*No spoilers, please! I’ve only seen the first season and episode one of season two up to this point! I want to tackle future seasons as blindly as possible! Thank you! Enjoy the review!*
Back in middle school, there were three incredibly popular TV shows I couldn’t escape from. The first was Game of Thrones; we’re still making our way through that one. The second was The Walking Dead; I’m probably not going to review that one, I’ve never been into zombie shows. And the third was the one I ignored the most: Breaking Bad.
Which I know realize was a mistake. Because this is the only one of those three that ended without everyone immediately turning on the show! Which is a pretty incredible thing in American television.
Is the Walking Dead over? Or is that train still rolling?
Walter White is a chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he is diagnosed with lung cancer, he is gripped by desperation to find a way to support his pregnant wife, future daughter, and physically challenged son before he dies. He partners up with Jesse Pink, a former student, to enter the drug trade, using his knowledge of chemistry to make the best meth the city has ever seen. Has Walt stepped in over his head? Or does Albuquerque have a new kingpin in town?
I love the characters of Walt and Jesse. Both are such beautifully complex and realistic characters that are perfect for driving this show forward! Jesse is a good man pretending to be a bad one, as we see with how he treats his parents and little brother. Meanwhile, Walt is a bad man pretending to be good, as we see with how he revels in the danger he constantly places himself in. Fuck me, the dude seems to get turned on by the shit! They’re both such wonderfully realized characters and the chemistry they share is incredible!
The other characters, however, aren’t as good. At least not in this season. They’re each decent enough, but they’re not especially memorable. Walt’s brother-in-law is a racist cop who is really good at drug dealing (that definitely won’t end poorly in future seasons), Skyler’s sister is a shop-lifter, Skyler herself is a loving supportive wife, and Walt Jr. is the cripple boy who serves as the only voice of pure justice in the show. Fine additions to the cast, but they’re not especially interesting or memorable. At least not at the moment.
I especially hate that whole shop-lifting thing. That whole subplot feels like a waste of my time that only serves to pad out the final episode. I dunno, maybe it’ll get stronger in later seasons.
While I’m not currently impressed with all the characters, I do think all of the actors are doing a really good job. Especially Brian Cranston as Walter White. He manages to perfectly capture both the normal old man side and the psychotic drug lord in the making side of the character. He brings out his fragility and vulnerability while also making him seem imposing and threatening! It’s an incredible performance!
The visuals are about as up-and-down as you’d expect from an American TV show. Some moments feature incredible cinematography, clever editing, and visually dynamic uses of lighting and color. Others are straight-forward shot-reverse-shot dialogue dumps where it’s clear the show is leaning more towards its writing than its visuals. Unfortunately, the ladder far exceeds the former.
But that makes the former’s rare appearances all the sweeter. Plus, this show blows a lot of shit up. Which I always love to see.
What does that say about me?
Overall, I think Breaking Bad gets off to a very strong start. The show constantly surprised me and put its hooks in so deep that I don’t think I can get away. I’m very eager to see where we go from here.