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Showing 1-10 of 1,497 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,706 reviews
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 fourth season take the form of an epic battle for control between Walter and his
nemisis Gus. Along the way Walter's morality crumbles even as he becomes ever more
brilliant at manipulating the people and situations around him. And just enough of his
remaining humanity pokes through to keep us caring in spite of ourselves.
This is powerful, important and utterly enthralling stuff.
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Walter White such a likable guy:) We have a love/hate relationship with Walter, a murder or two under the circumstances seems acceptable, well, sort of.

Walter, Jesse, Gus, the trio that made the money. Walter and Jesse cooked, and Gus led the meth to the money. These three lived under the threat of death, and in the fourth season we realize it is either Gus or Jesse and Walter. The episodes leading to the finale were tough, tense and violent. When the big bang came, it was so unexpected. It was an exquisite set-up, Walter hiding at the Senior Nursing Home, outside the the window, and the cute little white haired lady yelling hello to him. Gus arriving with his entourage, and then leaving in that fashion. Kudos!

Skyler knows the story, and now she is implicated, big time. Walt Junior goes on trusting his dad as the best there is, and wondering what is wrong with his mother. The baby oblivious to everything. Hank will be vindicated at the end, the lab burned down and he realized something was there. Hank alone suspected Gus. Here is a man who can't see inside his own family, but everything else seems pretty clear headed. Mike, alone in Mexico recuperating, will come home to what?

We have a series five about to start, and we are all anticipating what we will behold. Can Gilligan live up to this past season? Oh, we all think,yes. What a ride we have in front of us!

Highly Recommended. prisrob 07-15-12

Music from the Original Series Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season

Pilot
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on November 26, 2013
If you haven't seen Breaking Bad, please, just stop what you're doing. Sit down. Buy the DVD or Blu Ray or grab them from Amazon. Whatever you do, be prepared for the best---and I mean the very best---series in television history. Not a wasted scene. Not a wasted line. Not a boring nanosecond. You will find the show just as addictive as the aqua blue meth at its core. Exquisite storytelling; uncanny casting; dry wit that can make you laugh and, a minute later, the next line can make you sob; unexpected, edge-of-the-seat, heart pumping twists and turns; characters with depth, humor, humanity and the Yin Yang of being human. No good guys, no bad guys, just human beings doing what they do with a master chef behind the camera and a team of writers putting all others to shame. Do not miss this. If a television show can make you feel more alive and aware of your every breath, that's saying something. A Masterpiece of storytelling and acting. PS- as hard as I've laughed at the brilliance of Mel Brooks, Larry David or Richard Pryor or the likes of any comic genius of that magnitude, I don't think I ever laughed harder than at "Fly", a Breaking Bad episode centering around the killing of a fly in a meth lab.
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on September 10, 2011
The season is developing differently than I had expected. That's a good thing. One of my many favorite things about Breaking Bad is that no matter how closely you pay attention and how many times you rewatch the episodes, you always end up being surprised.

There have been so many crime dramas, not that I like to pick on CSI, but that is one of the best examples, that purposely divert your attention one moment, and then the next, bombards you with CGI'd dramatizations that are wildly inaccurate of procedures or details. They are programs that are designed for presentation with commercials, popping popcorn or multitasking where the content is so simplistic that you can miss or lose concentration and still follow the story. Not much of a challenge. It's also vastly different from completely formulaic series like Numbers and a lot of the mystery series from the past, that gave you new characters, but largely the same story or plot. There was one when I was a child, called Murder She Wrote that had almost the same three story lines every week.

Breaking Bad is one of a kind. It takes you down a road, one degree separating your reality, one misstep, one flakey decision, one unexpected life-down-turn from where and who you are. Nothing is so far-fetched that it couldn't happen to you or someone you know, and yet, the adrenaline pumps constantly. You want to slap Walt or Jesse senseless. Or, you wonder what is going on a few doors or blocks from you...no matter where you live.

