One of the things my son has been doing since he’s been home on winter break (especially this last week, since all his friends are returning to school) is catching up on favorite TV shows he’s missed all semester – Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, Community, 30 Rock, and others.
I come home for lunch, and he’s there on the couch, watching HIMYM. I come home later, after work, and he’s still there on the couch, seven episodes later. …
Sometimes he’s gone to the gym in the middle of it all, but sometimes not.
One show that he got me hooked on, though, is Breaking Bad. And next thing I knew, I was the couch potato, sitting through FIVE EPISODES in one evening alone (yes, that’s right, I said five. And they’re an HOUR long. And this was AFTER dinner…). I was like a total addict. …
Part of it, of course, is that Breaking Bad is the master at cliff hangers. The last line of every show makes you sit up a little straighter and think omg-what’s-going-to-happen-now? And next thing you know, you’re searching for your Netflix remote, thinking omg-I-have-to-play-one-more-episode, even though you just told yourself you really need to get to bed.
And as a writer, I love watching a show with clever dialogue, unique characters, and terrific character arcs — always amazing to find this on TV.
Here are the top 5 things I loved about Breaking Bad:
- The cliff hangers. Yeah, I got very little sleep this week, but those show endings were really awesome. Those writers know how to do it, man.
- The movie feel. Seriously, did that pilot seem like a movie to you? I actually forgot, about halfway through, that I was watching a TV show. Seemed like a good movie, and I was kind of surprised when it wanted to wrap up in an hour. Contributing to the movie feel were the music, the beautiful cinematography, and the action-action-action scenes that were making my heart pound and my stomach tense up.
- The arcing characters. Even in the first season, the arcs begin, and they all look intriguing. The science-teacher-turned-meth-cook is terrific, of course. Then there’s Jesse, the empty-eyed-meth-dealer-turned-guy-with-a-conscience. I like that the teen son who has cerebral palsy isn’t an automatically sweet, perfect kid for all the sympathy points – he actually has a mouth on him and some bite. The only characters who have seemed a little one-dimensional so far (but I hear I’m in for some change, here) are Hank, the DEA agent; and his drabby partner.
- The humor. It’s dark. Very, very dark. But it’s good. The bathtub crashing through the ceiling was genius. And Jesse “trying out” the plastic container in Lowes to see if a body would fit. … And Walt “cooking” in his underwear. … Awesome stuff.
- The banter. I love the banter between Walt and Jesse. At first it was sort of uncomfortable: I guess because they disliked each other so much and their exchanges seemed really filled with hate. But after a few shows, the banter became fun because they’d developed enough respect for each other that there was some feeling under it all.
I’m only on Episode 6, Season 1, so I’ve got a looooooooong way to go, but I’m willing to put in some time on this one. … (I foresee some late nights, under a blanket on the couch with Superman, catching up on Seasons 1-4!)
How about you? Are you a fan of Breaking Bad?