Breaking BadTV Series |
The most consistently intelligent TV drama since The Wire.
A few months before The Wire ended its groundbreaking run in March 2008, an offbeat drama on basic cable's AMC introduced a more intimate depiction of the crippling effects of drug trafficking. The story of Walter White, a mild-mannered chemistry teacher with terminal lung cancer who resorts to cooking crystal meth to provide for his family, Breaking Bad features a pitch-black mood that recalls the Coen Brothers and a jaw-dropping, Emmy-winning dramatic lead turn by Malcolm in the Middle's Bryan Cranston. Most impressively, the show has steadily improved since its first season as Walter's morality has become more clouded. The addition of Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk as slimeball lawyer Saul Goodman has provided some much-needed comedic breathers, while the cinematography has taken more risks in its gorgeous representation of sun-baked Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, Breaking Bad derives its brilliance from the cracked relationship between Walter and Jesse Pinkman, his former chemistry student and current cooking partner, who is exceptionally inhabited by Aaron Paul. As these two lost souls become more engrossed in the dismal world of drug distribution, the desperate measures they must take to ensure their survival are equally painful and thrilling to watch.