Breaking Bad

Bill C’s Review

I know – this isn’t a movie, it’s a TV show. I wanted to write about it anyway. For the last couple of months I’ve been watching seasons 1-4. I’m halfway through season 4 and season 5 begins this Sunday.

Breaking Bad is phenomenal television for those who like crime/drama and don’t mind a little language/violence. Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White, aka Heisenberg, an underachieving chemist who is teaching high school chemistry. After being diagnosed with cancer, Walter decides to cook meth to pay his upcoming medical bills and to leave a nest egg for his family when he is gone. Walter is the Julia Child of meth cooks. The show follows the metamorphosis of Walter as he goes from mild-mannered teacher/family man to ruthless/evil member of the drug trade. While his professed goal is to take care of his family, his life spirals out of control, his family life deteriorates, and his life is put at risk.  Despite his transformation to evil somehow you still root for him!

The show is sometimes funny, often dark, and always surprising. I love the pre-opening credit sequence which can be a teaser for something later in the episode or later in the season, or a commercial for one of the character’s businesses, or a music video about Heisenberg. Always tremendously original and, even if you can guess what is coming, you’ll always be surprised by how they do it. The show also does a great job of showing the backstories of some of the other characters in various episodes.

The cast is great. Bryan Cranston is awesome as Walter (previously from Malcolm in the Middle) and has won several Emmys. Aaron Paul plays Jesse, his former student and partner in crime, Jesse. Dean Norris is Walter’s brother-in-law and member of the Drug Enforcement Agency who also is hunting for Walter’s alter ego Heisenberg. Comic Bob Odenkirk is perfect as the sleazy lawyer. Giancarlo Esposito is also great in his understated performance as the drug kingpin. It’s amazing what he does with just his eyes…he is pure evil. It’s hard to believe that in 1982 he had a recurring role on Sesame Street! Other cast members are equally talented.

This is a show you should watch from the beginning of season 1 as you need to see the transformation of the characters to truly appreciate it.  .


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