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Showing 1-10 of 1,126 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,266 reviews
VINE VOICEon June 28, 2010
After 3 years of BREAKING BAD, I'm still amazed and bemused that I've grown to care so very much about a meth manufacturer and his messed-up, addictive young assistant. In Season One, Walter White (Bryan Cranston, in one of the best performances of the decade) was a mild-mannered high school science teacher who finds out he's likely dying of cancer, and uses his knowledge of chemistry to concoct a really excellent form of meth. He turns to a former student and druggie, Jesse (Aaron Paul, in one of the other great performances of the decade) to help him sell the stuff. The two form an awkward bond, punctuated by nearly comedic moments when their ineptitude causes endless trouble for them. Walt struggles to hide his double life from his wife Skylar, his sickly teenage son and his brother-in-law Hank, who happens to be a DEA agent.

In Season Two, the success of Walt's meth draws unwanted attention from various law enforcement types, as well as those on the wrong side of the law. Walt's secret becomes harder to hide, and Jesse and Walt grow estranged as several bad turns force a wedge between them. Jesse falls in love, but he and his girl, a recovering addict, don't exactly help each other out. Walt & Jesse are further "assisted" by a new attorney (Bob Odenkirk, offering probably the only comic relief to be found anymore) who tried hard to help these two launder their money. The season ends badly, with tragedies both personal and widespread...and Walt's marriage is in shambles.

Season 3 introduces us to a new Walt, one that has been evolving since the beginning. He's now a hardened criminal, still showing his mild-mannered side...but also fully turned over to his darkness. In Season Two, he committed a couple of acts that were so horrific that he can no longer really look himself in the mirror and see the "good guy" he once was. He partners with a local drug kingpin (wonderfully played by Giancarlo Esposito) and begins to manufacture on a scale he had scarcely imagined possible. Jesse struggles with loss and addiction, and it's a long time before these two old partners come together again.

There are many wonderful things about the show and Season 3. First, the character evolution is better than on almost any other show on TV. You can actually track the changes to these folks in a way that makes you realize that most other TV characters basically remain unchangeable. You see that Walt has become a crafty "bad" guy...he has truly broken bad. His wife has evolved. His son. Hank. And poor Jesse. They hardly resemble the characters we first met...and time has not been kind to any of them. And with the excellent writing, directing and acting...we can practically feel the guild and corruption pouring off of them.

The show introduces some great new characters, and develops Esposito & Odenkirk to a great extent. I particularly enjoyed the two hit men from south of the border. These two cousins are vicious killers who never speak a word...and you'd be hard-pressed to find two creepier characters in recent TV history. They are introduced in the squirm-inducing first scene of the season...setting you up perfectly to be on edge for just about anything all year. Midway through the season, Hank and these two cousins have a brief scene together that is easily among the most exciting, tense, jaw-dropping few minutes in television history. I rarely find myself needing to yell at the television and the characters on it...but any viewer of BREAKING BAD will be hard-pressed not to jump up and down and yell. That five minutes alone make the season's almost like the final 6 minutes of SIX FEET UNDER made watching that whole series worthwhile.

I really don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that Walt and Jesse are headed to some very dark places. Walt has few redeeming qualities left to him...but his concern for the moral life of Jesse is one very touching quality he retains. Because he feels so irredeemably corrupted himself, he "runs interference" against some of Jesse's self-destructive tendencies. And near the end, when that concern is also twisted by fate and becomes almost unbearable for the viewer. When was the last time you sat on the edge of your seat over a MORAL DILEMMA?!?!

The quality of this show is nearly unsurpassed. It is very thoroughly only for adults though. There is almost no behavior to admire. It is brutal and blunt and gritty. (It also uses Albuquerque, my town, VERY well...which gives me an extra dose of love for the show. We see real locations, real local restaurants, even real local pizza carryout joints.) But it is so tightly constructed from both a plot and character standpoint that it provides intelligent, gripping entertainment. And the work of Aaron Paul, and particularly Bryan Cranston, is so superb that any appreciator of fine acting really should tune in.

If you haven't seen the show before, PLEASE go back and start from the beginning. It truly has been like one long journey, and it begs to be appreciated from its starting point. But for heaven's sake, SEE IT!
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on June 7, 2016
This show walks the line between tragic comedy and action drama. I often find myself having to look away from the screen because the tension of what may happen is always looming -it is a brilliant and disturbing show! The two lead characters in fact the entire supporting cast are amazing, it doesn't glorify anything but shows the constant dilemma Walter White has justifying his actions, and again all the characters are struggling daily with their moral and ethical dilemmas.

I have always liked shows that force the viewer to reflect upon what is right what decision would you make and/or to understand how people get themselves into such difficult situation or addictions. Don'twatch it if you only want to be entertained, that said it is immensely entertaining but not predictable.
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on March 1, 2014
Maybe its been mentioned elsewhere but its interesting to me that the dvd covers from season 1 to 5 go from 1-confused man in his underwear, 2-stable men in chairs, 3-white and pink standing, 4-white now a dangerous animal, 5-white a king, Fina-white a god like creature with his face obscured and light behind him .

