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4.6 out of 5 stars835
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 72 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on 2 November 2010
I bought breaking bad off the back of all the recommendations it had on here and the amazon US site. While I agree with most reviewers that it is definitely worth watching, I wouldn't say it was faultless.

It is incredibly funny at points, with poor walt trying to balance his home life and his secret illegal life but I think a lot of the time, the pacing of the series could be tightened.

If I were you, I'd definitely buy it for the scene with the talking pillow alone!

Brilliant series, Walt and Jesse are hilarious to watch my main gripe is that it ends too soon!
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HALL OF FAMEon 11 February 2010
Breaking Bad is one of the most original and engaging series to emerge from the US for some time, which through this short 7 part first season manages to really find its pace in the last few episodes.
Bryan Cranston is a solid lead and thankfully his character Walter White is far from predictable as he crosses the moral fence between middle american school teacher and meth lab chemist. The standout actor by far is Aaron Paul as Walter Whites white trash meth-head partner Jesse, and the series really picks up pace the more he features. Tuco the drug dealer is also superb and scarily crazy.
Breaking Bad pulls no punches in dealing with the dark side of the drug culture in the US, and there is no shortage of violence and grisly disposal of bodies, which punctuate the narrative much like the early series of the Sopranos.
This first series suffers a little as the story lingers on Walter Whites home life in the first few episodes, but having established the characters and set-up sufficient tension, the stage is set for what should be a great second series. Lets cook...
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on 4 November 2010
Watched this after it came up in my Amazon recommendations section. Was a bit sceptical at first but by the end of the first episode I was ready to watch more. Ended up really enjoying the whole series. You occasionally have to sit back and let some of the overly unrealistic scenes pass you by, but the excellent mix of drama and subtle comedy is worth suspending your disbelief for.
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on 28 August 2014
Very well made, original series that maintains its standards in subsequent seasons.

Nice to see a subject like chemistry being made potentially cool.

Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White who we first see as a High School Chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who once had greater ambitions as an industrial research chemist co-founding his own company, until he lost that chance by quarrelling with his then business partner.

When Walter is diagnosed with a fatal illness, knowing he has not made enough money as a teacher to provide adequately for his family after his death, using his ordinary, respectable job as a cover, he decides to use his scientific skills to make money fast and dangerously. He does so by secretly manufacturing the illegal drug crystal methamphetamine to an exceptionally high quality and purity compared to those previously offered by local drug dealers.

Aided by his former pupil, the volatile Jesse, played by Aaron Paul, Walter becomes drawn into a world previously foreign to him of drug dealing networks, money laundering and murderous drug barons, with whom he learns to co-operate and then compete, and shows he has a ruthless streak himself.

You might think Walter's original motive of making money to provide for his family after he is gone comes close to excusing what he does, yet the strains of leading a secret life threaten to break up his marriage and family. His need for money is also partly due to being too proud to ask his former business partner for help.

This means that although this programme is sufficiently well made that we can become involved enough to actually want Walter and his side-kick Jesse not to be caught, Walter is never fully likeable. The makers of this series intended it that way, as they, rightly, do not want us to go away thinking that supplying illegal drugs is a `cool' career choice. However, this also creates the one major weakness of `Breaking Bad' as entertainment: we can be interested in the central character and what he does, but we cannot really like him.

Hence, although Breaking Bad has won many awards, is interesting to watch and I recommend it, compared to another very good and original US crime related series of recent years that also has with a morally ambiguous hero, Dexter, while Breaking Bad may on balance be just slightly the better of 2 very good programmes for acting, directing and script writing, Dexter is just slightly more enjoyable to watch. If you can, watch both Breaking Bad and Dexter; but if you only see one, I personally would go for Dexter: Complete Season 1 [DVD].
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on 28 June 2013
A family saga, a personal drama, a black comedy. Breaking Bad is all these things and more. This short but very sweet first series introduces two of the most well rounded, well written characters to grace our screen. Their tenuous relationship alone is enough to float this series.

Walter White is a good man who teaches chemistry and has lived a normal life. That is until he is diagnosed with lung cancer. He panics, despairs but most of all worries for his family's future. After all his wife is expecting a baby. He unexpectedly bumps into an old student of his in a rather compromising situation. This could be his way out.

Combining his chemistry skills with the "business links" that Jesse has, his new partnership takes to making the best drugs in town, and so their mini-adventure begins.

