What do you guys think about "Breaking Bad"? [SPOILERS]

rolnxyz

New member
I haven't watch any episodes from this show. Does anybody recommend it?

What is the best Bryan Cranston work you have seen (besides MITM)?

Thanks :)
 

Movieye

New member
BREAKING BAD is an excellent TV show. It's sort of a warped drama-comedy where bizarre things happen, and you just finish watching with a "what the f*ck just happened?" moment.

Bryan Cranston plays a high school chemistry teacher. When he discovers he has cancer and that his wife is pregnant with their second child, he decides he's going to become a drug dealer. He creates a special blue crack meth and starts to sell it around town with the help of a former student of his, Jesse.

That's the premise of the show, and in Season 1, there were lots of touching moments about what a father would do for his family. As the show has progressed, his family situation goes through a lot of ups and downs as he has run in's with gangs, the police and rival drug dealers.

Highly recommended. Start with Season 1 to get the story trajectory.
 

Nico21

New member
I agree with Movieye. Breaking Bad is a very good series, the story is great and highly addictive and the cast is also brilliant. I recommand it either, it's one of the best series I've ever watched!

I just think your summary is a little to short, Bryan Cranston's character Walt does not just become a drug dealer, he's stuck in a situation where he desperately needs money because of his illness, his 2 jobs are not enough to pay for his cancer treatment and he doesn't want to leave his family with huge debts when he passes out. So he tries to do whatever he can to earn money, and he ends up using his chemistry skills to cook meth... I think it makes a difference to understand that he's not the bad guy, or at least he doesn't consider himself that way!
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
I repost this from another thread, because it's my two cents' worth:

I started watching simply because of Bryan, and because it got such good reviews - and nominations, and now it's got me hooked! Quite something, because, apart from Mad Men, I'm not watching any series right now, and I don't normally care for violent cop series or the like.

It's not airing in Holland (what a shame), but I've been watching the series as downloads, and now I'm halfway through Season 2, and I've bought the S1 DVD, which is great because of all the extras, like a making-of, interviews, anecdotes and audition tapes.

I agree it's totally compelling. From the start, the great cinematography in the cold openers and the leader with all the chemical elements mixed with the cast and crew names create this great sense of mystery and suspense. Every single episode I've seen contains some surprising twists and turns you hadn't seen coming, and which somehow all make sense. All main characters are fully rounded and have their strengths and weaknesses, and are very well acted.

What I also like about all the characters and the way the plot works in the series is how they are all almost mysteriously linked to each other in ways thay don't even realize. This may be stretching credibility a bit sometimes, but it does give a kind of cosmic feeling of human interdependency much like movies like Crash (not the David Cronenberg pic), Babel and the older Shortcuts.

It also points to the fact, I think, that we as viewers have to realize that Walt's and Jesse's acts are never without repercussions, even though it's like they get off the hook a lot.

Spoiler for A not too harmful spoiler:
From the first episodes, their lies, schemes and drug trafficking activities are creating victims, even fatal ones, even though they aren't actively out to get people killed.

I think that's good point made by the series, hovering over it like a sense of doom.

Great! :D

Rich
 
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Richiepiep

Administrator
Getting 'Breaking Bad' aired on Dutch TV

I've been sending out a couple of promotional mails to TV programmers (public broadcasting networks) in the Netherlands, but it looks like they're not going to air it :(

On the one hand, they had a very practical argument, which I can appreciate, that their hands are already tied because there are a couple of reasonably popular running quality series like Dexter, Nip/Tuck and Mad Men, and there aren't any time slots left for a while.

On the other hand, they also came up with a more intrinsic motivation, which I'd like to quote in full.

"Because of the way it's produced, we think that Breaking Bad will have a limited appeal to a select set of viewers. This is arguably also true of Dexter and Nip/Tuck, in the sense that they too are quality series for the discerning viewer with a twist. But we think that Breaking Bad's audience will be even smaller. This has to do with the atmosphere, which especially in the first season is dark and sordid. This makes it less accessible than Dexter for instance, which is set in sunny and appealing Florida, and a different environment. We already have a hard time getting enough viewers for Dexter, so that will even be more of a consideration for Breaking Bad."

