I have to give credit to you smart readers for alerting me to Breaking Bad a while back. It took some time for me to warm up to it, and I still haven’t seen some of seasons 1 and 2, but what I see now is great television. It is worthy of its accolades and should give Mad Men yet more Emmy heat.
There isn’t a bad performer in Breaking Bad, but it is anchored by three strong characters. The lead, Bryan Cranston as Walter, Anna Gunn as Skyler, and Aaron Paul as Jesse. You might as well throw in Dean Norris as Hank.
What makes Breaking Bad unique is how unpredictable it is. I can’t wait for the week to go by so that I can see what happens next. A week ago the entire episode was about Walter and Jesse trying to kill a fly in their meth lab. Who saw that coming?
What makes Breaking Bad resonate right now is that it shows our collective desperation for cold, hard cash – and it shows the futility of fighting a drug war that serves no purpose but the drive up the price of the product, thus making it a viable business model. It has all of that going on, but it also has intelligent characters making big decisions and doing crazy shit to try to get what they want, and what they need. Crazy shit.
Even though these characters seem mostly doomed, they are hopeful anyway. We care about them because, underneath it all, they are all trying to somehow do the right thing.¬† I really think it’s getting better as it goes along, but I’ll reserve judgment on that until I’ve seen every episode there is.