Top positive review
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This is the best new series on TV anywhere at the moment
on 8 September 2009
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.