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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking New Ground, March 31, 2011
This review is from: Breaking Bad: Season 3 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
WARNING: This Series Is Extremely Addictive (Spoiler FREE Review)

This series truly has a perfect balance. The drama, both crime and family, is portrayed excellently. There is a nice blend of dark and light humor. The action and tension keeps you addicted and craving more. Then there are equal parts of character development and exploration that add a nice depth to the mix. Add all those elements together and they have found the perfect formula for this series. It really earns it's reputation as one of television's greatest series (filling a specific void that has been lingering since series like The Sopranos, The Shield and The Wire left our screens). This season is great and Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul show how they earned their respective 2010 Best Lead/Supporting Actor Emmy Awards. Their pairing and subsequent chemistry are what binds this series together.

The third season consists of the following thirteen episodes, three of which were censored during original air and are found uncensored here:

1 No Mas
2 Caballo Sin Nombre
3 I.F.T. (*Uncensored Version)
4 Green Light
5 Mas (*Uncensored Version)
6 Sunset
7 One Minute
8 I See You
9 Kafkaesque
10 Fly (*Uncensored Version)
11 Abiquiu
12 Half Measures
13 Full Measures

This season is amazingly crafted. It begins by picking up where last season's cliffhanger left off. Walt is dealing with some guilt and Jesse has demons of his own to overcome. From there it is a slow burn for a few episodes as things are put in place for the middle of the season. Around episodes 6, 7 and 8 things kick into a high gear that finds the series being magnificently entertaining. After that the series does some character exploration and storytelling as it all starts coming together for another season finale cliffhanger where everything comes down to the last minute. Those who've seen it know it is a wonderfully structured season and those who haven't seen it yet are in for a treat.

Special Features:

-Cast & Crew Commentaries on 9 Episodes (By Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and more)
-5 Behind-the-scenes Featurettes: Hit and Run, The Music of Breaking Bad, White Heat: Cranston on Fire, Pizza of Destiny: Cranston's Greatest Shot, Silent But Deadly: The Brothers Moncada
-Outtakes
-Deleted Scenes and Unused Footage
-Team S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Featurette
-AMC News Visits the Breaking Bad Writer's Room
-Mini Video Podcasts for every episode with Cast and Crew
-Inside Breaking Bad: 20 episodes that give a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create an episode

Exclusive to the Blu-ray (DVD buyers aren't missing much)
-Cast and Crew Photo Collection

The Breaking Bad season sets have always had a nice amount of features on them. While I love Mad Men and those sets reveal a lot of information in their commentaries they are nowhere near the Breaking Bad sets when it comes to behind-the-scenes. This Breaking Bad set not only has commentaries but like the first two sets it has a lot of supplemental material that gives viewers a real look into the making of the series. The Breaking Bad sets are, in my opinion, the best television series sets you can buy for your money.

The other thing about Breaking Bad is that it has it's own unique niche. There are other great series on television, arguably Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire among others, but Breaking Bad has something all its own. It doesn't have a period setting, it doesn't have any supernatural elements such as vampires or zombies, it is set in a modern day reality. While those other things are fun, Breaking Bad is a refreshing series that doesn't have to pay service to anything other than its story. This means that it is always attemping to tell its story in unique and interesting ways. They are always trying to break new ground and push the envelope in every way. The directing, the music selection, the writing/storytelling, every single element of this series tries to do something new or original and it is quite apparent when watching any of the episodes.

I should note I own the first two seasons on Blu-ray and they look great, but I've also seen them on DVD and they still look pretty darn good, so DVD buyer's won't be missing much (not even in regards to features). That said I'll definitely being going all in for the third time and getting the 3-disc Blu-ray. I've been having withdrawal symptoms since the last season ended, I can't wait to buy this and get psyched up for season 4!!! (Airing July 11th, and let's hope there are no more push backs!)
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