Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has somehow stumbled on that rare combination of a fantastically gripping story, the perfect cast and excellent writing. Not since The Sopranos have all of the elements for a truly great TV drama series come together so quickly. The series centers around Walter (played by Bryan Cranston), a brilliant scientist, now stuck teaching chemistry to apathetic high schoolers in Albuquerque and worrying about day-to-day bills.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer and concerned about leaving his pregnant wife and teenage son with no money, Walt turns to chemistry and an old student he once failed to make and sell meth. Beyond the water cooler aspects of the story, the actors, including Cranston (who won an Emmy for this role), his meth partner Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) and wife Skylar (Anna Gunn), are well cast.
Add to that the inventive use of camera shots and cinematography that are usually only reserved for big budget movies, and itâ€™s almost inconceivable that Breaking Bad is not being watched by every single household with a subscription to basic cable. Thanks to the critically-lauded Mad Men and now Breaking Bad, AMC â€“ home to both series – is quietly and quickly turning into the new HBO.
Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season / 2009 Sony Pictures / 346 Minutes