By Ryan Sloan
Now that its TV run is over, it’s time to expose a little bit about the incredible AMC show “Breaking Bad” for those who have never seen it – and for those who should really take the time to binge-watch it on Netflix or some other way.
It’s the story of Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), a down-on-his-luck high-school chemistry teacher with lung cancer (he never smoked a day in his life) and Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul), Walter’s former chemistry student who is hardly what one would call a model former student.
Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank, is a DEA agent – and in the opening episode of the series, at a family party, Hank is seen telling the entire family about the meth epidemic in America.
In the course of their discussion, Hank invites Walt on a ride-along to see a meth bust. During the ride-along, Walt learns how lucrative the meth business is – a one-pound bag of it could net a dealer $40,000. As the ride-along progresses, and as Hank prepares to partake in a meth bust, Walt suddenly eyes Jesse trying to escape the meth house.
From there, Walt “befriends” Jesse – and the two, as the title says, break bad.
Hank goes from being a well-liked high-school teacher at the beginning of the series to one of America’s most noted meth “cookers.”
“Cooker” is the term used to note someone who makes meth. And who better to cook a drug that requires numerous chemicals than a brilliant chemistry teacher? And he does it with someone who is well versed in making meth in Pinkman.
Are you starting to see how this is developing?
What’s perhaps most remarkable about this show – you’ll see it once you watch it – is that it’s written so brilliantly, so magnificently, and acted so superiorly that you find yourself identifying more with Walt and Jesse, criminals, than you do Hank and his fellow DEA agents.
What you’ll find is you want to see Walt succeed in his business, despite knowing how dangerous it is – and how illegal it is. What you’ll find is every ethical bone in your body goes out the window because the show is that compelling.
I’m only giving you a small taste, too, of what you’ll get with this show. You’ll also get to meet Hank’s wife, Skyler, and son, Walter “Flynn” Jr. There’s his sister-in-law Marie. And there are so many other unbelievably compelling characters you’ll meet. They’re so compelling, when you finish watching the series, you’ll find yourself actually missing the show, longing for more episodes.
BE WARNED — THERE ARE TONS OF SHOCKING MOMENTS.
There are, however, a few things you should know before watching this show.
It’s not suited, at all, for a young audience. No one 18 or younger should be watching this show. In fact, I’m not so sure anyone under 21 should be watching it.
There is an inordinate amount of graphic violence in the show. It’s realistic violence – and a true indicator of what happens in the world of meth. But it’s violent, nonetheless. And you have to be aware of that before watching the show.
Lastly, you’ll see scenes and actions you never thought were possible. At all. Someone told me to “brace” myself before watching “Breaking Bad,” and that was exactly what I needed. And it’s exactly what you’ll need to do.
Sir Anthony Hopkins, just last week, penned a letter to Cranston to tell him he binge-watched the show in just a week’s time, and he found the acting and writing to be the very best he’d ever seen – ever. Imagine that. These are the words of one this generation’s greatest-ever actors.
“This work of yours is spectacular – absolutely stunning,” Hopkins wrote to Cranston. “What is extraordinary is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers, every department – casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.
“Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence. You and all the cast are the best actors I’ve ever seen.”
If Hopkins feels so strongly about the show, it has got to be good, right?