Friday, January 25, 2008

Breaking Bad review

So, in this strike addled tv wasteland , new scripted tv shows are few and far between. But even more surprising than finding one, is finding one that's actually worth watching. With that said, I would like to seriously recommend Breaking Bad, a new original series from AMC. This is only AMC's second original tv show, the first being the highly acclaimed Mad Men, and while I won't jump to saying this is equal to that esteemed offering, Breaking Bad looks to offer a high quality of story telling that is becoming quite rare.

Since the first episode has only just aired this week, you should definitely still have time to catch up. And although I can't seem to find it online, I suspect AMC will be rebroadcasting it, as they did continually for Mad Men. There are some clips and previews for it though over at the AMC website.

The show itself follows a middle-America down on his luck high school science teacher named Walter White, played in some ingenious counter-casting by Bryan Cranston, who you might remember as the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. In the pilot episode, we find Walter pretty dwon on his luck. He's in financial trouble, have had to take on another job aside from his teaching, and seems to kind of hate a lot of his life. He has just turned 50, and found out that he has terminal lung cancer. With only a year or two left to live, he is on the verge of a severe mental break. But through a strange twist of fates he ends up running into one of his former students, who has never amounted to much and become a local drug dealer. After some darkly funny, and other odd turns, Walter decides to partner up with this former student and start dealing crystal meth. With his science background he manages to make some top grade stuff, but of course nothing is as easy as it seems. One assumes the story will proceed swiftly from there.

It's actually kind of reminiscent of Weeds in that it takes someone who doesn't know anything about the drug business and throws them right in the midst of it. Walter is definitely an interesting characters though, and the pilot was really pretty fun. I'm definitely intrigued to see where they take this show. Its quirky and dark, and looks like it really could be something cool.

Anyhow, that's my two cents, check it out if you get a chance. We probably won't be getting much else new on the tube for a while. According to Wikipedia 7 episodes were filmed and complete before the strike hit.

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