Thursday, June 19, 2014

TV Series of the Month – Breaking Bad

This Month’s TV Series: Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Walter White is a chemistry genius who through a series of circumstances has found himself a high school teacher while his former business partners have gone on to great wealth; and to make matters worse he has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Seeing only a bleak future for his family, Walter decides to recruit a former student (Jesse Pinkman) with the intention of producing and selling his own crystalized methamphetamine. What could go wrong?

Creator Vince Gilligan previously was a writer on The X-Files before coming to AMC with an idea for a new series. Initially, the show was given a small episode order and a low budget, but with each season the buzz and popularity grew. The series ended with five seasons, considered by many as one of television’s finest shows (season five in particular is one of the most brilliant and thrilling pieces of TV I have ever seen). While the series featured a lot of good work from many collaborators, director Rian Johnson stands out as possibly its best (directing a few of the most iconic and wonderful episodes – most notably Ozymandias).

The series also features a great cast led by Bryan Cranston (who is absolutely superb as Walter White, creating one of television’s most interesting antiheroes) and Aaron Paul. Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Giancarlo Esposito are all excellent in support.

Breaking Bad is a must-see for fans of crime drama televisions series, as it is one of the most compelling both in terms of the fantastic character work done and the overall narrative. As Walter gets pulled further and further into a life of crime, he sees his morals ever give way to his unruly ego and hunger for power. Along with Mad Men, the series put AMC on the map as cable television’s leader in producing quality dramas (a mantel usually held by HBO, and is now again). Breaking Bad started out with a meager production budget and low viewership, but by the end of its run it was one of TV’s most popular and talked about series. It became event programing. Again, if you like crime dramas, this is a series you must invest in.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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