I watched the whole series a second time. Season three is where I started to see one too many events that were hard to believe (spoilers so at end of this review). But then I began to see that I shouldnt be expecting this to be realistic film noir. BB sure has elements of film noir crime films but i started to see a comic zaniness to it as well. Not that its all just silliness but it definitely is more expressionistic than realistic. So I enjoyed it more accepting its artistic dramatic flourishes. The characters motivations do not seem as clear as in the prior episodes and as mentioned some events are pure hollywood just in the nick of time stuff. But by now the characters had already gotten me too involved and they are definitely characters. Walt is impulsive, Jesse is directionless, Gus is too obsessed with some issues to really be an efficient kingpin. Ironically Saul Goodman is the most clear headed though he is straight out of Looney Tunes. So it can be more appreciated for these somewhat larger than life characterizations. That said season four has more creativity so season three is kind of the transitional one. In any case its unlikely anyone would watch breaking bad and skip this season. I would rate seasons two and four with five stars and the others with four so they are all above average. seasnon one is a bit slow and after season four it gets a little too crazy and is mostly about walt whites insane love of power and respect.

parts hard to believe (poss spoilers): why did Jesse go back to drugs and selling them after his girlfiend od's? How did walt manage to be there just in time to crash into the homicidal drug dealers about to kill Jesse? Why is walt going out of his way to save jesse even though they are at odds so much?
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on December 11, 2014
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,full of brilliant plot twists, rich, compelling characters and a pitch-black sense of humor.

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.

This third season the story kicks into even higher gear. Every time there's a moment's peace, a new crisis come crashing in to raise the stakes yet again. This is powerful, important and utterly enthralling stuff.
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on April 17, 2011
This show is perfect for marathon viewing, once you start watching, you can't stop at just one episode. This season has some of the most daring and pulse racing scenes I've ever seen on a television show. I won't mention any spoilers, but let me just say that at times I may have stopped breathing for a bit while I was watching what was happening on the screen. My only worry is that they may have almost jumped the shark at certain points in the season, I don't know how they'll top what happened in the 4th season. There is a lot of evolution in these characters, and maybe at times a growing insanity. I did like how they slightly redeemed the character of Walt's wife in the second half of the season. Also, I liked the fact that this time she was called out on her b*tchiness in the beginning of the season. The only thing I didn't love about this season, is that it ended with a cliffhanger unlike the previous two. It also sucks that now I'm caught up with the show, and I have to wait for the new episodes with everyone else. :)
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on July 21, 2013
I'm a huge Dexter fan and while I was waiting for the next season to begin, my husband insisted that we try "Breaking Bad". I had absolutely no interest in it when he told me what it was about, but we went back and started with season 1 and flew through all of the series in no time!!! Now we're waiting for the next season to start in August 2013.

It took me a few episodes to get into the story line of a chemistry teacher turned into the best crystal meth producer in the world (all while maintaining his squeaky-clean image with his family, co-workers and friends). But with millions of $$ rolling in and all of the pressures any drug dealer would be expected to face, this show keeps you on the edge of your seat!!!

It's extremely well-written and has so many twists and turns that you will get drawn in and hooked! I seriously thought I was going to be nice and watch a series with my husband that only he liked but boy was I wrong!!! It's GREAT!! The characters are well developed and well cast and I found myself riveted to each episode wanting to watch more. And because we were so late to the game, we were able to watch each season non-stop; sometimes three episodes in one evening because we couldn't get enough and couldn't wait to see what happened next.

I can't imagine anyone that won't love this series; ok - it's about drug dealing, but it's just a tv show - and it's well worth watching. If you enjoy watching shows that keep you guessing and keep your attention, Breaking Bad was written for you!!
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on March 25, 2013
Season 3 is the peak of Breaking Bad. And I don't say this to mean that what came before it isn't great, it is! and that what came after isn't great, it is! It's just that, season 3--in my opinion, of course--has highs and lows unlike any other season of BrBa, and it ends with a BANG, literally! It left me on the edge of my seat and shaking with excitement through many episodes--I actually had to stop the disc and go for a walk around the block to calm down after watching the penultimate episode, Half Measures. I'd say that most of the greatest moments of the show happen right here. Two of the show's most beloved characters also become co-starring this season, Jonathan Banks (Mike) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus), are a great addition to the show. They really are a treat to watch. And Dean Norris' Hank gains a lot of depth here and he really shows off his acting chops, you really come to love the character.

Some say the first 5 episodes of season 3 are nothing but boring filler, and they couldn't be more wrong--I have to wonder, what do they love about this show if they can't appreciate episodes like these? This show needs time to work its magic, the slower pace--slow burn--works best and those episodes setup what is to come--and what's to come couldn't work so effectively without them--and the payoff is always incredible. It is a great ride, and if only I could forget the whole (show) season and watch it all again, like the first time. But hey, it lives up well on re-watches, too. You'll catch a lot that you missed the first time around. And I'd say that Breaking Bad is a show that for some people, they need to watch it again to truly appreciate its brilliance.

