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Breaking Bad - Series 1 2008

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All seven episodes of the blackly comic drama series starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher in the throes of a midlife crisis who discovers that he is dying from inoperable lung cancer. In an attempt to sort out his disastrous financial affairs he decides to turn to crime, and enlists the help of a good-for-nothing ex-student to set himself up as a crystal meth dealer. Episodes are: 'Pilot', 'Cat's in the Bag', '... And the Bag's in the River', 'Cancer Man', 'Gray Matter', 'Crazy Handful of Nothin'' and 'A No-Rough-Stuff-Type-Deal'.

Starring:
Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Breaking Bad - Series 1 - Disc 1 ages_18_and_over
  • Breaking Bad - Series 1 - Disc 2 ages_18_and_over
  • Breaking Bad - Series 1 - Disc 3 ages_18_and_over
Runtime 5 hours 32 minutes
Starring Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Steven Michael Quezada, Krysten Ritter, David House, Aaron Paul, Rj Mitte
Director Adam Bernstein, Jim McKay, Vince Gilligan
Genres Drama, Crime
Studio SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 14 December 2009
Main languages English
Subtitles German, Turkish, Hindi
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 5 hours 32 minutes
Starring Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Steven Michael Quezada, Krysten Ritter, David House, Aaron Paul, Rj Mitte
Director Adam Bernstein, Jim McKay, Vince Gilligan
Genres Drama, Crime
Studio SONY PICTURES
Rental release 1 July 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The synopsis (with NO SPOILERS):

A US chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston, fom 'Malcolm in the Middle') discovers he has cancer, and has no way of paying the medical bills. One day it occurs to him that he could cover the needed expenses by making Crystal Meth - a drug which is in high demand on the streets. The series follows his adventures, and the ever-increasingly tangled web of lies that he weaves.

I've got to say how much I LOVED this series - season 1 is relatively short (7 episodes), but is filled with the kind of high-tension drama that made 'The Wire' so compelling. It's created by Vince Gilligan (the man behind 'The X-Files'* [*see comment]), and has the same quirky humour threaded all the way through - aided immensely by Cranston's witheringly caustic portrayal of a man who does not suffer fools gladly AT ALL, but ends up having to work with one.

As events unfurl, he is forced to keep bigger and bigger secrets from his wife and son...

I don't want to give the impression that this is primarily a comedy, because it isn't - it's a dark psychological drama with some great moments of equally dark humour - the cast are all exceptional, and the casting is spot-on. For example, Cranston's character has a son who has CP, so they cast RJ Mitte, an actor who actually has it in real life. This might seem a little worthy but when watching the series it works perfectly.

If you liked the grittiness of 'The Wire', the dark humour of 'The Sopranos' or the strange other-ness of 'The X-Files', I can recommend this to you WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Seriously - this is the best thing I've seen on TV for a long long time... and the good news is that series 2 is just as good, but 12 episodes long!

Take a chance - buy it - I promise you won't regret it.
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Format: DVD
Now let's get one thing straight; this is a television program NOT for the faint at heart. If you like your viewing saccherine, with easy answers and everything wrapped up and snapped back to the beginning by the end of the episode, Breaking Bad is not for you. The premise alone should be enough to tell you that; a cancer-striken father who is a chemistry teacher turns to illegal drug manufacture with a not-too-bright ex-student and struggles with his own mortality and morality along the way, doing his best to hide the new career choice from his pregnant wife, son with cerebal palsy, medic sister-in-law and law enforcer brother. Yes, this isn't light-weight material by any means.

I'm not a fan of these shows that rely on "inflated sense of tension" to pump up the viewer's adrenaline levels while covering for poor scripting; stuff like 24, Lost and Prison Break started out well-enough but quickly descended into this cheap shock tactic approach to keep the audience hooked. Once I saw through this I stopped watching them completely and have been seeking out quality American shows that are well-produced and equally well-written, and I am happy to say that Breaking Bad is one of these. Not since I saw Firefly (a very different kind of show) have I enjoyed a television program this much.

Bryan Cranston is perfectly cast as Walt, the man who has to make tough choices to provide for his family. He so perfectly becomes the character that it was not until later I realised he was previously cast as Hal in Malcolm In The Middle. His emotional range is staggering; with a few well-timed gestures or vocalisations he can convey several feelings at once, and when Walt is in pain it is completely believable.
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Format: DVD
American TV is seeing one of its richest periods ever. As mainstream Hollywood movies become increasingly about CGI and not character, television has become a retreat for some of the best talent the US has to offer. `Breaking Bad' Season 1 is one such example, an unapologetically adult show it centres on Walt, a Chemistry teacher with terminal cancer. Rather than lie back and die he decides to use his chemistry knowledge for unconventional means and sets out making crystal meth with a former students of his who has turned drug dealer.

With themes ranging from terminal illness to drug addiction, `Breaking Bad' sounds like a hard watch, but it isn't. This is due to a number of reasons. The writing is key; writer/creator Vince Gilligan has balanced the show brilliantly, the story unwinds slowly and he lets the characters breath. Rather than being miserable throughout, Gilligan has written plenty of amusing scenes as Walt realises that with death so near, there is not point being nice anymore.

The second stage to success is to make sure you have actors that justify the material. A `Malcolm in the Middle' alumnus does not immediately sound the right choice, but Bryan Cranston is magnificent carrying the show almost single handily. The rest of the cast cannot quite match him, but they do a decent job. With a powerhouse lead and brilliant writing, `Breaking Bad' is up with the likes of `Mad Men' as the best the US has to offer in recent years. Do yourself a favour and check out `Breaking Bad' Season 1.

Sammy Recommendation
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