The Must-Watch 71-Second 'Breaking Bad' / VMA / Miley Cyrus Mash-Up

Wherein TV, Circa 2013, Is Perfectly Encapsulated

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Charles Dickens was so totally right about TV circa 2013.* If you happened to watch TV Sunday night, you may know what I'm talking about. Yet another brilliant "Breaking Bad" episode -- part of its series-finale countdown -- was airing at the same time the telecast of MTV's Video Music Awards was on.

Last night a clever bastard named Sam Barnett -- a cinematography student at Ireland's Ballyfermot College of Further Education -- combined a key scene from Sunday's "Breaking Bad" (you can watch it in this context without it spoiling much) with Miley Cyrus' instantly notorious spastic-stripper-dance star-turn (with a foam finger and Robin Thicke as props) from the VMAs and posted it to YouTube. The "Breaking Bad" moment shows DEA Agent Hank Schrader and his wife Marie reacting to a short video they've just been given. The emotions that flicker across their faces -- disbelief, astonishment, confusion, horror, revulsion, etc. -- sync up perfectly with the collective cultural response to Miley's "performance." And with that, TV right now is perfectly encapsulated.

* "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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