It’s been so long since I’ve watched a decent movie, or for that fact a terrible movie, that I have had nothing to gush or rant about. “Meh” movies make it so hard to find sufficient to say to post a review. With this in mind, I thought I’d post a review for one of the best things I’ve watched in years. I’m a little late in joining the party here, having only started watching Breaking Bad about a month ago. Five Seasons later, I have severe withdrawal symptoms and miss Walter White more than I thought was possible when I started the series. So, enough of my prattlings, here is a review of this awesome series, for anyone, like myself who are late joining the party.
Breaking Bad is a five season American Crime series following 2 years in the life of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and his family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Walter is a typical middle class man, a mild mannered, high school Chemistry teacher, married to Skyler (Anna Gunn) with a teenage son with mild Cerebral Palsy, Walter Junior /Flynn (Roy Frank Mitte III) and one on the way. Walter is what most people would see as boring, dependable and predictable. Every day following the same routine and coming home to his adoring family. We hit a stumbling block in this suburban bliss when Walter is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Walter is a proud, sometimes withdrawn man. He knows his insurance is unable to cover the treatment that he needs and it is here the story REALLY starts.
Due to the exorbitant costs for his treatment, Walter needs to find another means of income outside of his teaching. Something that his wife doesn’t know about. Something that he can earn a lot of money doing for minimal effort. Cue Walters extended family – Due to his brother-in-law Hank, being a DEA (Drugs Enforcement Agency) officer, he is privy to a peek at the money to be made in the drugs business. Sitting in Hanks car he recognises an ex pupil of his, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) jumping out a window and escaping. This obviously sets Walters brain into motion and after much internal deliberation, he approaches Jesse with a view to cooking Meth to finance his treatment. With his knowledge of Chemistry, he will take care of the cooking side of the business, while Jesse will handle the distribution due to his contacts. This is the start of a deep, beautiful and dangerous partnership, which runs through the series. Aaron Paul is simply wonderful as the fun-loving, enthusiastic Jesse. The partnership with his almost exact opposite, Walter is a gift.
I won’t go into any more of the story as it really is something you want to discover yourself. What I’ve already detailed is something most people who decide to watch this series already know and it’s enough to be getting on with.
The first season is probably the slowest of the five. It probably did take me watching this entire season before I could say I was hooked. There is everything you could imagine within this series – romance, drama, action, drugs, addiction, murder, cartels, revenge, investigations, thrills. For me however, the strongest aspect of this series is the incredibly complex character that is Walter White. Upon watching the first season, had I been told anything about the last season, I would have been blown away! I simply would have failed to understand how we could get from where we started to where we ended. Everything is believable, tight and well thought out. The relationships within the family and extended family are wonderful. To watch the changes in interaction and relationships within the series, was for me, rivetting. Although Water is the central character, the other characters are just as wonderfully crafted by creator and director Vince Gilligan. They are deep, multi faceted and incredibly well portrayed by the talented individuals in the series.
Something I found was that such was my attachment to Walt from the first season, I was unable to lose the closeness I felt for him from beginning to end. It’s like a mini love affair to watch a series you adore as much as I did this one. I feel a real sense of loss having finished the series. I want to start all over again, and no doubt I will eventually, when my ridiculously bad memory allows me to watch it with almost fresh eyes.
If you haven’t seen it, watch it. I’ve yet to meet anyone yet who did and were disappointed.