Breaking Bad (please no spoilers)

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So the series just finished... and I started watching the last [half-]season yesterday. I wanted to wait until it was finished so I could watch episodes back-to-back, rather than being stuck on a cliffhanger every week.

And oh man... I had almost forgotten how crazy good this show is.

Quite possibly the single greatest television show in history. I know that's a bold claim but I struggle to think of any show that's better.

Anyone else a fan?
I love it. I also agree it's easily the best show on TV for this generation. I would almost argue of all time.
It's amazing how much the characters evolve, too. Like I started out rooting for Walt, but now I hate his guts. And Jesse turned like a 180 (or at least is trying really hard to). And Skyler... man... I used to feel so sorry for her, but now with her recent chain of terrible decisions.... graaaaah.

BrBa on the Brain

EDIT: About the only people I've been rooting for since day 1 were Walt Jr. and Hank. But even Hank started out as kind of an asshole -- until I realized that's just like his personality.
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The character development is what defines the show. There's been several points in the show where I find myself rooting for what would probably be the bad guy. There was a point where I totally was OK with Gus.

You need to hurry up and finish the show :)
It was hands-down the best series I've ever seen; there's no contest as far as I'm concerned. The character development is brilliant as you say, but I actually still rooted for Walt even though I know how twisted he is. In much the same vein, I always hated Skylar even though logically I think she was right all along. I think the reason people hate her so much is that she gets in the way of the plot, but that's literally the purpose of her character. She's the "hinderer" -- a character archetype in probably every piece of western fiction.

As for Hank, I really liked Hank which made it difficult to root for Walt. I don't think he was ever really an asshole. He comes off as a bit arrogant but I think that's down to repressed insecurity - he's very strong but clearly even he has his weaknesses. He might seem like an asshole because of the way he teases people -- particularly with the racial slurs to Gomez -- but I think that's just his way of being friendly. It's not uncommon amongst men. He's actually very smart and relatively good at dealing with conflict. He was a good agent, you could definitely see his integrity and moral compass in the episode where he gets into trouble for beating up Jesse and refuses to lie about it.

The only thing I dislike about Hank is the way he -- and seemingly all the DEA agents and police officers in the series -- trivialise the killing and maiming of the criminals they hunt. I think the fact that he lacks sympathy for the suffering of criminals, but does empathise with other DEA agents like in the episode when the cartel bombs the DEA, is satirising the attitude of law enforcement and soldiers towards their targets, whereby they're trained to see them as sub-humans and glorify their killing. A real-world example would be the video of the USAF pilots accidentally killing British soldiers. When they think they killed Taliban targets, they're pleased with themselves and excited, but when they learn that they were actually British soldiers all along, suddenly they "feel sick", as if the Taliban aren't humans just because they're "the enemy". Given the depth of the writing of Breaking Bad it wouldn't surprise me if that satire was actually there, and not just my inner English Lit student coming out.

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Are there any shows that have comparable quality of writing? Game of Thrones is good, especially on the character development front, and although it's not drama, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm have excellent writing, but what about others? I've heard good things about The Walking Dead.
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Really? I just could never get into it. May just be the fact that when I look at Bryan Cranston I couldn't see Walter White, but rather I kept seeing him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.
but rather I kept seeing him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.

That's how my girlfriend was at first when I got her into it. She got over it and ended up loving the show as much as I do.
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but rather I kept seeing him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.


hehe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mVq_4BA5DQ

EDIT:

At the start, I would have agreed with that sentiment...but now I only see Heisenberg.
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chrisname wrote:
As for Hank, I really liked Hank which made it difficult to root for Walt. I don't think he was ever really an asshole. He comes off as a bit arrogant but I think that's down to repressed insecurity


Yeah... it took me a bit to realize this. Like in the first ep when they introduced his character, I was like "oh man, this guy's gonna suck", but then after you get exposed to him a bit more you warm up to him.

Given the depth of the writing of Breaking Bad it wouldn't surprise me if that satire was actually there, and not just my inner English Lit student coming out.


I'm almost positive it was intentional. They put spotlights on that for Tuco and especially for the tortoise guy.

I think the reason people hate [Skyler] so much is that she gets in the way of the plot, but that's literally the purpose of her character. She's the "hinderer" -- a character archetype in probably every piece of western fiction.


I don't hate her... I just think she makes really bad decisions. She had so many outs and she just refused to take them. I don't really think she gets in the way of the plot either... I mean so much of the plot kind of hinges on her.


BHXSpecter wrote:
Really? I just could never get into it. May just be the fact that when I look at Bryan Cranston I couldn't see Walter White, but rather I kept seeing him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.


