I cannot say that I watch many television show. Those that I do watch are either in DVD form or on Netflix. But for all my limitations involving what is hot on the idiot box, I found Breaking Bad to be highly enjoyable. The transition of a high school chemistry teacher into a narcotics king pin was, in all honesty, among the most enjoyable epidotic experiences in recent memory.
Walter White is our previously mentioned high school chemistry teacher. He is overqualified (he has won a Nobel Prize) yet is content to teach teenagers. He has a lovely home life with an adoring life and a disabled son, but he doesn’t regret any of it. Well, that is, until he discovers he has cancer… then things go down the drain. Oh yeah, he is also bored.
See, the thing about treating cancer in any barbaric society is that it is expensive as fuck. Obviously beyond the range of a secondary education teacher. So Walter must find “alternative” means of paying for his treatment. Enter: Jessie Pinkman, a former slacker student of Walter’s and petty drug dealer extraordinaire. Together they find one another a valuable resource in racking up the dough: Jessie provides the muscle and experience while Walter the product- meth.
Yup, they “cook” and sell in order to fund their respective enterprises- Chemo for Walter and… life, I guess, for Jessie. Problem is that selling drugs has its downsides, like, competitors, finding a market for your product, and simply staying alive. Not all it’s cracked up to be. So needless to say the show has its moments of twist, surprise, and simple, “oh my god, I can’t believe that just happened!” moments.
Few mistakes are made. Indeed, the only real problems with the show are the same which plague every show (coincidences, odd developments, etc). Most of the show is aptly directed: the Mise-en-scene is powerful, the music appropriately handled for each situation (the opening of each episode nails down the tone of the narrative-junction), and the acting top notch. The narrative and story is executed with skill; abounding with clever transitions and cliff hangers, any aficionado of “narratology” will enjoy dissecting the mode in which the plot revels itself.
Each season has its own taste. The characters develop surprisingly well and the ending, while potentially less powerfully than it could have been, was a superbly fitting ending in its own right. Are there mishaps? Of course. Every show has its odd moments and mistakes. Yet Breaking Bad has something unique going for it- realism adapted to grim fiction, something which you do not see every day.