Breaking Bad is not just my favorite television show. It’s my favorite piece of popular art ever.
For a show about a hugely successful methamphetamine empire, at its core, it is a terrifying anti-drug message. There’s something to be said about the writing when you cannot look away from the horrifying train wreck that is the show’s protagonist. Bryan Cranston’s Walter White is one of the most compelling characters written for any medium. There are times when his deception seems unjustifiable and then Vince Gilligan reminds you that one doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad person to do bad things. Evil is quite possibly the unfortunate byproduct of a life fully and recklessly lived.
There is so much to take away from Breaking Bad that it’s almost overwhelming. It is beautifully filmed and exceptionally well-written. But what brings it home, is the palpable tension that the show’s narrative nails.
Critics have been unanimous of their praise of Breaking Bad and yet, to me, that doesn’t do it enough justice.