What do you make of that? I think it's a real pity channels seem less and less eager to program series with limited, 'alternative' appeal, even public (non-commercial) broadcasters.

Rich
 

PeterU

Super Moderator
What do you make of that? I think it's a real pity channels seem less and less eager to program series with limited, 'alternative' appeal, even public (non-commercial) broadcasters.

I think that is hugely disappointing. One of my biggest criticisms of traditional media is this requirement for a huge economy of scale. It is very possible for a great show (even when the TV execs admit it is a great show) not to get picked up, because they fear it will not make them enough money.

This is where the internet and the amazing free and very inexpensive publishing tools that are available to most people should be stepping in. There is lots of great amateur content out there, but we don't seem to see many professionals feeling able to use those same tools to get their full creativity to an audience, even if it were to be a smaller one. They want to have a degree of certainty about a return on their investment, but perhaps also the budgets are just too high to actually get things done without big-business backing.

(Outside of TV shows, look at something like the TWiT network. It started as a single podcast; a reunion of presenters of an old technology TV cable channel which was axed for its low audience. It is now a leader in its niche, making $1.5 million profit a year from advertising revenue, thanks to being able to use much cheaper tools to get to its audience -- podcasting. It now doesn't matter that the audience isn't big enough to be a 'traditional' TV channel! It might be a relatively niche market, but the flipside of that is that people who choose to consume that content genuinely are passionate and engaged -- much more receptive to relevant advertisers.)

This is somewhere where the 'old' Hollywood system is failing this middle ground of great content which can't get the backing to find a mass audience. I'd like to see high-quality, professional-level content for niche markets have an environment in which to thrive.
 

tjpeople

Site Administrator
Staff member
The cost for networks to buy the likes of Breaking Bad will be very high. My guess is there are cheaper shows that would make them more money, which is what they are going to make the decision on.

(Like the TWiT mention Peter ;))
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
Very well said and reasoned, PeterU.

I think that is hugely disappointing. One of my biggest criticisms of traditional media is this requirement for a huge economy of scale. It is very possible for a great show (even when the TV execs admit it is a great show) not to get picked up, because they fear it will not make them enough money.

Yes, I'd forgotten to add that the programmer admitted that Breaking Bad was a classy series, with ingenious scripts and highly convincing acting, so it's not a matter of disliking or being indifferent to its qualities.

This is where the internet and the amazing free and very inexpensive publishing tools that are available to most people should be stepping in. There is lots of great amateur content out there, but we don't seem to see many professionals feeling able to use those same tools to get their full creativity to an audience, even if it were to be a smaller one. They want to have a degree of certainty about a return on their investment, but perhaps also the budgets are just too high to actually get things done without big-business backing.

This is somewhere where the 'old' Hollywood system is failing this middle ground of great content which can't get the backing to find a mass audience. I'd like to see high-quality, professional-level content for niche markets have an environment in which to thrive.

I'll freely admit that downloading, streaming, podcasting etc. doesn't come naturally to me. For me, it isn't real so to speak before it's been shown on TV or in cinemas (age difference I guess), but I'll grant that this is changing rapidly. I always thought that non-dedicated, general-purpose channels like traditional TV and radio had a way of reaching a large audience beyond a niche and sort of accidentally confronting people with interesting content, but this is no longer true, as, on the one hand, everyone can watch or listen to dozens of channels now, and you need some guidance and filtering to really get a hold of what you're interested in. Content filters you can set digitally, preferences you express or ways related or potentially relevant topics and media pop up on computer-driven outlets all help you sift the endless supply of content.

Initiatives like TWiT are really interesting, being geared to a limited, technically-minded audience. Yet I see more generic, traditional broadcasters struggling with their online strategies right now, as I do wish to check out programs on the BBC or US sites now and then, but these are nearly always restricted to their own territory. So, there's not a lot I can watch in terms of full programs or series, unless it's via mostly illegal means like downloads or YouTube, where a lot of traditional media content is routinely taken down after a while.

Rich
 

PeterU

Super Moderator
Yet I see more generic, traditional broadcasters struggling with their online strategies right now, as I do wish to check out programs on the BBC or US sites now and then, but these are nearly always restricted to their own territory. So, there's not a lot I can watch in terms of full programs or series, unless it's via mostly illegal means like downloads or YouTube, where a lot of traditional media content is routinely taken down after a while.

