I’m not much for flicking through the channels. There’s either something on I want to watch, or there’s not. If I want to watch it, it’s because I’ve seen a recommendation or an advert or it’s by someone I like. I started watching a TV series recently, that I was five years behind on. I’d seen Dave Winer raving about it, and his tastes aren’t far off my own. The best thing about being five years behind? No waiting a week for the next episode. And no waiting nine months between series. An hour of killer TV, every night, night after night.
Breaking Bad is a human story, which goes out of control. Is it plausible? Piece by piece, yes. As a whole? Hey, it’s a TV show. Entertainment. The show is absolutely chock full of strong characters. There’s not a weak link amongst them. Saul the dodgy lawyer. Gustavo the suave dealer. Mike, the down to earth fixer. Hector the near vegetative former hitman. Hank the thoroughly non PC DEA agent. Jesse the hopeless dropout. You want to see the good side of the baddest villians. You can see how they get on the slippery slope of life. You want to justify their bad choices. At least, sometimes you do. But as the series go by, and into season five, you can’t help but feel that the main guy, Walter, has definitely Broken Bad.
Season one showed the potential of the cast and concept and had some impressive drama. But it was just seven episodes long, cut short by the Hollywood writers strike. Which is, perhaps, why I felt a little bit underwhelmed at the end. It was good enough to convince me to launch into season two, but only just. The show really turns it up a notch in season two though, and keeps a steady dose or drama, comedy, tragedy, empathy and hope running through the storyline. We are up to date now, half way through season five. Alas, this final season is split into two tranches, the second of which we will have to wait for till July. Have you not watched the show? I envy you. You have about fifty episodes of the finest drama ahead of you. In case you’re wondering, I haven’t been paid in any way, shape or form to promote Breaking Bad. I just feel mysteriously obliged to tell you just how good it is….