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|Index||220 reviews in total|
28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Breaking Bad is the best television show, 17 May 2010
Author: napierslogs from Ontario, Canada
"Breaking Bad" is the best television show. Ever.
We start out with one main character, Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), who is struggling to make ends meet working both as a high school chemistry teacher and part time at a car wash. Then he gets diagnosed with cancer. Then he breaks bad.
Teaming up with an unlikely sidekick, Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul), who is the immature "yo, bitch"-spouting, high-school-screw-up small-time drug dealer, Walt and Jesse both put their skills towards the drug world to try to make good by their families.
This show has been masterfully put together with layer upon layer of insight into some of the most interesting characters ever realized in the history of television. We have some very dark characters, and a lot of grey characters, and it all adds up to brilliant dialogue and plot lines.
The creator, writers, directors and actors have paid attention to every single detail, putting thought into every nuance in every character in every scene. Because of this attention to detail there is something for everyone in this show. Every thinking brain will immediately be attracted to the intelligence so evidently on display, that even if you're not a drug dealing chemist living in Albuquerque, you will find something in the characters that connects you to them and makes you hang on for dear life.
Get on your couch now and start watching "Breaking Bad" from the very beginning, and don't miss a single scene.
29 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Bryan Cranston at his best, 21 January 2008
Author: xianpu76 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bryan Cranston really came into his own on the set of Malcolm in the
Middle. He got all the nervous twitches, the neurotic spasms, and all
the growls of a middle class dad making his way through four boys. Now,
however, in this show; Breaking Bad, he throws that all away for
subtly. I mean, what else do you do after you've found out that...
well. Bryan Cranston is spot on as a middle class guy(yet again) who
desperately wants to help his son, wife, and unborn child out
financially. So, he devises a plan that only a man in his situation
can, and being a chemistry teacher needs no introduction into the how.
Very well acted show, very well picked cast, and was I the only one surprised at the method of 'removal' for the rival drug dealers? Seriously that came out of left field. But, hey, it works, and makes sense.
All in all, recommended show. Bryan Cranston really brings this cast together with his sense of hopelessness.
18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
This program is unique in a world of knock off's and remakes, 11 March 2009
Author: (email@example.com) from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The sign of a good actor is the ability to be completely believable in
the part they are playing.
Brian Cranston played the manic Hal in 'Malcolm in the Middle' a role that was likable but not outstanding by any means.
'Breaking Bad' is a revelation, it's like watching a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis, Brian Cranston is just brilliant as Walter White, he plays an over qualified chemistry teacher who discovers that he has cancer. This discovery completely changes his perspective on life, the realisation that his mediocre life could soon be over and he has little to show for it triggers a change in life that simply leads from one amazing drama to another.
Crystal meth is not something that should be taken on lightly in any drama, happily this is not the case here, and the program tackles these issues admirably. It shows the ups and downs of dealing, the unsavoury characters who Walter meats along his journey. What makes this show different is that it doesn't glamorise drugs; it does show what a human being is capable of put into various circumstances.
'Breaking Bad' is a very dark comedy; some of the light relief is give by Cranston and more especially from his co-star Aaron Paul who plays the small time drug dealer who Walter taught at school. Their relationship starts out as one of mutual benefit and over the first season blossoms to one of two people who know each other's secrets and then kinship.
This program as I said is a dark comedy, but don't let that fool you in any way, it is also very hard hitting, there are scenes of extreme violence which are not for those of a squeamish disposition. Then there are the complications of family life and all the realities of a cancer sufferer.
This program is unique in a world of knock off's and remakes; this is definitely NOT chewing gum for the brain and requires the viewer to pay attention.
Having watched the first season I was spellbound and couldn't wait to watch each episode to see where this drama would take us, I am happy to report having watched the first three episodes of the second season that this is no flash in the pan, the second season is starting out as good as the first season and long may it continue.
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
15 Hours of Art, 5 June 2009
Author: Rudi Mentär from Germany
I've never seen anything like this before. These so far two seasons
about a man, a father, a husband, a chemical-teacher who gets cancer
and start to try out as a drug dealer is a step-by-step-analysis of
which consequences this decision can have on your life, family and
friends. It's a emotionally roller-coaster ride without big gun
shoot-outs or explosions though it shows that many mean things are
getting to control your life.
