Breaking Through Breaking Bad: 7 Reasons You Should be Watching
If you've never watched the AMC series "Breaking Bad," you've undoubtedly heard it being breathless praised by its fans as the pinnacle of TV drama, if not human achievement in general. But for some reason, you still can't get interested? If that's the case with you, perhaps a bit of specificity is called for. Here are five reasons you should be watching "Breaking Bad."
The Cast "Breaking Bad" has one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory - a rock-solid group of actors that fully inhabit their characters, and no weak link in the bunch. There are highlights, of course, and although he has an incredible supporting roster, this is definitely the Bryan Cranston show - his performance as high school chemistry teacher turned meth cook turned prince of darkness is one of the best performances any screen medium has ever seen. And Aaron Paul as the burned out Jesse Pinkman is just as stellar.
The Ride One thing that separates "Breaking Bad" from other quality dramas is its sense of breakneck pacing and unbearable tension. The best episodes have as much suspense as "Jaws" with the benefit of characters that the audience has grown to know and love/hate thanks to the amount of material a TV show offers. When each season ends, it's easy to imagine you've just been on the longest and most intense rollercoaster in the world.
The Music Music on TV shows is often limited to obvious and cheaply licensed song choices, but "Breaking Bad' is different - the music used on the show is truly eclectic, a mix of indie bands like TV On The Radio and The Black Seeds, Latin hip-hop, and everything in between. And you'll never listen to the song "Wendy" the same way again.
The Laughs Despite the dark and grisly subject matter of the show, "Breaking Bad" is often the funniest show on the airwaves. The humor ranges from bleak gallows humor to humorous interactions between the characters. And since it all comes from a very real (and tense) place, the laughs are that much more resonant. This is probably the only show that can get huge laughs out of a junkie getting his head crushed by a stolen ATM machine.
The Education "Breaking Bad" pays attention to detail, just like the best crime films from directors like Coppola, Melville, Friedkin, and Mann. As a result, viewers can often get a working knowledge of chemistry, the drug trade, and the limits of the human body. It probably wouldn't be enough for you to start dealing drugs yourself, but the most important lesson of all is that you wouldn't want to anyway.
The Conversation There's nothing worse than being left out of something everyone is talking about, and "Breaking Bad" is definitely one of those things. So instead of reading articles like this and faking your way through those watercooler meth chats, why not actually watch the show? It's pretty awesome, and you'll be conversant in a new subject. It's like college, but with more gruesome violence.
The Breakfast One of the most recognizable visual motifs of "Breaking Bad" is breakfast. Either an awkward breakfast at the White home or a meeting at Denny's after Walt and Jesse watch their employer slice somebody's throat, the breakfasts come thick and fast on "Breaking Bad." So if you're a breakfast fan, or interested in becoming a breakfast fan, watching "Breaking Bad" is for you.