Monday, September 23, 2013

How can something so “Bad” be so good?

   “Breaking Bad” returned to television for the second half of its 5th and final season August 11. Season 5B has had a large focus on the deteriorating personality of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) as he continues to transform into his crime-lord alter-ego, Heisenberg. Walter, retired from the meth-empire business, is focusing on spending his remaining months with his family, now entirely content with the copious amounts of money he has made. However, new circumstances have arisen causing the imminent fall of White. Thankfully, we, the viewers, are able to watch the downward spiral of one of TV’s most brilliant characters in one of TV’s greatest shows.
   It’s difficult to go into details about the recent plot developments for “Breaking Bad” considering any future viewers won’t want to have the show spoiled for them. From the beginning, ”Breaking Bad” was and still is about a high school chemistry teach with terminal cancer cooking and selling meth in order to make money to leave to his family. Anyone new to the show should start from the beginning knowing only this small, yet intriguing, bit of information. Spoiling the show would be a huge disservice to any potential viewer.
   What can be said is that “Breaking Bad” is one for The Television Hall of Fame. The character archs, plot advances, acting, writing, and fantastic cinematography are unparalleled unless compared to the greatest of TV series such as “The Wire.” The seamless transitions between daytime and nighttime shots, Bryan Cranston’s maniacal laugh in season 4’s “Crawl Space,” and Mike’s (Jonathan Banks) lecture to Walter concerning half measures and full measures are notable staples to fans and critics when looking back on the previous episodes of the modern classic.
   In the current Golden Age of Television with shows such as “Mad Men,” “Homeland,” and “Game of Thrones” receiving nearly unanimous praise from critics and fans, “Breaking Bad” has managed to stick out and even tower above many of its competitors. The series has been nominated for 41 Primetime Emmys, winning a total of nine, three of which belong to Cranston, two to Aaron Paul for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, and one for Anna Gunn’s character, Skyler White. Though Cranston didn’t take home another Emmy this year, “Breaking Bad” won its first well-deserved Outstanding Drama Series award despite the fierce competition.

   The decision made in April of 2013 to split the final season of the series in half is one that has confused many fans. No one is entirely sure why the choice was made but, right now, nobody is complaining. The final episode airs September 29 and, though the fans are anxious to see the conclusion, nobody actually wants “Breaking Bad” to end. It’s a catch-22, but at least it involves the final episodes of what very well could be the greatest television series ever created.

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