Customer Reviews: Breaking Bad: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
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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 15, 2010
I watch alot of series but Breaking Bad takes the proverbial cake. This season we really get down and dirty with Walt going through his divorce and Skylar's anger causing her to react in all sorts of ways. I love the show mainly because it is about good people having to do bad things for different reasons. It makes the viewer really think. There are alot of grim moments this season, it is a grim show overall, always has been, but that is what makes it so genius. Season three is highly addictive and moves quickly with edge of your seat suspense in every epidode. There are never boring moments in Breaking Bad. Not only do we get to really get in Walt's mind, but Jesse gets a more pivotal role this season and I have to say I am glad. Jesse is one of my favorite characters and he has to makes hard decisions as so much is going on in his life. I find myself very drawn to Jesse's character and his turmoil. Walt is a sort of father figure to Jesse and something major happens that really shows the viewer what lengths Walt will go to for Jesse. How their relationship develops is touching at times and frustrating at others. A new druglord is introduced which gives the show an overall tenseness and of course with Walt's brother in law's involvement it makes for some tense moments as well. The show is not light on violence and never sugarcoats what being a meth cooker would be like. There are all kinds of dilemmas and moral decisons to be considered. All in all it is a high octane season and every time the episode ends you just want more. I found myself crying throughout the procession of this season as there are alot of heavy circumstances. I love this show and can't wait until Season Four. The series finale leaves the viewer hanging so badly that I felt like screaming. Enjoy!!
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on March 31, 2011
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
-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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on November 18, 2010
I was never inspired to watch this show at all and then I found myself stuck at home on the couch for two weeks while I recovered from surgery and needing something to fill in the time. My friend shoved his breaking Bad season one box set at me and ordered me to watch it from start to finish. I can't believe I almost fobbed this off! What an amazing, exciting and intelligent television series. The writing and acting is fantastic. I ended up staying on the couch and watching the entirety of season one in a bleary eyed marathon and then ordered my mother to rush out to score me season two. Now I am like a junkie waiting for my next hit while season three takes its sweet time being released on DVD. Come on!! I need to know what happened next!!!
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I eagerly anticipated the start of season 3 of Breaking Bad. But I was nervous. Here in the U.S., we have a tendency to beat TV series into the ground, until they no longer possess the qualities that made us love them in the first place (see, for example, season 6 of The Office). I was nervous that Breaking Bad would stray from what made it my favorite show of the past few years.

And yet, season 3 has done it was worth the wait, and I'm optimistic that season 3 will continue to live up to the high standards set in seasons 1 and 2. Some new villains are introduced in episode 1, and Giancarlo Esposito is back in what seems could become a dangerous and pivotal role.

I shut off cable a year ago, and get what TV I can for free through Hulu. Breaking Bad is one of only two shows that I love but can't stream for free (the other being another AMC show, Mad Men). Breaking Bad is well worth the per-episode cost. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.
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on November 16, 2010
First, thank you so much Amazon for exposing me to such a brilliant show. I was perusing Amazon's VOD "Free" section and stumbled upon it. Breaking Bad is as addictive as the drugs manufactured in the show. The characters are rich and dynamic, not to mention superbly acted. The dialogue is perfection and the cinematography is sleek without being glossy. With a seemingly outlandish plot of a Nobel prize-winning chemist turned lowly-high-school-chem-teacher turned meth-cook, watching it the story feels suprisingly grounded. Another bonus is that this serious drama is filled with great humor, making the immoral and rather morose material palatable, and actually kind of delicious. Breaking Bad is an entirely different caliber of show compared to anything else on TV. It feels more like film than television. Now I know why it has all those emmys. After finishing the free Pilot episode I purchased the rest of the season. I never pay for anything if I can help it, I am the biggest cheapskate out there. That's how good it was! After 3 weeks I've purchased and viewed all 3 seasons. I've also gotten the rest of my family and most of my friends addicted! And we have very VERY different tastes, ranging from sci-fi guys to 1950's italian film experts to gore connoisseurs to action buffs and art house coming-of-age lovers-- WE ALL LOVE Breaking Bad! If you like watching quality you will enjoy this show I'm 100% sure of it. The only problem is Season 4 doesn't start until June 2011 and I'm jonesing for more!
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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 August 16, 2010
I don't remember a show of this quality and intensity since the best seasons of The Sopranos. I am amazed as each episode puts me on the edge of my seat and leaves me yelling "MORE! MORE, DAMNIT! at the end. The writing and acting are a cut above just about any other drama on television. Hurry up with season 4- I can hardly wait. Start with season one and work your way up. Just remember to set an alarm or you will stay up watching all night!
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on January 29, 2011
Having just devoured all three seasons of this show, I am happy to say that Season 3 is the best yet. So much changes in this show from season to season - one episode from Season 3 can spoil everything from those that precede it - but it is absolutely worth the time and energy to catch up for the start of Season 4.

Bryan Cranston is simply phenomenal in this series (his work in the "Fly" episode has to go down as one of the best acting performances I've seen on television) and, this season, Aaron Paul's work as Jesse approaches the same level as his character has become more complex. After watching the last two episodes back-to-back, my jaw was on the floor. AMC now has three stellar shows in its lineup (between this, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead) and, in my mind, it currently leading the pack in original series (HBO and FX, you're on notice). For pure entertainment, Breaking Bad is the best of the network's shows. Get hooked.
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on August 27, 2010
Were Breaking Bad (Season 3) not to win Best Drama this year (2010) I don't think it can win in the future. You just can't top this performance. Of course I said the same thing about Season 2. I am a huge LOST fan and have also enjoyed Mad Men. Honestly, as someone who has watched all of them, Breaking Bad stands far and above the others in terms of drama, intensity, comedy, and raw human emotion. Cranston and Aaron Paul are quite a pair who play their characters like no one else could. I envy anyone who has yet to watch any of Breaking Bad's fantastic episodes. If I could wipe my memory of it and do it all over again I would! Buy up the DVD guys, this is a television classic.
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