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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 September 2014
Season 2 follows directly on from season 1. There's no overlap. The action picks up immediately and you're thrown straight back into the world of science teacher Walter White in his battle against cancer and his plunge into the murky world of drugs. I'd recommend you watch season 1 first. It sets the scene for what's to come and so much has happened to Walt, and his family, you might struggle to make sense of it if you don't watch the series in the proper order.

One thing's for sure; it's certainly ramped up in terms of action and violence and it's strong stuff. What makes it acceptable is the brilliant story that's unfolding throughout and the highly believable characters you just can't help bonding with. For that it's similar to the Sopranos but; Breaking Bad is in a whole other league. What I particularly enjoy is the wicked, dark humour flying around and the ongoing growth of the lead characters. The relationship between Walter White, Bryan Cranston, and his hapless, addict sidekick Jesse, Aaron Paul, is brilliantly worked into the plot. Extremely good TV.

Breaking Bad - Season 2 - contains all 13 episodes on 4 discs and runs for approx. 9 hours and 50 minutes.
English subtitles.
Age 15+ suitability due to 'bloody violence, hard drug use and drug references'.
Extras;
Cast and Crew commentaries, Deleted scenes, Inside Breaking Bad - 13 featurettes about the making of each episode, Season 1 recap, "Negro y Azul" Music Video, "Better call Saul" Commercial, 11 behind the scene featurettes, Cop talk with Dean Norris, Gag reel, Walt's warning, 6 Breaking Bad original webisodes, Season 3 sneak peak, Vince Gilligan's photo gallery.
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on 17 August 2010
I think this whole show is the best thing since the Sopranos. Funny, sad, heartwrenching, disgusting, violent, incredibly poignant; the story of a good man going bad while you still like and sympathise with him. Characters with confused moral codes, trying to do the right thing in the light of their twisted and ambivalent ethics. Just like the Sopranos - murderers who are loving and loyal to their family and friends. Towering achievement. Don't watch it without seeing season 1 first. S2 is much darker than season 1, fewer belly laughs, but still absolutely the best thing. I watched it all over again straight after the first viewing, simply because there isn't anything else I want to see more than this. Now I'm suffering waiting for season 3!
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on 14 June 2010
Dark, tragic and funny. There are not many programmes to match this program, it's far better than most movies let alone tv programmes. Some of the scenes, particularly in series 3 are outstanding and rank as ones that will stay memorable for some time.

Series 2 portrays the further drawing of the principle characters into a dark, dark world and the moral and practical decisions they are forced to make in order to protect and grow their drug business (started with the best of intentions).

This is a tv series that has yet to catch on mainstream but deserves all the success of The Sopranos, The Wire etc.

Brilliantly cast, acted, written and filmed. Understated and always, always totally engaging.

If you only watch one new series this year - this should be it. Can't recommend it enough.
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on 28 May 2013
Walt's cancer treatment is reaching a crucial point and he needs more money. What solution is there but to up his meth production, take control of distribution and go up against the Mexican mob?

I try to avoid gushing, but it's hard not to get a bit Academy-Awards-Acceptance-Speech about this series. Honestly though, Breaking Bad is quite possibly the best thing to have come out of US TV in years. Beautiful writing, exquisite photography and award-winning acting, all joined up to make a witty and profoundly compelling darkly comic drama series.

Series 2 takes over from S1 and goes to the next level making it hard to see how subsequent seasons can hope to imprpove (I understand that they do, however). OK there are possibly more characters each with their own story-arcs to follow than might be considered optimal and the subject material itself is challenging. However, the underlying humour* keeps it from getting too bleak and it's great not to have to sit through the saccharine laden faux-morality that is more traditionally extruded from the US TV entertainment-mill. True enough, the "actions have unintended consequences" cliche runs through every part of the series and is woven from a heavy thread, but part of the fun of it is seeing just how far Walt's decisions reach.

As with Season 1, S2 really is unputdownable stuff; every episode is a tantalising cliffhanger. Buy it. Watch it. Keep it.

* Bob Odenkirk's bent lawyer is a wonderful addition to the cast, larger than life and stereotyped as hell. Great fun.

"Look, you remember Emilio? This dude got Emilio off, like, twice. Both times they had him dead to rights, yo, and then poof. Dude's like Houdini. Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer. Alright, you want a //criminal// lawyer. You know what I'm saying?"
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2014
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.

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.

The second season made clear the promise of the first would be lived up to. The show would
go to the edge, even if it meant risking alienating the audience. This is powerful, important
and yet utterly enthralling stuff.
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on 13 February 2014
I have now seen all the Breaking Bad series and rate it one of the best dramas I have ever seen. Beware, once you start it is addictive and leads to many late nights. The temptation to "let's see one more episode" is very strong. A sad day indeed when the final episode comes to an end as there is nothing else available that is anywhere near as good.
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Walter White and Jesse Pinkman have made a deal with a local crimelord to distribute their distinctive blue-tinged crystal meth, but their associate turns out to be highly unstable and dangerously unpredictable. As they try to extricate themselves from their situation, Walter's medical treatment continues and his secret comes dangerously close to being exposed.

