My tribute to Breaking Bad Armin Fakouhi September 19, 2013 1 103 [SPOILER ALERT] Don’t read this post if you’re not up to date with Breaking Bad. Over the past years, I have binged on a lot of TV shows and I believe it is fair to say (and it seems that IMBD agrees with me) that Breaking Bad will be in the hall of fame for a long time. When the team decided for this annoying arbitrary split, I was somewhat upset but after watching this re-cap below, my excitement was totally back. I started watching the show a few years ago and it took me a few episodes but then I was hooked. The great mixture of (very) dark humor, thriller and drama in combination with the fantastic chemistry between Mr.White and Jesse was outstanding. One thing which in particular got and still gets my very attention is how well the character development is working in this show. It is a pretty standard pitfall of TV shows to not really develop the character any further and kind of ride the wave which has been successful for the past few seasons (Michael Scofield in Prison Break or even Tony Soprano). Granted the whole premise of the show is how Walter White is in fact breaking bad but the way how Bryan Cranston manages to play the evolution from nerdy, sick and helpless family father to an evil criminal monster episode by episode and season by season is really fantastic. Sometimes I wish that Jesse would get more “airtime” as he is a fantastic addition to the show and would in fact deserve some more focus sometimes. Bitch Aside from the main cast, the show has (aside from Walt jr.) a pretty fantastic cast with Hank obviously leading the pack. Also his development throughout the entire series is really fantastic – from macho DEA cop to a broken depressed man growing out of his depression to become a determined but more humble man on a hunt. While I was watching the show, the wives seemed to be somewhat of a weak link to me and – as many other viewers, I was on hate-trip against Skyler. Having said that her actress Anna Gunn won me over with her NYT opinion piece and I now appreciate her character much more. And also Bettsy Brandt has grown over the course of the show from the annoying and somewhat ignorant sister to a conflicted and strong woman in the final strokes of the show. Aside from the “main” supporting cast, I want to give props to Giancarlo Esposito who in my mind was one of the better villians in recent TV history (my no.1 remains John “Trinity” Lithgow). The way how Gustavo Fring is portrayed as a smart business man who is somewhat of sociopath (when slitting the throat of one of his employees just to prove a point to Walter) is really well-written and equally well-played. The big star who deserves most of the credit by turning an awesome idea (thank you, thank you Vince Gilligan) into a fantastic ego maniac with a horrible wardrobe is Bryan Cranston. Not only did he bring tighty whities and khaki pants to a whole new level, he also brought so much ambiguity and desperation to the Walther White character which puts him in the A-league of TV shows for a long time. Thankfully Bryan Cranston seems to be one of those TV actors who is actually taking on mostly good feature film offers based on his TV fame (like Argo and Drive); however he also unfortunatley was part of the terrible John Carter but well…nobody is perfect. I AM THE DANGER, SKYLER. I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS Coming back to the character development, I mentioned earlier on – obviously Cranston is the main element of this equation. A great scence which yet again emphasizes this, is the opening flashback scene in the most recent Season 5 episode Ozymandias where the development from Walter “just cooking some meth” to earn some money for his family to help them once he is gone has been sucked so deeply into the violence of the drug business that he hires nazi killers to kill his partner (who up to this point was family to him) and in the process manages to get his brother-in-law killed. One aspect which makes this show so fantastic is that the quality of all aspects increase over the time – which is one problem many shows get when becoming surprisingly successful and can’t really keep up with the quality of the first season (e.g. Dexter, Prison Break, Nip/Tuck). Not this show though, for some reason Vince Gilligan either managed to maintain or expand his staff with great writers and also was able to hire fantastic directors who managed to create top-notch Hollywood quality when shooting a show. The episodes which stuck with me the most probably were the Season 4 finale with Gus Frings’ demise, Season 5A finale and of course the prison killings which almost had a Good Fellas-esque feeling to them. However, the last 2 episodes were not only the best of the entire show but probably some of the best TV shows i have seen in a long time. It has been a long time since I actually wrote a post but after this awesome episode, I needed to write down my thoughts and just bow down before one of the best shows in recent television history. Let’s all hope for a great season finale in the next two weeks, I’m pretty sure that Jesse and Walt won’t disappoint us. 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