Well I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the site… in fact it was even offline for a couple of months – which I’m sure thousands of people wept about.
Anyway, I’m back, and so is the site.
I finally got around to starting the phenomenally successful series, Breaking Bad. I’ve wanted to see it for a long time, but without Netflix, I felt that I had missed the boat, and I didn’t want to fork out for a whole box set without knowing I was going to enjoy it.
Luckily, while channel surfing a few weeks back, I saw an advert for a new channel in the UK called “Spike”. As luck would have it, Spike was launching that very day, and one of its launch shows was Breaking Bad, which was starting at 11pm and showing an episode every single week night. I set up a series link.
I’m currently up to season three, so can’t yet give a review of the full story, but I can say that I’m finding it immensely enjoyable. The show (to this point at least) has a great balance of intriguing snapshots of things to come (with the show often starting with short, stylishly shot and edited flash forwards) against a gripping, often darkly comical plot that moves along at just the right pace.
It gives me a similar edge-of-the-seat nervous feeling to that I felt with the recent Fargo TV series; the lead protagonist gets in way over his head, and you feel that things could all topple over any second. You really feel connected to the character, but due to the inherent nature of modern storytelling, you sort of know that at some point things are going to unravel for him.
Part of what makes the show so compelling is, of course, the acting. Bryan Cranston does an incredible job as Walter White, the good guy turned bad to try and take care of his family. His transformation in the early series from mild mannered teacher to ruthless drug manufacturer (that won’t ruin things too much here for anyone still further behind than me!) is nothing short of brilliant. His frustration at times palpable and you can’t help but side with him at every turn.
Walter’s partner Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, makes a great contrast to Walter; a troubled twenty-something that a lot of the time you can’t help but feel sorry for. Circumstance, bad decisions and accidents see the pair on a journey that takes them in way over their heads,playing at the drug trade in amongst some seriously dodgy characters, yet all the while keeping the characters connection to their families at the forefront.
I’ve still got a couple of series to go until I reach the finale, and I’ve somehow managed to avoid what happens. Here’s hoping that remains the case until the end, as this is one series I want to keep me guessing. Needless to say, I’d class myself a (late-coming) fan. Watching one episode each weekday is almost painful, but I suppose good things come to those who wait!