This show doesn't fill every clichéd that is connected to a drug dealer story so it can reach it's sure audience. No! It tries to figure out (and of course it never can be reality, but it's trying to get as close as it can) how to deal with these chliches when they're suddenly entering and ruling your ordinary, normal, average life.
You cannot call this a movie, though you'd like to, because it's the only thing that you can relate to that ever reached such quality. And this is why I don't want to devalue Breaking Bad just to a TV- Series that can be seen randomly on TV. Again: No! It's 15 Hours of high quality. It's 15 Hours of the best thing made out of picture and sound ever made. It's 15 Hours of Art. Art in Directing. Art in Cinematography and especially Art in Writing and Acting.
I love it!
14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
99.44% Brilliance, 15 April 2010
Author: NailToTheX from Canada
To say this program has great writing is an understatement. BB has the best writing I have ever had the pleasure of listing & reading (I always leave the captioning on). The acting is top notch by Cranston. It is also very good by Aaron Paul (Pinkman), Dean Norris (Hank), Betsy Brandt (Marie), RJ Mitte (Walt junior). Unfortunately, it feels like Anna Gunn (Skyler) is the weak link. It is hard to know if the Gilligan is trying to make a somewhat awkward and unlikable character, or if it is just not hitting the mark. I prefer to think that the writing is intentionally odd for Skyler for some reason, and that we will get to learn more in the episodes and seasons to come. The dialogue is absolutely brilliant for the most part it almost always rings true. The episodes are gripping (for the most part). The story is brutal and comedic at the same time. I have to opt for a 10/10 because there is not another program that comes close even Dexter which I've been enjoying for 5 seasons doesn't have the writing or acting to stand up to BB.
16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Uncomfortable, Artful and cuttingly Dark, 11 April 2009
Author: Rabh17 from United States
Generally, I only watch Sci-Fi, Horror and such-- but every once in a
while I'm drawn to regular TV if it isn't run-of-the-mill
Canned-Ha-Ha-Ha comedy or standardized Network Primetime Drama with the
usual A-Z cast of Beautiful People pretending to mimic Real Life
interspersed with Fun Commercials as the rest of us would Like it to
The storyline is simple: Ordinary Middle-class Teacher in an Ordinary Burb with ordinary Financial problems with an Ordinary Sucky Life finds out he has Cancer. Which makes every ordinary thing suck even worse. So he turned his Ordinary chemistry skills to Illegality so he can make some money--quick. And we get to watch the whole set of terrible, unfolding, yet still very ORDINARY set of events. And you just KNOW, it's not going down a very good road at all, but like a car with no brakes heading down a long mountain road, you have no choice but to clutch the wheel and hang on for dear life.
I've heard and read of this show described as black comedy. I wouldn't put it quite like that. Black Humor is the best phrase I can come up with-- but the humor is a brilliant side-effect of the story. It's somewhere in the middle-- as in between Black and Grey. . .like Charcoal: the type that comes off on your fingers.
I don't laugh or even chuckle; I wince. I cringe. I say: "Oh my god! No, No!" If this is comedy-- it's the comedy that Hurts and cuts. It's the laughter that comes out of an adult mouth that doesn't have a smile on it: and oh yes, he's laughing as only an Adult can.
The people in this show hold me because it isn't the parade of Beautiful People and Perfect Families that Hollywood and the Networks keeps trying to brainwash us with. Painfully ordinary. The houses, the school, the people, the motives, the lighting, the camera-work. And I am watching Working Man Walter White grasp for something lasting to keep hold of. . .and I am ROOTING for him!
This show is Different. It's Drama about Quiet Desperation with an edge of Black Humor that will touch a lot of Uncomfortable places that we are not used to seeing on our friendly Network Screens. Yet when you see it, you are shocked that the creators have DARED to film it and make it look so. . .plausible and painful. Bravo!!
