Steven Stewart | Liverpool | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think many, when looking at the main star of this show (Bryan Cranston) will have only really been familiar with him from Malcolm In The Middle. He played Hal, a simple Dad with simple values and an unbeatable love for his family. Who would have thought that he can take a character with the same basic love of his family and create something incredibly unique from that. In Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston plays Chemistry professor Walter White who's married with a handicap son who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and a child on the way.
One day Walter is hit with the ultimate bombshell as he finds he has inoperable lung cancer and has little time left to live. Walter realises that he can't assure his families financial security for the little time he has left being a teacher. He hears about a raid on a crystal meth lab that seizes millions of dollars worth of drugs which he decides that he must be a part of that. He knows how to make the best crystal meth ever seen, but not how to get it on the streets which is why he must enlist the help of his former student and drug pusher Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).
I honestly didn't have high hopes for this show as, although I'm a huge fan of Bryan Cranston for his work on Malcolm In The Middle, I struggled to believe he could pull off such a train wreck of a character. The family is a typical middle class American family struggling to take care of their disabled son trying to make him have as normal a life as possible. In a way I can relate to the situation as I'm disabled myself and know how much of a strain it can be on parents. Sure, it's not the same disability, but the family struggling through it is definitely displayed well and R.J. Mitte as Walter Jr. is an excellent fit. Although I'm betting he was only cast because he too has Cerebral Palsy, he still fits the bill and plays the character brilliantly.
Fantastic, fantastic show. I don't want to tell you much about the seasons events as it is quite short and risks spoiling certain events. I have to tell you that there are times in which this show doesn't hold back. It has no qualms about showing you the brutality of a broken man fighting against his own sense of morality, joining the drug world and even dealing with the fact that he killed a guy. Oh and obviously he's dying and is reminded of that from time to time but it's certainly gelled together brilliantly.
Just to wrap it up I can only really say this TV show is amazing in every way and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Bryan Cranston is a very underrated actor, but he's determined to prove himself for which he does a terrific job. When this DVD set comes out in the UK I'll certainly be one of the first to buy it."
It really is a homerun for AMC and the viewers too!
Jon L. Bullard | Okla(boring)homa | 01/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everything these reviews are saying about this show is true. It is different from anything else on TV. My father told me about it (he dosen't even watch much television of any sort). It didn't sound like something I would be interested in but I gave it a shot. I was glad I did. Me and my girlfriend watched episode after episode and we were shocked at how it "pulled us in". We couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next! One thing that everyone else fails to mention in these reviews is the brilliant camera work. It adds something to an already great story. Just pay attention to some of the camera shots in this show. This show is absolutely levels above the other stuff that everyone else is hooked on. Kudos to AMC!"
Hilarious black comedy about a man keeping it together as hi
Scott Schiefelbein | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Breaking Bad" is a short 7-episode series aired by (surprisingly) American Movie Classics. While a team effort, this series was created by Vince Gilligan and stars Bryan Cranston (the dear not-so-old dad from "Malcom in the Middle") as the desperate, cancer-ridden chemistry teacher, Walter White.
The pilot episode gives us what appears to be a basic plot - a good guy, White, is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Strapped with poor insurance and a teacher's salary, he turns to a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to sell drugs to pay for his treatment. So far, if this sounds like a retread of Michael Douglas's character in "Falling Down," you wouldn't be far off.
But then it turns out that Walter is more than meets the eye. Sure, his family doesn't really respect him - his brother-in-law is a DEA agent and is shocked to hear that wallflower Walt would even consider smoking a joint. It turns out that Walter is a genius when it comes to chemistry, and his sidekick Jesse is shocked to discover that in one afternoon Walter cranks out crystal meth of such purity as the local market has never seen before. Indeed, the DEA discovers a sample of the product and is convinced that a new drug kingpin has arrived in town.
All of this is told in gradual steps - we see brief flashbacks of Walter at CalTech lecturing to a beautiful grad student while simultaneously seducing her, only to later learn that she is married to Walter's former best friend and classmate who has made millions patenting chemicals that he and Walter worked on together. Exactly why Walter is teaching indifferent high school students when he is so gifted is never explained, but thanks to Cranston's steller performance and some wonderful writing we see that Walter is a proud, conflicted, flawed man who has made some hard choices but never blames anyone for his failures.
And his failures are many. Walter is the only guy left in America driving a Pontiac Aztec, for pete's sake! His marriage has fallen into tedium, and his wife tries to squeak a few pennies out of selling junk on EBay. Walter is not really close to anyone, and did I forget to mention the terminal lung cancer?
Watching Walter emerge from his stifled teacher existence as he fights to raise the heaping gobs of money for his cancer treatment while keeping his wife in the dark is a pure joy. Liberated by his terminal status, Walter has never been more alive.
This is an excellent series, if a bit short at 7 episodes. Here's looking forward to Season 2. Also, even though this is a product of "basic cable" on AMC, there is a spot of nudity and some rather prolific swearing, so don't be fooled into thinking this is something that has been sanitized for network TV - this is hard-core stuff."