About a decade ago. AMC aired a pilot showcasing a chemistry teacher who became a drug lord. It changed the way television was going to be viewed thereafter.
More than a decade ago, Breaking Bad made its TV debut. A comic drama starring the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. It answered the question middle-aged men had asked of themselves for generations. What would happen if I quit my boring job and became an outlaw? The answer, it appeared, involved drugs, mobile homes and being stranded in the desert in your pants.
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Initial stages of Vince Gilligan’s now seminal drama may have been misleading. However, By the end of the pilot episode the protagonist, Walter White, had murdered a man. His initial adventures may have had a slapstick air to them, but it soon became difficult to laugh.
Right away, the show’s tone of cascading catastrophe kicks in and, over numerous seasons, would never let up: through plane crashes, poisonings, parking-lot shootouts, poolside massacres and more. It culminates in what’s arguably the show’s high point, a three-episode-long game of cat and mouse between Walt and his ersatz patron turned nemesis, Gus “The Chicken Man” Fring. This is what closes the show’s fourth season – with a bang. By assembling a team of filmmakers including The Last Jedi‘s Rian Johnson and breakout director Michelle MacLaren, Gilligan was able to drop your heart deep into the pit of your stomach; you were lucky if it found a way to climb back out after the closing credits rolled, week after week after week. More than anything else, the emphasis on action turned Breaking Bad into must-see TV that grew its audience like “Heisenberg” grew his meth empire.
BIG SHOWS TO FILL
The entire show was about transformation. But Breaking Bad was also a representation of significant changes in TV and culture as a whole. When Walter and Jesse Pinkman first came around in 2008, the Sopranos had just ended. Mad Men had just begun and we were in the throes of what soon became known as the ‘golden age of TV’. Breaking Bad is now rightfully placed at the top of this category, but it would likely never have existed had US cable networks not been seeking to imitate the success that edgy, creative driven dramas had enjoyed on premium channels such as HBO.
If the series has faded from the zeitgeist somewhat, you could perhaps blame the finale. An attempt to provide closure that was perhaps a little too successful. It pulled a few too many punches at the expense of “redeeming” its chrome-domed king. I’d hardly be the first to say that if the show had ended two episodes earlier with the bleak and brutal “Ozymandias” – directed by Johnson, written by Moira Whalley-Beckett and frequently cited as the finest single episode in the history of television – it would be a better show.
Breaking Bad is one of the most widely binge watched shows around the globe. So, the answer you’re looking for is a YES. This show is most certainly BINGE WORTHY!!