Give it another chance. Watch the first 3 eps. By the end of the 3rd you'll be totally hooked and will have forgetten all about Hal.


chrisname wrote:
Are there any shows that have comparable quality of writing? Game of Thrones is good, especially on the character development front,


I tried to get into Game of Thrones but it didn't grab my interest quickly enough. The slow start was very boring for me and I kept telling myself "okay, it's just building up, give it time" but then I gave up when I realized I was not at all enjoying myself and was just tolerating boredom in the hopes that the show would pick up.


Curb is great but pretty formulaic. After watching a dozen or so eps it becomes really easy to start seeing patterns and being able to predict what's going to happen. Seinfeld was basically like "Curb Lite".


As for other shows, Battlestar Galactica is worth a mention for quality of acting (except for Helo), and general plot... but the writing does get pretty corny at times, so I can't really say it's BrBa tier.

A few of the new Doctor Whos are pretty epic, as well. The season 2 finale transitions from being a heart-breaking tear jerker to rolling on the floor in laughter within 2 minutes. And some of the individual episodes/specials are just phenominal.... specifically the 'Waters on Mars' special, the 'Blink' episode in season 3 (with the weeping angels), and the library episodes in season 4. That show generally has interesting plots, fantastic acting, and great writing... and it spans a lot of genres (comedy/sci-fi/cheesy B-movie/drama/thriller) touching a little bit in each one in various episodes. You never really know what you're going to get.
Breaking bad?
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I haven't seen Lost but I've heard... well... less than great things about it. I've heard it likened to a tweener/reality-show style drama. Like Glee without the singing.
Also

ResidentBuscuit wrote:
There was a point where I totally was OK with Gus.


I was OK with Gus for pretty much all of it. Jesse really screwed that whole deal up. But at the same time I sympathize with Jesse's decision there because he was trying to do the right thing.
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As for Hank, I really liked Hank which made it difficult to root for Walt.


I was totally on Team Hank until he became so obsessed with catching Heisenberg that he started doing things off the books, and didn't care if a "certain informant" got murdered by Heisenberg in the process.
Overall, the show is nearly perfect and ended absolutely spectacularly. Everybody got what was coming to them, and all loose ends tied up very nicely. Can't wait for my full bluray boxset in the methylamine barrel case.

Fun fact, Jesse was supposed to be killed off in the first season but they kept him because of Aaron Paul's amazing chemistry with Bryan Cranston. Seeing how the series ended, seems pretty appropriate.

(Did anyone ever back back and tell Huell it was safe to leave the motel room?)
I was totally on Team Hank


I was trying really hard to avoid typing "Team <character>", but the thought of doing that did cross my mind.

Freaking Twilight.

EDIT: also I heard that about Jesse as well. Aaron Paul really does a great job with the role. In fact I don't think anyone on the show is anything less than perfectly cast. They all do a really great job.
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Disch wrote:
I don't hate her... I just think she makes really bad decisions. She had so many outs and she just refused to take them. I don't really think she gets in the way of the plot either... I mean so much of the plot kind of hinges on her.

"Gets in the way of the plot" was the wrong way to say it. She does help drive the plot, but in a way that usually contradicts what Walt, and thus the audience (I don't know about you but personally I almost always find myself rooting for the protagonist, even when he's morally ambiguous or even clearly monstrous), wants and I think that's at least partly what people find annoying about her.

Disch wrote:
I tried to get into Game of Thrones but it didn't grab my interest quickly enough. The slow start was very boring for me and I kept telling myself "okay, it's just building up, give it time" but then I gave up when I realized I was not at all enjoying myself and was just tolerating boredom in the hopes that the show would pick up.

The same happened to me. I watched the first episode and found it really boring so I quit about halfway through. Then I went back to it because I had nothing else to do and found it moderately interesting. By the end of the second season I was having to tell myself "I was wrong about this". Anyone who knows me would tell you that if I admit I'm wrong about something, I was really wrong about it.

Curb is great but pretty formulaic. After watching a dozen or so eps it becomes really easy to start seeing patterns and being able to predict what's going to happen. Seinfeld was basically like "Curb Lite".

That's true.

ProgrammingJunkie wrote:
(Did anyone ever back back and tell Huell it was safe to leave the motel room?)

http://i.imgur.com/FGoKNv6.png
Okay, so I'm on the 3RD EPISODE and there are bunzloads of spoilers.

dafuq
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The series is over. What did you expect?
So I just finished up the series! Pretty much just watched it all day this afternoon.


Waaaah. Part of me is satisfied, but another part of me is unhappy with the ending. I dunno I can't get into it without getting way into spoiler territory... but man....
Is it really so interested? I have watched the first episode of the first season. But don't have the motivation to continues to watch. Regarding Lost, I have watched all seasons. maybe I just like sifi drama.
On the subject of shows worth watching: Misfits is a UK sci-fi show that I enjoyed the hell out of. There was some talk about doing an Americanized version, but I don't think it ever came to fruition. Nathan (Robert Sheehan) in the early episodes was really enjoyable. All of the episodes are available on Hulu.
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