Is AMC’s Breaking Bad The Best Show On Television That Everyone Needed A Late Pass For?
Thank God for Netflix. Otherwise I, like many others, may not have had the opportunity to catch up to the downright amazing show known as Breaking Bad. When the show premiered back in 2008, it had to compete with the likes of The Shield, Lost, Mad Men, Fringe, Entourage, Generation Kill, Dexter, True Blood, and the little cult classic known as The Wire. It was easy to see how a show about a teacher getting into the business of selling meth could get swept under the rug. There were simply too many shows to keep up with and a show starring the guy from Malcolm In the Middle wasn’t exactly doing much to pull our attention away from some of the other shows with premises that appeared to be much more intriguing.
By 2009, some people caught on to what Vince Gilligan and his crew were up to. Still buried underneath a stew of shows, Breaking Bad emerged as one of the bigger surprises as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul‘s performances as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were downright astounding. The build towards a darker theme was magnificient. Yet, I still wasn’t onboard. I was too busy catching up with Entourage and Big Love.
Two more seasons passed and the low grumble turned into a full blown howl as Breaking Bad was showered with accolades and a positive critical response. The brilliance of Gilligan‘s vehicle had become must-see television and it could no longer be denied.
Like I said earlier, thank God for Netflix.
After I finally settled in to watch the show, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Plans to watch one episode at 9pm turned into a marathon that didn’t end until 5am — and only because I had work to do at 8am. The magnificent narrative was punctuated by wonderful acting (Giancarlo Esposito‘s Gus Fring is arguably one of the greatest and most intriguing villians since Stringer Bell) and set pieces that were as artistically beautiful as they were visually captivating. I flew through four seasons in less than two weeks and was finally able to join the discussions had across the web as the show entered it’s fifth and final season.
I’m assuming that there are still many that haven’t caught up to the show so I won’t give up specific plot details, but if you are looking for a show that masterfully tells a story with an arc that has seeds planted from the pilot to the end, this is it. With the first half of the 5th season wrapping up this past weekend, we’ve seen everything come full circle. A show that remembers its own origins and pays attention to the unique details captured in earlier seasons is rare. For a crew of actors to be more than static characters that play pretty much the same person from episode one to the show’s end is even more of a rarity. But that’s what makes Breaking Bad brilliant. It truly is the “how did we get here” show of television that details each and every step that Walter White takes in order to do as the show’s title suggests. However, the brilliance of the show is that we see the personality traits of all the stars right from the beginning.
With a beaufiful mid-season finale that can only be faulted for making us wait a year to see how this story concludes, it’s hard to dispute that “Breaking Bad” isn’t one of the finest shows on television in the past decade. Don’t get me wrong, there are others out there that can challenge AMC’s excellent series (The Wire immediately comes to mind), but some great shows stumbled to their conclusion (The Sopranos), others overstayed their welcome (Weeds) and some met their demise far too early to really be appreciated (thanks for being too damn smart Arrested Development).
Breaking Bad is must see television. There’s no better way to put it. And if you haven’t watched it, subscribe to Netflix ASAP.
You can thank me later.