I really think that Walt is going through the stages of grief as the plot unfolds, with a huge emphasis on his anger over having completely lost control of his life. He keeps trying to feed his ego to avoid dealing with his ultimate fate. He throws himself into the mouth of danger only to freak himself out and end up panicked into a frenzy to save himself. He tries to believe he can control those around him, and yet, the harder the tries, the more mistakes he makes...

This week he proves he needs anger-management therapy...as well as driving lessons. Jesse and Skyler learn more about moving on, and Hank takes it up a notch. Gus gives us clues as to who he really is, although, once again, paying attention to previous episodes would have helped us to see him as he is.

Finally, are we going to learn more about a powerful government agent with a greying moustache?

I just know the layers never seem to end, and now that I know there will be a fifth season, what will lay the groundwork for it?

Let's just stick with "What happens next?"
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on October 13, 2011
The best television dramas of all time don't TELL you what is good or bad, or WHO is good or bad - they let people be people, and then you form your own opinions of the characters. From the Sopranos, to the Wire, to the Shield, and now Breaking Bad. And honestly, I think this may surpass them all, even the Sopranos.

Meet Walter White. Well, if you're already on Season 4, I assume you know his story. From dorky chemistry teacher/car wash worker to million-dollar methamphetamine cook, the transformation is unbelievable, yet believable at the same time. You know his story, how he got here, and it all seems to fit. The writers have made it clear for a long time that Breaking Bad was similar to Scarface - that Walt is comparable to the transformation of Mr. Chips to Scarface, and this season shows that perfectly.

Walt has and still believes coming into season 4 that he is doing this all for his family. But is he? How far will he go? And is this all for money, or something else? We get to see many ethical dilemmas and inner moral battles in most of the characters this season - Walt, Skyler, Jesse, Mike, Hank, Marie and even maybe a small glimpse into the past of chicken man and meth king-pin - Gustavo Fring.

Each episode gets more and more dark (did you think it was possible?), and Walt continues to surprise the audience with strange decisions and a terrifying look into the path he is going down. If you look back at season 1 episode 1, before the meth and cancer, that angry, tortured individual was already inside of him. That results in the question: was Walt ever even really that good of a guy? He hasn't changed as much as you may think, but his anguish, pain, and stress is amplified by about 200x. And as expected, the end of each episode is usually a major cliff-hanger, and you'll be begging for more.

The acting is nothing but simply perfect. Bryan Cranston as Walt will make you laugh, cry, or even get angry with him. Giancarlo Esposito as Gus becomes a huge player this season, and he should be up for an Emmy. The glazed, empty, evil look in his eyes is terrifying, and there aren't many boundaries he won't cross to get what he wants.