Absolutely. The numerous issues around content rights, contracts and international borders (which cease to really exist online) make this a really challenging issue.

A very good example -- seasons 2-7 of Malcolm are unlikely to be released because they don't have the music rights to package the show into a DVD. They'd have to go back and renegotiate contracts (and spend a huge amount of money) to deliver the product in a slightly different way. Subsequently, it is not possible to actually purchase the shows (and hence reward all the creative work) in a way that gives the customer the right to play back what they want, when they want.

That whole system must evolve to continue to respect the rights of all of the creative people whose input goes into making the finished product, while also giving ample flexibility to the packaging and broadcasting organisations to deliver the product that people actually want -- and continue to do so as the technical landscape changes.

The intersection between art and profit is a difficult one. At the moment, I really don't think the Hollywood system provides a healthy balance for that relationship.
 

MITM_Fan

New member
It's awesome.

Just don't mix Hal with Walter because they're quite different, better to say, nothing alike.

Season 4 is coming this September, I think.

Well anyway, I presume this will be the last season because they/he can't keep doing this forever just like Dexter.
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
Two articles in leading Dutch publications about 'Breaking Bad' - which isn't shown!

I just wanted to report that two highly favourable two-page reviews have appeared in leading Dutch publications about Breaking Bad.

One in our most 'intellectual' Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad (two-page spread in its Cultural Supplement, with cover photo of Bryan - in his underpants of course ;)) from September 3, 2010.

The other in the television weekly VPRO-gids, another two page-article with Bryan in his undies, from October 9, 2010.

This wouldn't be so striking, hadn't it been for the fact that the series ... isn't shown in the Netherlands! The NRC review is based on the DVD release, the VPRO one ties in with the German-dubbed version which is now shown on the German-French cultural TV channel Arte.

Some choice quotes from the NRC:

"In Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston perfects what William H. Macy could only suggest within the limited duration of a movie [Fargo]. In a TV series which could have been made by the Coen Brothers, Cranston is given hours and hours to shape his character and to transform him, with the aid of an intelligent and subtle script."

"The shamelessness with which Bryan Cranston dives into his role is totally compelling. He is physically impressive, but keeps his facial expressions in check, because though Walt White gains a lot in courage, he doesn't care for showing off. With his thin lips, his mouth quickly turns into a sharp line in his face, which he can just twist a little to suggest despondency or contempt."

"Cinematographically, the series is attractive, with a singular colour scheme, "image rhyme" (corresponding imagery), and recurring image gags."


Some choice quotes from the VPRO-gids:

"Superb series ... one of the best, most surprising and best looking TV series of the past years ... visually striking ... extremely gripping, true-to-life dialogue ... Bryan Cranston gives his all as Walt White - he rightly won the best actor Emmy for three years in a row".

VPRO-gids link: "Cancer, drugs and financial worries":

http://gids.vpro.nl/2010/10/09/kanker-drugs-en-financiele-zorgen/
 
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Karin

Staff - The One Who Mods
There was also a huge 3 page article in the AD-newspaper some time ago. Then the idiots of RTL decided to pull it from the programming again. :mad: So far it never aired here.

If anybody is interested I scanned them in and you can find them here: (huge files and they are in Dutch, when I have the time I will translate them. Overall it's pretty much one huge praise for the show.)
http://www.mijnalbum.nl/GroteFoto-TDRCKUBZ.jpg (cover)
http://www.mijnalbum.nl/GroteFoto-QGWZVOSA.jpg
http://www.mijnalbum.nl/GroteFoto-PTAKHJHX.jpg

Any thoughts on the new season?
I've only seen the first episode and it blew me away.
[SPOILER="]Didn't expect that Jessie would actually kill Gale, although it was inevitable with all the events taking place. And Gus killing Victor was so unexpected I was shocked! :eek: Gus is so creepy with his silence. Funny how scared Walter was and Jessie acted like he didn't cared that much.[/SPOILER]
(I am downloading the second episode right now, I can't wait to see it!)
 
