Breaking Bad - Season 1 [DVD]
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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'.
No one would confuse the desperate dad Bryan Cranston plays in this character-driven drama with the fun-loving Hal from Malcolm in the Middle. In Breaking Bad, Walter White lives in the suburbs with his wife--and wears tighty-whiteys--but the similarities end there. During the pilot, the cash-strapped chemistry teacher finds out he has inoperable lung cancer. He and Skyler (Deadwood's Anna Gunn) have one son, Walter Jr. (R.J. Mitte), and a daughter on the way. With two years to get his affairs in order, Walter comes up with a wild plan: he and former student Jesse (Aaron Paul), a drug dealer, will open a meth lab.
In the hands of creator Vince Gilligan (The X-Files), Bad's first season plays like the improbable offspring of Weeds and The Shield. With nothing left to lose, the Albuquerque 50-year-old uses his death sentence as a catalyst to break every rule he's ever followed while keeping his family--including Skyler's radiologist sister, Marie (Betsy Brandt), and her DEA agent husband, Hank (Dean Norris)--out of the loop. Throughout these seven episodes, Walt takes on a hostage, a dead body, and a partner who likes to sample his own product. Based on the description alone, it shouldn't work as well as it does, except Gilligan and company keep the situations psychologically believable and Emmy winner Cranston makes Walt surprisingly sympathetic as he swings between compassion and self-interest. As he tells his students, "Chemistry is the study of change", a statement that applies equally well to the show, since Walt ends up in a very different place than where he began. --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Ive seen all three seasons and without giving any spoliers suffice to say it just gets better amd better, everything is like one long huge film rather than having any 'filler' episodes but each one still remains unique, great writing and acting all around.
Comparing this to any other tv is a bit redundant its so original, the way its shot as well (in parts) is beautiful the dialouge is snappy and theres black humour (the best) throughout with a healthy dose of 'serious' moments too and it definitely makes you think.
More than anything though its just fun,classy tv and i think will appeal to allsorts. So buy it, watch it, love it (inevitably) and spread the word.
Hopefully they release the third season in the uk soon and this doesnt become something us brits overlook completely. Its better than most other programmes out there its just hard to find it on.
Who is Brian Cranston? Don't know, but he deserves each and every award that he has received, been nominated for, and if there aren't any he hasn't got and you think he should have, for goodness sake get creative and INVENT one. Same goes for whathisface Gilligan and everyone else.
Where one earth do I start?
Maybe it's the deconstruction and disassembly of the American Dream.
Walter, a gifted chemistry teacher, one day wakes up and finds out that his persistent cough is lung cancer. That would be bad enough, but his circumstances are such that he is far more terrified about the future than any normal person would be given his diagnosis. The story is basically what he is prepared to do to try to make a future for his wife, his teenage son and his baby (who is about to arrive).
So far so good. But what a merry dance we are led into. We are tempted to believe that Walt really is very unfortunate, but as the series progresses, and believe me, it does so in fine style, we start to see faint but unmistakable inconsistencies in this apparent series of facts; we see (for instance) that his son is actually very intelligent, far from being helpless, he's a one of the series' strongest characters, and so it goes on - what really IS driving Walt?
What is REALLY going on?
I'll let you find out.
I don't know where to begin with the enormous questions that the series raises.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
BOUGHT FROM MUSIC MAGPIE AND THE DISC WAS SO BAD IT DIDNT PLAY. GOT RIPPED OFF. THEY TOOK MY MONEY AND RAN OFF SELLING ME A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT. MUST BE AVOIDED LIKD THE PLAGUE. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Gulita
Great entertaining series to watch if you like this genre.....thanks.Published 14 days ago by RealisticNick
Just caught up with Breaking Bad - excellent, getting the rest !Published 29 days ago by Mr M Atkinson