This is definitely the darkest, thought-provoking, best acted show on television at the moment, and maybe ever. If you haven't watched it, start from the beginning and follow Walt's odd and morally perplexing adventure into the life of a meth cook.
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on October 19, 2011
This is a story about a guy who thought he could 'just' use his skills and cook a little speed and leave money for his family..This idea occurred as he was suddenly told he was dying soon, of terminal lung cancer, at about 45 years old. He got screwed financially -by his old pals-in a chemist patent (or something close to a patent). As a result, he is financially strapped works as Cranston is now a high-school chemistry-teacher, his salary- 40k.
While he is living the low-budget life, the fake friends who just forgot him, are really livin large. They do insist that he come to their big parties, why I dont know. And now,- when Cranston's wife spilled his terminal secret, they want to help him -now that he is dying. Make amends suddenly. He is not havin it.
Why people watch this is because it got beyond complicated. Cranston had to go over to the selling side of this drug-world hell when his young high-school student messed up the sales part of their partnership. That is when it turned into a terrorizing sort of horror flick. (I dont like scary movies with ghosts etc..but this, is different, way different)
When Cranston has to man-up, you see a transformation that is mind-blowing. He OWNS the worst Mexican Cartel thugs that are about to kill him. We watch them decide to try. I believe these guys could be real. No, the USA is not talkin about Mexican cartel. But they are here. One of the scenes, a head on a skateboard is based on a true practice done commonly in Mexico. One of the more famous killers for the one of the real Cartels often decapitates and sends souvenirs around. I no longer want to move closer to the border-out of the worst ozone where seasons are milder. I think I will stay in the cold north country. Even though no one is safe, not even in Vermont.
The whirlpool of events gives a believable picture of what drug dealing really is. See what is past the street corners and you go over to the wholesale side. It does not matter what role, in this world, that some person might think would be 'safe' to make a bit of fast cash. Thoughtful planning, great strategies- just dont pan out. Sleazy lawyers with brand new tricks fall flat. Seems everything fails. Clearly anyone involved, or just in the vicinity, can be killed--just to serve as a 'message' from competitors. Sure we have seen the 'let this massacre be a message to others, who would try to betray us' - this type of drug story has been told before.
Definitely its Cranston AND Aaron Paul, his right arm, that makes this into a sort of psycho-drama, along with too many others to mention. Aaron can not be denied as the crazy, street smart right arm of the gritty Cranston, whose life is like a runaway train ready to fly off the tracks.
Its not /just/ violence-its a compelling story. Its too real to deny. In each episode I expect Walt to be killed, or someone around him killed. Close calls are all over the place. Oh yes, people die or get mangled real bad. You never know who is left, at the end of any episode.
I think the drug-sellin+ usin-life-- is presented intensely well here. Intensely well. Cranston started out thinkin he had a month or two to live. He thought that he would get a little money to leave to his sharp-cookie/cool wife, AND his brilliant kid with some special needs, AND even enough for the future of their suprise baby who arrived mid-life, truly not planned. Seemed to be a lot to do, but he got there pretty fast, and all seemed posed to end well.
Its a bizarre, wrenching mess that sort of turns into blackmail. If Cranston does not continue to produce-dot dot dot. His wife is not dumb. Cranston tried to keep his dealin sidejob secret from her. And eventually she gets siderailed as well, while he is 'out walking' too many hours, too many nites. She pushes to get him to open up to her, he pulls back and avoids the truth about where he 'goes.'
He argues that he does have cancer, why should he not be allowed to just take a 'walk' when he must... She is just not diggin it.
Meanwhile, he learns to become at least as crazy acting- as the heavies who threaten him. The trained killers stir him to stand up, -face them down. Just a thrilling transformation of character. In my worst nightmrares.
"Walt's" stunning need to leave money for his family after he passes is hard to imagine. Where he gets this drive, to survive, while living with with terminal lung cancer.. As he sometimes chokes for air. He gets knocked down on the ground, kicked in the chest over and over, left in the dust choking.
still it goes forward, week by week. Its twistingly realistic, truly sick, and it stays real, ugly just like ugly reality.
Its a brutal visual of what 'the life' really is not.
The fourth season is just as much on-the-edge, just as full of new/bizarre events, as the first three. Unbelievable.
Personally, I thought Sopranos was cheesy and 'full of drugs and violence,"- yet with no worries, predictable murders, sooh day-to-day. It tried to make the most greedy/base/-bunch -of meatheads- seem to have a good life. It worked if you like to see guys with blood in their fingernails eat interesting gourmet Italian food, and go back to it. My opinion, Sopranos, were wanting to 'be all-Godfather,' and fell flat.
Instead, I see Breaking Bad as a true tragedy of events, NOTHING about it glorifies violence. No one enjoys the money being made. No parties, no fancy cars and vacaions and women throwing themselves around the guys.
Gut wrenching violence, new rules, old rules, it never gets slow and its never over. Drugs are shown to be a much deadlier business than most people can imagine or realize.
We generally are dulled by chronic stories of bad guys, with watered down content, or by the latest news updates. It seems that fairly young people actually listen to some of the dumbest rap, and watch some of the duller 'hood' videos on MTV. As if these fake rich guys and some cheap-acting young women are all actually drawn to the dream of livin-large-just driving around in 250 grand cars all day, doin nothin-what a load.
Breaking Bad blows that 'stoopit-stylin' fairytale to pieces.
The REALISM HERE is what draws me in. People dont get rich, they die tryin. Its real drug life, most people/, most young people, know that.
But seein a family man stand up to a very angry cartel boss.. is stellar, if unlikely. Cranston is tough enough, AND smart enough to hold the line. Buy some time. Minute by minute.
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on August 21, 2011
In true masterpiece form, this episode "takes us up. It brings us down. It plants our feet back on the ground!" But, we all know that can't last. There are two blaring clues to the last seven (I can't believe it! Say it isn't so!!!) episodes of this season. I'm not telling.