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A very rare masterpiece of a television show...., 3 March 2010
Author: theShape02 from United States
I first watched this show when it aired, based on a friends recommendation. I heard the premise, and was VERY interested. A middle aged highschool chemistry teacher dying of cancer starts making and selling crystal meth to support his family before he dies. He finds a kinship, and partner of sorts, with a former student/slacker of his, Jesse Pinkman. The first season was cut short, coming in at only 7 episodes, but the second season has the full 12. Give this show a chance, its very addictive. Walter White is a character you want to root for, but sometimes find yourself asking how you can. The pacing of the story is brilliant, as is the creepy foreshadowing of the finale all throughout the 2nd season. This isn't a typical show, with typical character... we empathize and sympathize with Walter White, and hope that in the end there is a reason for all his madness. He starts out as nothing more than a nerdy, over-qualified chemistry teacher, but by the end of the first season, he has definitely grown accustomed to his alter ego "Heisenberg", the meth kingpin of New Mexico. Obviously Walter gets himself in over his head, and thats what keeps us so interested... Season 3 starts in a couple weeks, and anyone who caught the 2nd season finale this past summer, is obviously dying to see where it goes from here!
13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Excellent! Comedy, like chocolate, can be best when very, very dark., 24 February 2008
Author: vfrickey from Earth
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Vince Gilligan shows how big a piece of "The X-Files" and "The Lone
Gunmen" was his with "Breaking Bad" - quite a large chunk, as it turns
out. He has a rare gift for getting the best performances from his
players, and in "Breaking Bad" he and Bryan Cranston chop some serious
I've been following the series for four weeks now, and my wife and I just watched the most recent installment of the series ("Grey Matter") together - the first time she's seen the series at all. And her reaction was not entirely unexpected.
It's like chocolate - some folks like their chocolate light, some of us like it bitter-dark. I happen to be one of those serotonin junkies who like chocolate dark enough that there are special numbers to measure how dark it is.
And "Breaking Bad" is Special Dark Comedy. I don't think it's writing a spoiler to repeat what the network discloses in their own television commercials, so I'll explain what I mean by that. Bryan Cranston, better known before this series as the hopeless bungler of a dad in "Malcolm in the Middle," totally convinces as a high-school chemistry teacher (in a job way below his intellectual gifts - he's a serious, research-quality chemist) who must cope with a second job at a car wash under a bastard of a boss who treats him like a serf, a controlling wife, a son who he loves desperately who has a middling-severe case of cerebral palsy... and lung cancer that has already spread throughout his body, thus a very short life span.
As you might expect, this is a man with a lot of anger, and given his situation you can't blame him. He also has a bastard HMO who won't pay for the therapy that might save his life (I mean, gee, that would actually "maintain health," and you can't expect that of a "health maintenance organization," at least in my own experience of dealing with cancer and an HMO at the same time).
Another cross this man must bear is a gruff, well-meaning bear of a brother-in-law who is a DEA agent, and takes the protagonist on a "ride along" as he directs the take down of a meth lab. Our terribly ill chemist sees the lab, knows the chemistry involved (if bikers and gang bangers can make it, how difficult could the synthesis be for a REAL chemist?)... and he sees the sort of money it would take to buy a house in a decent neighborhood for cash lying around and learns that this is nothing exceptional in the world of play-for-pay amateur amphetamine cookery.
At this point the protagonist decides not to accept his fate meekly, not to let his wife and son exist in poverty after he dies slowly and expensively... and takes the step which Milton and Shakespeare and Goethe all have THEIR protagonists make - away from acceptance, toward stepping out of his assigned role as humble victim. And thereby hangs a great tale.
To do them credit, the series creator Gilligan and his associates decide not to sugarcoat the choices and consequences involved in the protagonist's decision to step out of the path leading to the poorhouse for his family. Nor do they confer sainthood or omniscience on the central character of the story. He screws up by the numbers, not least by who he decides to choose as his partner in his new career as methamphetamine cook (a choice which lends a number of seriocomic twists to the story).
