGermany

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