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Why You Should Watch BREAKING BAD - Guest Post

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

It's finally here. After an excruciatingly long break, AMC's hit series, "Breaking Bad" returned to television. What's that? You don't watch the show? No problem, we'll get you up to speed in no time.  

"Breaking Bad" tells the story of high-school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston, "Malcolm in the Middle"), who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Realizing his death will leave his pregnant wife (Anna Gunn) and disabled son (RJ Mitte) straddled with an overwhelming amount of debt, Walt looks for a way to create a solid nest egg for his family. This is where it gets interesting. 

Walt and his family live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an area devastated by the crystal meth drug trade. It doesn't take Walt long to figure out he can leverage his chemistry skills to create a pure, and economically valuable, strain of crystal meth. In a brazen attempt to create a stable financial future for his family, Walt teams up with former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to produce and sell crystal meth 

The show skillfully explores how Walter's fatal diagnosis frees him from everyday concerns and societal norms, and follows his remarkable transformation from mild-mannered family man into a feared drug trade kingpin. 

We understand the premise of "Breaking Bad" might sound a tad disconcerting. Kicking off a series with a protagonist who has terminal cancer isn't the happiest of starts and then mixing in an illegal and immoral endeavor like producing crystal meth probably sounds like a cocktail for disaster. Don't let the unconventional storyline dissuade you from watching this ridiculously entertaining show.  

"Breaking Bad" works on several levels. First, the acting is superb. While Cranston is the standout of the series, this isn't a one-man show. All of the actors bring something new and delightfully unexpected to their characters. The writing is wickedly shrewd, with just the right amount of dark humor for levity; each episode contains at least one genuinely hysterical moment. And, the pacing is spot-on. The show manages to transition from humorous to white-knuckle tension as effortlessly as flicking a light switch.   

While the production and distribution of an illegal substance rests near the nucleolus of this show, "Breaking Bad" isn't heavy handed with socio-political commentary. It doesn't get mired down in socially responsible messages. This is a character-driven show that aims to suck you into its universe and entertain the ever-living daylights out of you.  

To help whet your whistle, here are a few interesting tidbits about the show: 

·         The actor who plays Walt's son (RH Mitte) has cerebral palsy just like his character; however, Mitte's affliction isn't as severe as his character's. He had to learn to walk with crutches and slow his speech to play the part. 

·         When characters on the show are shown smoking meth, they're actually smoking rock candy or sugar. Don't worry, they don't inhale! 

·         Each character wears a certain color of clothes that depicts their values or role in the show. For example, Walt wears green, his wife wears blue, DEA agents wear orange, Jesse wears red and yellow (he wears gray while in recovery), and Walt's sister-in-law wears purple.   

·         Bryan Cranston sat in on several high school chemistry classes to help develop his character. 

If for some reason you don't want to watch the latest season without catching up with all of the earlier seasons, Netflix offers seasons 1-3 in their Instant Streaming service. Why not give the first few episodes a chance. You in?

Stephanie Cable is from the US and writes She loves her job because she gets to make fun infographics like these.
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