The series works because there are so many layers to the story. On the surface this does just seem like a drug fable with the normal tropes thrown in. Peel back some of those layers and you will see a family struggling to cope with the prospect of losing the head of the house. On top of all this you have Walter struggling to create the drugs whilst keeping any violence to a minimum. He struggles with the morality of the whole situation. Does he continue to risk people getting hurt for the money or does he walk away and leave his family in dire straits.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are superb. They play of each other wonderfully and their tense partnership is both sweet and destructive. Over the 7 episodes they really grow together and the story really excels when they are together.

The writers of Breaking Bad have skilfully woven a story and a superb character arc into such a short space of time. With one of the best written characters around it had to be a supreme actor to take up the role. Bryan Cranston delivers in spades. He is strong, emotional and sometimes utterly terrifying. He has a moral compass which sways erratically and he goes from being the meek teacher to the ultimate dealer. A character up to his knees in a cesspit, Cranston gives him heart and in turn makes the audience support him even though it doesn't feel right to.

Aaron Paul shouldn't go without a mention either. His bubbly, erratic Jesse is the superb counter to Walter's downbeat persona. He bounds around spitting insults and avoiding the police as if it is the most natural thing in the world. He can't understand why a bumbling old chemistry teacher is helping him out, but he doesn't care when the product is this good.

A criminally short lived series that begs you to move on to series two. Breaking Bad is television at its best.
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on 13 February 2013
This is truly great television - it's /almost/ on a par with The Wire. Great characters, great acting, and a tight and credible script that's real and unreal at once. It's the story of a regular person just like you and I who descends (or is it ascends - the piece is wilful about its moral ambiguity) at a vertiginous rate to criminal existence of unimaginable horror and yet wonder, while at once facing an entirely ordinary home and work life, a life seared by his bitter, Damocletian cancer. It's at points frightening, heartwarming, exciting, and black (no, really black) humoured. The darkest part is the part at which I laughed the loudest. Like the best drama, it's human light in dark places. You should buy this.

So why doesn't "truly great television" deserve five stars? The trouble is that that the first season, shortened by the Hollywood writers' strike, is only seven episodes. Subsequent series are 13 episodes, or 16. So Season One is really a half season, and the price /should/ (but, as I write, doesn't) fairly reflect that. On loading disk 3 (of 3) to play its single lonely episode I felt a little cheated. So buying just Season One is like dating a beautiful woman with a scintillating personality, only to have her leave your date half way through. Just like all of Breaking Bad, it's a lovely agony.
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on 4 October 2013
Short season 1, just 7 episodes. For me ranging from slow, dragging episodes where not much happens to amazingly brilliant fast moving, edge of seat episodes.

Blu ray quality is excellent, the menu system is odd though, easy to press the wrong option. Reasonably good extras.

Basically a good quality intro into what everyone says rivals the wire as best series ever. I'm still with the wire but roll on season 2.
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on 2 January 2015
I found it started rather slowly but became more interesting as it progressed. What made the difference was the protagonist progressively changing from the bumbling caricature of the middle class and middle aged White American male into a more malevolent and focussed being with his eye on the ultimate prize. The acting in the minor roles is excellent; the woman who plays Skyler, the wife in the series, has played it every bit as annoying as you would expect from a muddle headed idealist from Vassar. And and the DEA brother in law and his wife are superbly done. I have been told that the main character Walt White, goes over to the "dark side" at some point and I am keen to see how this is managed. It figures to be quite a transformation.
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on 22 April 2011
I purchased this DVD collection having read a review which said it was equally as good as The Wire, which was excellent.

Although a slowish start this series is very watchable and as the series evolves the characters are revealed and is a must watch.

Would recommend this if you really enjoy good television, there are no dramatic explosions to liven the pace up, the script is good and flows and the characters, flaws and all, are very believable. The actors all fit their roles and give an excellant performance.
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on 27 September 2013
Eventually the buzz got to me and I decided to see for myself. The first episode was gripping, but from then I felt that the script writers were playing catch up with some slightly clunky plot openings and only by the last episode have things settled down. However, I'm now about to embark on series 2, so you can say I'm a believer.The cuts to black where they appear are annoying, but I'm not sure if these were for commercials or for dramatic effect. Actually the meth part of the story is the more gripping, but I can see the moral dilemmas piling up in the background for the other family members, so I expect more from them in Series 2.
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