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Richiepiep

Administrator
I'm so glad we at long last have Breaking Bad on Dutch TV now as of Jan. 1, 2012, that is public broadcasting, without any commercials and stuff, but it's late in coming by now, and loads of fans will have seen it as downloads, streams or on DVD.

But first and foremost, I'm really excited they decided to put it on after more than two years of campaining on my part, and I guess there will have been others promoting it too, especially after all the Emmies they received.

I sent them a mail back in August 2009, but the programmers replied that they thought the target group was too small, and they had no room for it, because they already had Dexter on, Nip and Tuck and Mad Men. Later on, they suspected, like me, that lots of fans had already seen part of the series one way or another, and this is of course the dilemma with programming on standard TV channels nowadays: there are so many other ways of viewing it, legal or illegal.

Breaking Bad is getting somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 viewers in the Netherlands now, which sounds small, but puts it in the same league as Dexter and Mad Men, offbeat quality drama series with limited audiences, partly because of late-night programming on week days I guess. Of course, these numbers don't count the numbers of postponed DVR and online viewers, so it's probably a lot more in total.
 
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Richiepiep

Administrator
If anybody is interested I scanned them in and you can find them here: (huge files and they are in Dutch, when I have the time I will translate them. Overall it's pretty much one huge praise for the show.)

Hi Karin,

Thanks a lot for the article scans! No, I hadn't seen it, and as there are Dutch fans too on this board, and Google and other search engines can take you straight to images regardless of the surrounding site, I have decided to scale them down a bit to a more manageable format and upload them to our Gallery! :)

Rich
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
Some choice quotes from Dutch TV Magazines:

"Closer to reality than any other TV series." VARA Gids

"A strong crime-drama series in the style of Dexter." Mikro Gids

"Breathtaking and addictive." VPRO Gids

"Best series ever." Veronica Magazine

"If you are just going to watch one series this year, it should be this one. Yes, that's how good Breaking Bad is. In the meantime, four seasons of the series have been made, and they are all just as good." Televizier Magazine
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
Ratings for 'Breaking Bad' in Holland are going down ...

It's now the second season for 'Breaking Bad' on Dutch TV and, to my dismay, all of a sudden, ratings are dropping. :(

I must say that the 11 p.m. slot on Sunday night is far from the best, because obviously most people will have to get up early on Monday morning and DVR programming each week is apparently too much of a bother, but VPRO-programmers say no other time slots are available for a 'cult series with a limited audience'. Apparently, this is public broadcasting for you nowadays. Around prime time, it caters for the lowest common denominator, just like any other commercial channel.

It started with 181,000 viewers for the pilot, which is reasonable enough for Dutch viewers, and then vacillated between 150,000 and 200,000, but for the past two weeks, viewers have gone down to 133,000 last week, and now just 98,000 last Sunday. So numbers are lacking in spite of uniformly rave reviews.

I've read about viewers who are giving up because of the late hour, because there are alternatives on torrents and DVDs, and because they are losing track of the various story threads, and find the suspense lacking - not because of the series, but because one week in between is too slow when there are other options.

This doesn't bode well for the remaining seasons, and VPRO may be reconsidering their decision. Damn, this almost feels like a personal blow. Still, I dont see what can be done right now, given the unholy hour and the, at least for many, readily available alternatives.

Geez, it must be a terrible dilemma for, by now, traditional TV programmers to choose movies and TV series which look like old news to all the Internet-savvy buffs.

Rich
 
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Karin

Staff - The One Who Mods
:( not good. I think if they would show it earlier in the evening there would be more viewers..

I hope it's just a wave and that it gets better in the upcoming weeks. When the storylines get more interesting, people are going to talk about it more & that will hopefully result in more viewers.
 

Richiepiep

Administrator
:( not good. I think if they would show it earlier in the evening there would be more viewers..

I hope it's just a wave and that it gets better in the upcoming weeks. When the storylines get more interesting, people are going to talk about it more & that will hopefully result in more viewers.

Yes, let's hope it will! I just thought of also checking 'legal' online viewers to get a more complete picture, and I see these are declining as well: from 40,000 for the pilot, to 20,000 for S2.

We'll just have to wait and see. By the way, I'm in touch with the general programming manager, so we'll see what we can do, though I'm told that the current late-night slot is the only one that is available for them.

Rich
 
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