Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Very well made and original. Nice to see a subject like chemistry made potentially cool
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].