The second season of Breaking Bad picks up immediately where the prematurely-ended (due to the 2008-09 Writer's Strike) first season ended and continues the themes established there. Walter White is having the worst mid-life crisis ever, the bitterness and resentment built up by a lifetime spent achieving only mediocrity finally boiling over, catalysed by his cancer diagnosis, and fuelling his evolution into a surprisingly competent criminal. The show isn't interested in standing still and pushes White's development episode-by-episode whilst contrasting that with Jesse's descent back into drug addiction hell and showing the impact of these events on White's family and Jesse's strained relationship with his parents.

As before the show is darkly humourous and relentless in how it shows White trying to justify everything logically (if only to himself) and becoming at times speechless in disbelief when other people don't buy his selfish reasoning. The core of the show remains Bryan Cranston's committed performance and that's even stronger this season than before. Aaron Paul also deserves superlatives for the tricky balancing act of continuing to make Jesse sympathetic even when he is self-destructing so wastefully.

The greater episode count this time around allows for the deepening of the secondary cast. In particular, Dean Norris gets more to do as Walter's DEA agent brother-in-law, who moves from simplistic jock meathead to a more layered character suffering panic attacks after witnessing the real horrors of the drug war along the border. New and highly memorable characters also show up, such as Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a brilliantly slimy lawyer who becomes Walter's confidante by dint of no-one else being available. Krysten Ritter puts in a terrific performance as Jesse's arty new girlfriend Jane, with the excellent John de Lancie playing her father. There's also some fertile ground-laying for future seasons, with both Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) appearing in the last few episodes as Walter and Jesse's new - and hopefully more reliable - business associates.

Negatives are hard to find. There's an underlying air of implausibility about the show, such as Jesse's drug dealing associates doing their business in broad daylights on street corners with bling prominently on the display, and the final episode strains credulity with unlikely coincidence building on unlikely coincidence before the final moments of the season which feel very random. But the subsequent season does a good job of selling these moments to make them work better in retrospect.

The second season of Breaking Bad (*****) is, by a nose, better than the first, written and acted with growing confidence and a more accomplished juggling of the different characters and storylines.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 December 2013
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.

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.

The second season made clear the promise of the first would be lived up to. The show would
go to the edge, even if it meant risking alienating the audience. This is powerful, important
and yet utterly enthralling stuff.
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on 5 March 2014
Breaking Bad season two is an absolute master class in character development. A huge step up from season one which just felt like an introduction, season two builds and then breaks its characters relationships and leaves the viewer gripped to the very end and then frazzled as the final credits roll.

Walt's descent into the drug world completes itself here. Bryan Cranston successfully portrays someone who slips from a happy suburban life into the dark realities of the drug world. Hardening himself the pitfalls of his new chosen profession, Walt decides that Heisenberg must flourish and to do so a network of employees needs to be recruited.

The script is immensely gripping, keeping you hooked on every episode. It quietly takes over your life and leaves you aching to see what these well written characters get up to next. It also feels totally organic. Each new scenario both Walt and Jessie find themselves in feels like it occurs naturally and is very grounded.

The introduction of Saul as a sort of financial advisor is a masterstroke and opens many more doors for these characters. Every moment has tension, from Walt's family life and the lies he tells to keep them away from the truth to his relationship with Hank which is starting to show signs of tension and he circles closer to the truth behind Heisenberg.

It isn't without its touching moments either. Hanks emotional state after being caught up in a couple of gun fights shows another (albeit short lived) side to his normally gruff exterior. Skyler with her constant struggles to look past some of the inaccuracies of Walt's stories and then ultimately Jessie's crushing devastation with the loss of someone he loves.

Breaking Bad is simply marvellous and shouldn't be missed. If the first season failed to whet your appetite give this one a go. With more time to flesh out the characters and develop the story season two is sublime.
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on 5 June 2014
I seldom watch films beyond 11pm but was compelled to watch it from 8pm to 2am! It's shocking but a film where far-fetched becomes believable & is definitely addictive. It took me a long time to get into Season 1 as this is, so I thought, not my kind of film. How wrong I was! By the end of the first season I was yearning for more & after watching action-packed Season 2 I have ordered Seasons 3 & 4. Superb acting by our two main characters: Walt & Jesse, & excellent, very realistic character portrayal which is enhanced by the contrast between the two of them. Amazingly, Walt's deep love for Jesse comes over very strongly in the last episode, or is it Walt's addiction to earning B . . .I . . .G money that that far exceeds his love of anyone now, even himself. I'm utterly amazed that he's still alive after the way he has starved his cancer-ridden body of food & water over such a long period of time/
This series has EVERYTHING, & is like no other on TV or Cinema . . . .BUY IT!
(It is especially interesting if you know someone who dabbles or has dabbled in drugs - a sad but realistic representation in parts of today's drug culture & the way it can invade all levels of society!)
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