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A brilliant half season. Yes it's 8 episodes not 12 or 13, but there's so much in those 8...
on 26 December 2013
Yes, this is only an 8 episode season, and for contractual reasons season 6 was called
the 2nd half of season five, even though they were shot a year apart and have very
different parts of the storyline.
But this is still 8 hours of amazing storytelling. I'd take 8 hours of the very best of
'Breaking Bad' over 12 hours of almost any other series in TV history. To worry too much
about 4 fewer episodes is like being upset because a great 90 minute movie costs
the same as a great 2 hour film.
What can be said about this spectacular saga that hasn't been said before? One of the very
few series that competes with the best films in history for achievement in cinematic storytelling.
Like a great novel slowly unfolding, it's funny, heartbreaking, incredibly tense, deeply disturbing,
full of brilliant plot twists, rich, compelling characters and a pitch-black sense of humor.
A nebbishy high-school science teacher finds he has lung cancer, so becomes a meth dealer to
make money for his family before his death. Often visually stunning, with a breathtaking
performance by Brian Cranston in the lead, and great work from all the supporting roles,
this portrait of a man's decent into hell couldn't be much better, and it just grows darker and
more disturbing each year.
In a way, thematically it recalls "The Godfather I and II" in how that epic charts Michael's journey
from innocence to darkness, along with the moral murkiness of the endless drive for money
and success - how we lose ourselves, so that succeeding and having ever more becomes an
end in itself for which we will pay any price, rather than a route to happiness, trapping us in a
game we can never win.
This fifth season is a brilliant, and very emotional set up for the last. This is powerful,
mportant and utterly enthralling stuff.