Season 3 also contains one of the most polarizing episodes of the entire show, The Fly. "Oh it's needless filler," they say, "nothing happened," "it was stupid!" but I guess what came before it was so great, they weren't prepared for the slow-down, and it was time to slow-down, to let the characters (and us) recuperate for the next peak the show was climbing for. This is a character show with plenty of plot, but it's the characters that move that plot, so if you want non-stop action, it's not for you. But if you can appreciate the subtleties and the brilliance and the metaphors and the details in even the most mundane moments, then you ought to love it. And it is in these mundane moments that leave me in suspense, wondering, "when's the feces gonna hit the spinner again?" It could happen at any moment. That's the fun of the 'boring' scenes.

But what am I saying this for, if you're looking to buy season 3, you already know how the show is--what the hell are you doing reading the reviews? You should be hitting that ADD TO CART button now so you can continue the great journey that is Breaking Bad. You're in for a wonderful ride, and I envy you for just now experiencing it for the first time.

I can't express my love for the show enough. Breaking Bad is everything I wish other shows were. There really is nothing else like it, and probably never will be again.
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on September 10, 2014
Who doesn't like the Breaking Bad series, it's edgy, sinister and sucks you into the story. But remember you need to start form the beginning of this story to get the true feeling of what happens and why. Having lived through the 60's I have seen people that easily fit into the characters of this story. It is scary that such people exist but life is full of viciousness and men that don't care about anything but their own version of how to live and treat other people. This is a story about people who teeter on the edge of both worlds and how they manage to slip off one side or the other and back again. You learn to hate them and to have sympathy for them but then realize it was their choice that lead them down the rabbit hole. Like dominoes, one thing leads to another and before you know it you are plugging yourself into the story line, good luck with your out come.
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on July 5, 2011
This is one of the best dramas on television. The writing is absolutely top notch! While not all episodes are equally engrossing, the best of them are comparable to the best stuff ever written for the tube. The HALF MEASURES episode in Season 3 is without question one of the most powerful dramatic hours I have ever seen on TV! I found myself actually sitting there holding my breath throughout most of this hour.

While Cranston and Paul together are flawless, I believe the real strength of this series is its terrific supporting cast! Anna Gunn is one of the most interesting and convincing actresses (sorry, I mean actors) I had never seen before. Dean Norris is simply marvelous as the driven, yet vulnerable, DEA agent, Hank Schrader. Betsy Brandt is so convincing as Hank's supportive wife, Marie. RJ Mitte is great as Walter's son, Walter Jr.; their relationship seeming so tender and genuine. The very funny Bob Odenkirk here does a wonderful turn as Saul Goodman, one of the sleaziest lawyers you'd never want to meet. But one of my favorite actors of all, whom I discovered while watching another great series many years ago, Homicide:Life On The Street, is the great Giancarlo Esposito, playing Gus Fring, a seemingly simple and quiet man, whom you soon learn you had best never make unhappy, in any way. He plays his part with a quiet menace that won't let you take your eyes off him. Jonathan Banks plays Gus' right-hand man, Mike, an assistant who does Gus' bidding almost serenely, no matter what mayhem might be involved.

But I would be badly remiss without mentioning some of the greatest cast choices ever, playing the various villains Walter and Jesse are forced to deal with at various times throughout this series. Deserving of special mention, in my opinion, are from Season 1, Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca, one of the most scarily insane criminal minds ever depicted on television! Right behind him would be the two silent but deadly killers from Season 3 known simply as "The Cousins", played by Luis and Daniel Moncada. Their murder weapon of choice is a chrome plated fireman's ax. Real sweethearts! Many of the smaller parts in this series are filled by some of the most convincing Hispanic actors working anywhere today. And, lastly, I have to mention a real unsung star of this series and that is the city of Albuquerque itself. None of the episodes in this series would be nearly as convincing had they been depicted in any other part of the country. Needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting July 17, the beginning of Season 4 for Breaking Bad. Don't miss it!!!

My only gripe, which I feel strongly I must mention, is a technical one, involving only the DVD production, itself. How in the world can you put out a DVD in this day and age without including: ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTIONING FOR THE HARD OF HEARING!!?? Just inexcusable! There is some dialogue in many of these episodes I still haven't been able to understand no matter how high I crank up the volume. Very, very disappointing!!! Please, please don't let that happen again with the Season 4 DVD.
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on September 28, 2012
Being a 72-year-old WASP grandma, I am hardly the target audience for this product. However, when it is finally done playing later this year, I don't know what will serve as its equal in talented writing, directing, acting, production and just plain off-the-wall enthralling viewing. It's such a game of chess, a cat-and-mouse chase, twisted and perverse often, edge-of-the-seat viewing which frequently left me cheering or, alternately, cringing. Walter and Gus are both brilliant minds, trading the upper hand. One knows Gus is corrupt and one sees that Walter is becoming more and more so, digging himself in deeper and deeper until you cannot imagine a way out for him. Supporting them is a cast of diverse characters, each with good and evil qualities but to a much lesser degree than Walter and Gus. It is my hands-down favorite piece of writing EVER. By the end of its run, I will own the whole set, most of them acquired thru Amazon. Wouldn't part with them for anything.
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