I would have liked to expand the field to include all television shows, but the most iconic cars on television all come from Breaking Bad. The cars all speak volumes to the characters that drive them from Walter White (he drives a Pontiac Aztek, so it’s clear that he often makes horrible decisions) to Jesse Pinkman’s mid-80’s Tercel (honey badger don’t give a f*ck), to Mike’s workaday sedan (what kind of car is that? Skylark?) to Gus’ nondescript Volvo to Saul’s oh-so-appropriate Cadillac, the cars on the show demonstrate an attention to detail that is seen in very few other programs.
But Gus gets the award because I’m terrified to give it to anyone else.
This was another category with some pretty stiff competition, as a few shows, both new and old, struggled to live up to the high expectations set for themselves. However, none endured more criticisms than The Walking Dead, which suffered writing (and consequently, pacing) problems over a very short six-episode run. The new season brings with it a new opportunity, but internal strife during the hiatus has many wondering if it’s in a position to recover.
Runners Up: Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Dexter
Breaking Bad is about meth, and Weeds is about weed, but not even these two shows rely on their drugs the way Mad Men does on its sweet, sweet booze. If a character is not pissing himself for being too drunk, or getting a DUI, then they’re discussing happy hour drinks and making bad decisions while loaded. I could see the whole meth component disappear from Breaking Bad, and ditto for Weeds, but if Mad Men lost its alcohol, the show would quickly resembl the office, with Don Draper as a wacky Michael Scott-type character.