I don't know how much adrenaline my body can take, but this one tests it once again!

I actually found three continuity issues. The most glaring is that with the rearview mirrors in Walt and Mike's vehicles, one second they're there, the next second, they're gone. This is an issue that has bothered me with movies and TV since I can remember. It's just annoying, and apparently the only way to deal with some scenes logistically. The next is Walt's glasses. They keep tipping them in different ways to avoid glare and reflection. One minute, the right temple will be half an inch above his ear, and the next, it will be in place. His lenses have gone from lined bifocals early on, to progressive lenses later. That makes some sense, because he is more prosperous. However in a scene where they are sitting on a table and we see through them, although there is a prescription, there is no multifocal distortion. The third issue is a dropped drum that magically changes direction 90 degrees in a couple of scenes.

These are are imperfections in what I consider to be the most perfectly produced series ever, and the only reason I notice these things is that because every tiny detail, from a dropped word to a seemingly meaningless object ends up interlacing into the story in future episodes. I feel like Vince Gilligan must somehow be related to the Coen brothers for his seemless story-telling.

The thing is that I have become hyper-aware of every detail in every episode, and when continuity is dropped or set aside for simplicity, I catch more and more of it.

Even detailing these few flaws, I find myself typing away with the anticipation of a small child on Christmas eve as I wait until tomorrow morning when I can watch episode 6! I refuse to watch this or any other series with commercials. Broadcast and satelite/cable pretty much no longer exist in my world. Don't tell Amazon, but I'd gladly pay more for a season pass for this series, at least!
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on August 29, 2011
Again, we learn that to know Breaking Bad, you have to watch every little detail. I'm watching the final two episodes of last season again tonight because small things matter, and problem dogs are not always what we think they are...or who. Right now, I have my eye on a man with a greying moustache and a certain law enforcement agency...

I love a program that makes me use my imagination! This one could train us all to be Sherlock Holmes, or darned-good CSIs. Little, minute details come back to the characters and the plot in the most interesting ways.

I was wrong...and right in speculations last week about the Challenger. Yet, another of Walt's house of cards that has to topple. Everything Walt does this season reflects a comment about him early on...an underachiever who walked away from great potential because of his ego. This season, his ego and his frustration over not being able to flaunt his success will be his undoing, and he will take pretty much everyone with him.

Jesse is finally beginning to understand his potential and his role in sculpting his life, such as it is. He's finally listening to important little birds, but it's probably too late for him, even with epiphanies blossoming in front of him. Aaron Paul needs to share best actor with Bryan Cranston this year. Much as I love Michael C. Hall in Dexter, their intensity is the quiet scream of our own souls as they lash out, plot their futures, understand their past and make grand mistakes in judgement. The difference between them and us is that they are the games our minds play with us each and every day. They are us in a parallel Universe. They are us in our worst fantasies...and in the end, fortunately, they are not us in our actions.

Giancarlo Esposito, Gus Frin, is the master villain because he is the master manipulator, the master negotiator and to him, life has become a game where he doesn't care how he benefits, only how he plays, and yet, he has made at least two potentially fatal mistakes.

