Television Review: Breaking Bad, Series 1

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Money troubles plague science school teacher, Walter White. So when he is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, his one big fear is leaving his family with nothing but debt.

A chance meeting changes his fortune. Teaming up with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, Walt turns his hand to cooking meth. With his science and Jesse’s knowledge of the drug world, they are quickly the best in the market.

Walt has to make enough money to finance his treatment, look after his pregnant wife and son while keeping everything a secret. His brother-in-law happens to be a drug cop as well.

Programme: Breaking Bad, Series 1

Company: High Bridge Productions 

Date: 2008

Rating:  3.75/5

Jumping on the bandwagon six years late, I thought I would finally giving Breaking Bad a go and see what the fuss was all about. I was apprehensive – having only heard people rave about it, I was concerned it wouldn’t live up to that high expectation. The first series didn’t grab me hook, line and sinker, but I did enjoy watching it.

Being aware of the basic plotline before – school teacher turns drug dealer/cooker – meant I was intrigued about how it played out. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I enjoyed the premise and how it was done.

The conflict of characters is what makes the show. Jesse and Walt could live in more different worlds and their chemistry on screen was thoroughly entertaining. Despite their conflicts, there are hints of how their friendship may grow in later series.

Having a brother-in-law as a drug cop, one investigating your own operation, certainly worked to increase both the humour and the tension. The relationship between Walt and his wife felt like a rollercoaster and Skylar’s character is one that still needs to grow on me, I couldn’t connect with her.

The series was shorter than I was expecting, but it kept the tension going. From dealing with bodies to murder to discovery, Walt and Jesse constantly had problems to overcome. While there wasn’t character development per se, it was also long enough to connect to the characters. Jesse’s real world attitude (and his bemusement at Walt) made him an instant favourite for me. I only hope it isn’t just about avoiding being caught for the next few series, as there are only so many situations the characters can be put in before it becomes boring.

I enjoyed this first series. “Clever” is a word I have heard multiple times being used to describe Breaking Bad. I wouldn’t say this first series matched that description, so I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing if the later series live up to expectations or not.

I might be late getting to the show, but I can honestly say that I did enjoy watching it and am intrigued about how the plot of later series is going to play out. I am glad to say I have now seen it.

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