I have officially crossed over to the dark side. I have shocked family members and friends with my bad choice. And now announcing to the world, I say: “Hello, my name is Charlene and I am a “Breaking Bad” addict.”
With the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Awards looming, you should take notice. This (AMC) television show, its writers and cast are positioned to hold up a few of these prestigious statuettes. And when they do, their acceptance of the Emmys will break the mold of modern TV dramatic series.
My blood boils and my heart races just trying to introduce you to “Breaking Bad”, but try I must. Fascinating Hitchcock-esque filming, crisp editing, chilling sounds like you have never heard before and color the likes of which you have never witnessed. The use of symbols of elements of the periodic table “Breaking Bad” is a simple, yet clever addition to a show that is like a laboratory where everything that is dark and politically incorrect is breeding.
Everything is so wrong about this series. And like that cigarette habit you are trying to break, you keep saying no more, and yet you watch. You watch as each character breaks bad and goes beyond badder.
Leave it to creator Vince Gilligan (of X-File fame) to come up with a story line about a family that is facing a whole lotta hardship and just what happens when a loving husband and father makes a decision to do whatever he can to provide for his family proving that doing what needs to be done for the family is not necessarily the right thing to do. In this case it’s bad, really – really bad.
A modern day stage is set in a suburb of New Mexico with a simple plot: a high school Chemistry teacher who is suffering from stage III (inoperable lung) cancer with two years to live in the midst of a midlife crisis; “befriends” a high school junkie and becomes the best meth producer this side of the border; with a wife who is (unexpectedly) pregnant and their teenage son has cerebral palsy; who just happens to have a brother-in-law who is a DEA agent.
The lead role of Walter White is played by Bryan Cranston (of Malcolm in the Middle fame). Known by those in the drug world as Heisenberg (German theoretical physicist and contributor to quantum mechanics) explains himself this way: “My wife is seven months pregnant with a baby we didn’t intend. My fifteen-year old son has cerebral palsy. I am an extremely overqualified high school chemistry teacher. When I can work, I make $43,700 per year. I have watched all of my colleagues and friends surpass me in every way imaginable. And within eighteen months, I will be dead.“
Anna Gunn plays Walt’s wife, Skyler and responds this way when she realizes her husband skyrocketing medical bills are being paid: “Whatever it is,” she says, “I’m afraid to know.”
The supporting role of Jesse Pinkman is played by a rising star, Aaron Paul. He is brilliant with his delivery of lines such as this one: “Like I came to you, begging to cook meth. ‘Oh, hey, nerdiest old dude I know, you wanna come cook crystal?’ Puh-lease. I’d ask my diaper-wearing granny, but her wheelchair wouldn’t fit in the RV.”
How does a series go from bad to worse? I don’t know, but rest assured I will be there with my plastic lawn chair in the front row for the fourth season of “Breaking Bad.”