on 9 July 2015
I bought this as a gift and it arrived quickly and on time. It was neatly packaged. I would strongly recommend.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years, you will have, at least, heard of Breaking Bad. For you rock dwellers, Breaking Bad is the story of a hardworking teacher (Walter White, aka Heisenberg) who, throughout his life, has always been the underdog. Despite being a chemistry wiz, he lost out on the opportunity to make millions out of his own discoveries, and whilst his friends became unimaginably wealthy from his ideas, he 'Broke Good' and taught secondary school chemistry. Not only that, but in doing so, he ended up losing his first love to the said friend who makes millions from his ideas. Walter always was the good guy; that is, until he discovers he has Stage IIIA lung cancer and is unable to pay for his treatment. Being unwilling to take any form of charity, even from his wealthiest friends, Walter White ends up between a rock and a hard place: accept his mortality or fight against it. In choosing to fight against it, Walter realises that, as a teacher without medical insurance, and by refusing to take charity, his only option financially is 'breaking bad' and turning his chemistry know-how into cooking the purest Methamphetamine the State had seen. He enters into business with his previous student, Jessie Pinkman, who is able to use his 'low level' criminal contacts to gradually market his new product.
The product quickly becomes highly in demand, as Walter and Jessie begin to rise through the criminal hierarchy, they begin to make many enemies in the criminal underworld. As their criminal empire grows throughout the seasons, Walter's moral dilemma of his criminal behaviour becomes more and more emphasised: his motive changes from simply raising money to pay for his chemotherapy to leaving his family 'something' behind after he's gone. As his morality 'breaks bad', this is reflected in the imagery surrounding Walter (the locations, his clothing, his behaviour and his treatment of others, including his family becomes increasingly darker and more aggressive. The problem is that the something Walter wishes to leave behind ($$$) gets bigger and bigger as Walter becomes more and more embroiled in the criminal underworld. So big, in fact, he has to make excuses to his friends and family about where his sudden wealth is coming from, and moreover, how to launder it into 'clean money'. This is where the crooked lawyers come in, Saul Goodman. This is all happening under the nose of his brother in law, Hank Schrader, a highly thought of police officer in the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Hank is in charge of identifying the elusive 'Heisenburg' (i.e. Walter) and as the seasons progress, Hank's suspicions get closer and closer to identifying his brother in law, Walter. This cat and mouse chase is quite literally unbearably exciting - So much that I ploughed through whole Seasons in a matter of days.
The show is most famous for its excellent script writing. Its use of imagery, music, and psychological games adds to what is, undoubtedly, the best show of the last decade. Whilst I personally felt the show became slower (some even say lost its way) between seasons 3-4, it is still a great show. It is simply that compared with the dramatic decent into the criminal underworld in Seasons 1-2, seasons 3-4 would undoubtedly be slower as Walter becomes more and more complacent. Walter's hubrism builds to an explosive (quite literally) ending in Season 5. In this sense, ending at 5 seasons is quite refreshing because the show didn't "sell itself out" by chasing profits. Instead of potentially making many more millions over 10 seasons, it righly maintains its artistic standards and 'bows out early'.
Ever wondered why you struggle through your 9-5 monotonous job on a daily basis, and wondered about more illicit means of making your millions? First watch Breaking Bad!
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.
At of this writing (Dec. 2013) this set of the first half of the series is less than half the cost
of the set of the whole series. But I can't imagine you'd just want the first half, so
it may be easier just to get the whole set..
on 21 June 2014
Wasn't 100% sure this would be my sort of thing, but, having read all the rave reviews, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I now can see! What a fantastic series - fast-paced, unpredictable, thoughtful and profound in ways I hadn't anticipated. The violence in the first episode or two was a bit hard to take, but it wasn't gratuitous. Later episodes were less gruelling in this respect. The icing on the cake is how well acted it is - all the actors are completely convincing and draw the viewer in to their various situations. Can't wait to see the next two series...
on 26 August 2014
This is clearly a special series. Thought provoking , nailbiting and a bit of humour (i personally wish there was a bit more of humour.) I dont know how people can "binge" watch several episodes in one viewing session. one episode a night is as much as i can take. It is so good. But a relaxing pleasure to watch - no way. And how people can stil take hard drugs after seeing some of the scenes beggars my belief. I guess that I`m too old and , because it is so well done, take it too seriously.
on 13 April 2014
This was not my usual crime drama. I'd seen the first dozen episodes on a flight back from New Zealand, so bought the first 3 series. My wife won't look at it. It's too gruesome for her tastes, but my tastes are a little broader minded. I find the series compelling viewing with all sorts of twists and turns in the plot. The story challenges one's prejudices and moral convivtions, but it's always surprising and interesting throughout. Not for the faint-hearted.