The series is, by turns, absurd, tragic, touching, howlingly funny, bitterly sad... it fulfills Robert Heinlein's definition of art - "inflicting pity and terror on its audience." More you cannot ask. Watch it if you like your comedy very, very dark.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Gripping, compelling drama/thriller with a dash of black comedy., 16 January 2010
Author: Zeke Pliskin from United Kingdom
Now let's get one thing straight; this is a television program NOT for
the faint at heart. If you like your viewing saccharine, with easy
answers and everything wrapped up and snapped back to the beginning by
the end of the episode, Breaking Bad is not for you. The premise alone
should be enough to tell you that; a cancer-stricken father who is a
chemistry teacher turns to illegal drug manufacture with a
not-too-bright ex-student and struggles with his own mortality and
morality along the way, doing his best to hide the new career choice
from his pregnant wife, son with cerebal palsy, medic sister-in-law and
law enforcer brother. Yes, this isn't light-weight material by any
I'm not a fan of these shows that rely on "inflated sense of tension" to pump up the viewer's adrenaline levels while covering for poor scripting; stuff like 24, Lost and Prison Break started out well-enough but quickly descended into this cheap shock tactic approach to keep the audience hooked. Once I saw through this I stopped watching them completely and have been seeking out quality American shows that are well-produced and equally well-written, and I am happy to say that Breaking Bad is one of these.
Bryan Cranston is perfectly cast as Walt, the man who has to make tough choices to provide for his family. He so perfectly becomes the character that it was not until later I realised he was previously cast as Hal in Malcolm In The Middle. His emotional range is staggering; with a few well-timed gestures or vocalisations he can convey several feelings at once, and when Walt is in pain it is completely believable. Walt is a man of few words, but chooses these words very carefully, so when he speaks everyone on-screen and in the audience are listening.
Cranston isn't just carrying passengers though; he's ably supported by Anna Gunn as his wife Skylar, who brings just the right amount of care and concern for her husband and baby as needed and RJ Mitte plays the son who has CP and gives a very accurate, non-condescending portrayal of the condition so different from the ham-handed "sympathy ploy" approach so overused by shows from the States. Dean Norris plays Walt's brother Hank, the all-American police officer who doesn't take any guff and flushes out drug dealers for a living, with his quirky kleptomaniac wife Marie (the lightest character in this show, amusingly) who is handled with panache by Betsy Brandt. Rounding out the main cast is Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, every inch the nervy, paranoid and streetwise "cook" who becomes Walt's new partner and guide to the world of drug trafficking.
There's much to recommend. Tight, well-plotted scripts that make the unbelievable tangible and don't waste a line while doing so. Superb, inventive direction and settings that perfectly fit the mood of the show, an interesting mixture of steadicam, handicam, point-of-view and camcorder shots that appear to be captured by the cast themselves. Excellent choice of soundtrack; almost every episode ends with a classic song and the musical cues throughout really add to the atmosphere without becoming overpowering; witness the searing, high-pitched noises when we see through Walt's eyes as he is in pain or being given bad news for an example.
What is most remarkable is that the show never gives easy answers, never biases us towards the characters (we are given both sides of the debate and left to make our own choices, which respects the viewers intelligence) and always does things that you will not expect. There is not a single cliché to be found here, no way of knowing exactly how each person will react to the situations they are thrust into. These are complex, multi-faceted individuals with free will and their own motivations, who exist not as mere tools to advance the plot. The plot itself is always coherent and leaves very few loose ends. If you see an event or object framed, however subtlety, you can bet it will come back later on. Maybe not in the same episode, but as part of the story arc. And last but not least is the incredibly pitch black humour that crops up every now and then, so dark it almost feels uncomfortable to laugh.
If you liked the first season of Dexter but don't like the direction it has now, Breaking Bad is for you. Not since I saw Firefly (a very different kind of show) have I enjoyed a television program this much. If they can carry this program on for two or three more seasons and then end it without dragging past the logical closure point - and with Walt the way he is, this is crucial - it will be one of the greatest drama series of all time.
If you haven't tried it, start from the pilot episode, keep an open mind, and you just might find your new favourite show. I know I did.
10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Completely unpredictable, 8 May 2010
Author: aerovian from Canada
I'm in my fifties and have watched enough television programs and movies that nearly every fictional story I see is repetitively and transparently predictable. I know how it's going to turn out before the halfway point, because Hollywood just keeps regurgitating the same story lines and scripts ad nauseam. But when I watch Breaking Bad, I find virtually ZERO predictability. I am completely locked-in through every episode because the plot always manages to deviate from the expected. And yet it does so, for the most part, without seriously challenging rational beliefs. I think this show is an absolute masterpiece, and the kind of gem that is too rarely encountered in the garbage-filled thousand-channel morass that is television today. Breaking Bad should be considered the absolute benchmark for serial dramatic programming.
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