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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review: Breaking Bad

Happy New Year, folks! 

I recently finished watching a great TV series, Breaking Bad, last week. Admittedly, I think I'm going to have to double back and re-watch season 1 to refresh myself, but in the past few months I have watched season 2 through to season 5. One of the things I loved most about this TV series is the tension. While the episodes are overall very serious and drawn out, I think this series gets away with it because of the high-intensity of the climaxes and the suspense that's left between them. There is a lot of character development that really lets you get to know the characters and their situations. 

My favourite character would have to be Jesse, even though half the time I really hate him. My first impression was that this kid is some dropkick little prick with no hope and no morals, but through watching the series and watching him develop as a character, we find out otherwise. Jesse has some serious internal conflicts, especially regarding murder and the involvement of children with the meth business and its repercussions. As far as the 'bad guys' go, I thought Gus was the best and most terrifying. At first, I thought he was actually a really nice, half-decent guy, but like all of the other characters, I quickly discovered that he was much more three-dimensional than that. 

I loved how they used the setting for the story, so that it was useful to what Jesse and Walt start off trying to do, so that it is useful for the hiding of money and burying of bodies throughout the seasons, and how it is close enough to Mexico for the drug cartel to be heavily involved. 

The ending of the series was amazing and I had no idea how it was going to end until it was over. I would have liked to have seen a little more of a reunion between Walt and Jesse, but I can understand why that didn't happen. The one thing I'm still not sure I was happy with was - spoiler alert - Hank's death. As much as I wanted Walt to escape and get away with everything, I really did want Hank to be the one to bring him in if it came to that. I guess he came pretty close before Todd's uncle showed up. I don't know, I just didn't feel like having Hank killed was the right decision for the series. 

Another thing I really loved about this TV series is that you know that what Walt is doing is wrong, but you still want him to succeed, because he is the main character and you understand him and you can sympathise with him. You could almost let yourself believe he is doing the right thing after all. As a fan of DeathNote I drew a few comparisons to the ending of that series, which also had a 'bad guy' for a protagonist. 

Overall, I thought it was brilliant. I was hanging off the edge of my seat every episode, wondering what would happen next. 

And here is the trailer to the second half of season 5, in which Bryan Cranston recites the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.


Speaking of Ozymandias, I finished reading the graphic novel of The Watchmen on New Year's Eve, so I'll be posting a review of that soon, too.

Happy New Year, everyone. Have you seen Breaking Bad? What were your thoughts? 

- Bonnee.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks, Bonnee, for reviewing BREAKING BAD. I watched one episode and stopped. Maybe as you posted a viewer has to watch a few episodes to capture the development of the characters. But I know that many people were hooked on watching this TV series. I don't really drama sitcom on TV, only comedy. We are covered here in snow with minus 20 degrees. Australia is looking like a paradise now ..:) Happy New Year to you and your loved ones .. and to all those posting comments on your blog.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not a huge fan of comedy, but I guess everyone has their preferences. I much prefer serious things. It sounds so cold over there! It hasn't been very warm for Australian summer down here, but it hasn't been that cold by far. I just spent a week at the beach and only two days were suitable beach weather, but my phone is telling me we will reach 39 degrees on Wednesday!

      Happy New Year to you and your loved ones too, and thanks as always for visiting my blog. Stay well!

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  2. Hey--I could swear I put up a fairly lengthy reply to this post here yesterday....

    I hope I didn't put it up on someone else's blog....

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  3. OK, I'm back to put forth my opinion.

    First, Happy New Year, Bonnee, best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014.

    Now, on to the show. You know how I feel about BB in a general way already--I think it was excellent on so many levels. Like you, Jesse was my favorite character. Terribly annoying at first, but he really developed, and was one of the few main characters with an actual conscience. By the way, I read somewhere that his character wasn't even supposed to make it out of Season 1 alive, but they liked him so much, they had to keep him.

    Unlike you, I stopped rooting for Walt. With each episode is arrogance grew, to the point where it wasn't about setting up his family for after he was gone, it was about him showing everyone how great he was. I found him sympathetic (in that I felt bad for the crappy hand he was dealt), admirable in his resourcefulness (loved it every time he used chemistry to escape certain death; it was like "Bill Nye, the Science Guy: Master Criminal"), and hateful at the same time. That's a testament to the writing and to Bryan Cranston.

    The Death Note comparison is an interesting one--Light and Walt are very similar characters in many ways. Anyway, I've gone on long enough. Be well!

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    1. I had heard that they were supposed to have knocked him off after the first season, but I'm really glad they didn't. I'm glad he was still alive even in the end. I guess they realised how much the audience liked him and decided it would maintain popularity.

      I totally understand what you mean about Walt. I guess the poem he is reading in the video above sums up what he's really doing by the end and I remember something he said to Jesse during season 5. "I'm not in the meth business. I'm in the empire business."

      I've decided I really love anti-heroes like Walt and Light. Thanks as always for visiting and have a safe and happy New Year. :)

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