Skyler is in so far over her head that she is drowning in the ocean that was once her backyard pool. Everything that Walt has done and the situation, as she becomes more aware of it, simply pulls her farther out into a rip-tide she could never imagine. How do you launder the kind of money the carwash is supposed to handle? Where can she even put it? And then, of course, there is Walt, his ego, his anger and his mouth...

Hank has put enough together that he pretty much has to be the target again...Gus won't like where he is going. Walt may go over some paranoid brink. Of course, Jesse is still between Hank's cross-hairs, and would be the weakest link in putting things together...But what about the guy with the greying moustache?

My imagination races with each new episode...and why is it that I keep feeling like painting a velvet portrait of Vince Gilligan with a beam of light shining down on him, and a halo above his head...No, wait! Are those horns?

I've never been the groupie type, but I wonder, if they have another season, whether I might want to vacation in Albuquerque when they are shooting next year? God, I hope there is a next year!
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on August 8, 2011
I can't believe I am the only fan commenting on the new season.

The last two episodes have built to a level where I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe the first five minutes of this one and I stopped again for the last five minutes. In between, my heart was racing, and seeing Gale again was treat, but my heart raced another hour after I watched it!

The last episode and Episode 2 both built beautifully to this one, and, as always, with superb and all-too-real performances, along with amazing writing and production values literally bless us with what I consider to be the best series of all time.

I can't give anything away as a spoiler, other than the title, which you will get from an earlier episode, but for sheer adrenaline production and intelligent content, this proves again to be the series to watch.

If all that was on television was Breaking Bad and Dexter, it might be a bit much, but add The IT Crowd and The Big Bang Theory for laughs (without incessant commercials!) and I find entertainment Nirvana!

Skyler, "The Godmother?"
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on June 16, 2012
My addiction to this series is no different from the addiction of the methamphetamine users who are the consumers that main character Walter White supplies.
Take a lifelong nerdy high school chemistry teacher, make him go off the deep end when he is given two years to live, throw every crazy unimaginable problem someone who cooks meth can have at him and you have something so suspensefull you can't tear your eyes away.

Lead actor Bryan Cranston's wrinkled face and perpetually horror stricken expression supplies the backdrop to some truely gruesome yet fascinating situations. This character wallows in deception and immorality, lying continually to those he loves, never giving a moments thought to what he is actually doing to contribute to the misery of the addicts he is supplying. Any thoughts of right and wrong are strangely lacking in this man. And yet, his friends and family continue to see him as a good and decent fellow. His wife finally must accept that he is a constant liar and up to no good but gets sucked into his greed.

All the acting is great in this. From Walter's wife Skylar, who starts out as naive and moral and quickly succumbs to join her husband in his persuit of money, to DEA agent Hank, who although good at his job is obnoxious consistently in his forced, crude insulting humor, to his wife Marie who has amusing episodes of kleptomania, each character is fleshed out and interesting. Sleazy shyster Saul Goodman (s'all good man) provides comic relief.
Son Walt Jr. provides the one character that remains pure, in contrast to his parents.

Never have I seen anything that threw at the characters so many horrific dangerous situations simultaneously. Danger comes at Walter from every possible place. His life
becomes a juggling act of lies, violence, drug cartel murderers, and greed. While it was baffling to see this lifelong good guy turn into such a cold violent monster so easily,
it was fun to see him squeek by continually as he walked the criminal tightrope between life, prison, and death.

There were lots of glaring instances of ridiculous improbability at the end of the last episode which unfortunately I can't reveal here or it would spoil it for people who haven't yet seen it. These instances were disappointing to me, as up until then this show had been pretty believable, without too many loose ends. One concerns reporting to work at a drug lab in plain view of lots and lots of people and not expecting to get caught as well as leaving your car parked in front of it every day.

Season Five begins next month. Hopefully you will be caught up with all the Season Four episodes by then because each episode is a continuation of the last.
As for me, I can't wait to see where this picks up. Will Walter continue his drug making?
How will he get it sold? What will happen to his partner?

This is the best TV dramatic serial of all time in my opinion.
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