Author Topic: Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul  (Read 25130 times)

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Offline Nubbins

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Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul
« on: January 18, 2008, 10:19:44 PM »
I just saw a preview for this show and it looks incredible.



Quote
Television: AMC cooks up another winner with riveting 'Breaking Bad'
Vince Horiuchi
Article Last Updated: 01/17/2008 06:52:07 PM MST

From good to bad and bad to worse, AMC's new original series, "Breaking Bad," deftly shows that the journey to criminal enterprise is rife with tragedy and horror.
   
The cable movie network, which made a big splash last year in the TV series arena with its excellent "Mad Men," takes a completely different turn with "Breaking Bad," about a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher dying of lung cancer who decides to cook crystal methamphetamine to support his family after he's gone.
   
And thanks to a sharp performance by "Malcolm in the Middle's" Bryan Cranston as the teacher who moves from tightly wound suburbanite to desperate man, this is a series that also has a lot to say about hysteria in the face of fear.
   
The first episode, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on American Movie Classics, immediately throws viewers into a panic-fueled moment as the half-naked teacher, Walter White, drives an RV through the New Mexico desert with a gas mask on his face and three unconscious men inside.
   
Flashback to earlier when White hears the bad news: He has terminal lung cancer with only a couple years to live, at best.
   
White, a decent guy bottled inside a repressed shell of a man, goes on a ride-along with his macho brother-in-law, a federal drug agent, and discovers one of his ex-students, Jesse (played by "Big Love's" Aaron Paul), is selling crystal meth.
   
The teacher realizes he can use his chemistry skills to "good" use. He hunts down his former student and proposes to cook the perfect meth if Jesse will sell it.
   
That sets into motion an uncontrollable tragedy that is darkly comic and fiercely intriguing.
   
When Jesse brings along two threatening dealers who want the drugs for themselves, White breaks free by concocting a chemical explosion and gas that kills one man and injures the other.
   
From there it only goes downward. Think of it as Showtime's "Weeds," but with a lot more heartbreak - and intelligence.
   
The setup hardly gives you a feeling for where the series is going, and neither do the next two episodes, which were given to critics for preview. But that unpredictability is partly what makes "Breaking Bad" feel so good.
   
There's a frenzied roller-coaster at play in White's turn to the dark side and his choices portend calamity.
   
While TV seems more often to chart the journey of someone whose epiphany leads to redemption and recovery, here's an exhilarating story about a man who falls into the abyss and can't get out.
   
Cranston, whom people remember as the hilarious dad on "Malcolm," blends seamlessly into his role as the generic Walter White, adding the right doses of nerdiness and anxiety. Paul also is great as the young punk who goes along with White's outrageous plan.
   
But perhaps the biggest kudos of all should go to American Movie Classics, a cable network showing classic movies that is now a nascent TV-series powerhouse that could give HBO and FX a run for its money.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 11:03:05 AM by nacho »
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Offline monkey!

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2008, 04:15:00 PM »
Malcolm's dad!

ACE!
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 06:10:21 PM »
Definitely.  It seems odd to picture him in a role like this, but from what I saw of him in the preview, he is perfect for the part... kind of like Hugh Laurie's transition from Blackadder to House.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 06:11:33 PM »
So...finally getting around to this show (the uncensored DVD rips are circulating the net).  It's pretty cool.  Like the quoted article says -- it's kind of an intelligent version of Weeds with more likable characters and less fantastical humor.  I think it's supposed to be a black comedy, but it's actually pretty gruesome and moody.  Malcolm's dad is a tragic, haunted loser, and his evil little partner is a meth fiend destined only for despair. 

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 07:32:45 PM »
Man, I still really want to see this... I'll have to see if Netflix has it.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 07:49:32 PM »

Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 09:10:15 PM »
So the first three episodes of season two leaked.

It's weird...this show, from a storytelling perspective, is almost ripping off Weeds.  He's dealing with a family that's generally in the dark, they're both likable, and they're sort of inadvertently stumbling up the drug dealing ladder with increasingly dangerous, bigger bosses showing up. 

But those loose parallels make it all the more clear that Weeds is a terrible show and this one is great.  Our two anti-heroes are in way over their heads.  They know it and we know it, so watching them evolve into the second season is just loads of fun. 

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2009, 12:44:17 AM »
I can't wait to see this show.  It's on my list right after Nip/Tuck.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 10:02:39 PM »
Well, season two is starting to drift a bit.  Episode four couldn't really keep my interest, which is a shame.  It's just more of season one.  The same formula -- the season is devoted to the fallout from an abortive attempt to try and make a quick buck.

That said, it's still miles better than Weeds, and I'm certainly far from giving up.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2009, 10:45:46 PM »
Dammit... these all still say very long wait on my list.
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Offline Cassander

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 08:19:35 PM »
yeah, just tore through s1 and the first two eps over the past week or so.  i think it's a pretty good show.  when you really analyze it, the story is really simplistic.  nothing is super over-the-top.  but the way the story is told is pretty enticing.  i love the "future flashback" or whatever you call it that they employ every so often.  like, "shit, how are they going to get there from here?"  it is all your classic outsider turns criminal type of story, but pretty good.  the only thing i can't stand is the son.  if that makes me a bad person, then so be it. 
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Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 10:21:12 PM »
The family is especially annoying in the second season.

Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2009, 09:01:03 PM »
Okay...second season is picking up a bit.  Just had to transition into a darker, more sinister mood.

Offline Cassander

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2009, 01:03:15 AM »
so, this show keeps surprising me.  not really as "deep" as the sopranos or the wire, but definitely not shallow.  the characters aren't phenomenally interesting, but their stories are.  and the show isn't really unbelieveable, even though the situations are pretty far-fetched. 

so basically the only thing i can think of that is really drawing me to this show is that each episode isn't like a "what's happening next" but like a little artistic exercise.  issues more than episodes.  i don't know how to explain it.  i think they're getting a lot better at being lean with the scenes.  they're definitely feeling their way through this.  i'm not sure what the long term plan is, but i'd love in season 3 to see the walt/jesse relationship evolve from slightly antagonistic teacher/student=boss/bagman thing into a real emotional scattershot when jesse realizes that he's kind of a buffer for walt's more "normal" lifestyle even though, as we know, walt's really the creepy one with darkness inside him.

i saw badger in a beverage ad the other day and it kind of threw me for a loop. 

and danny trejo is always welcome.  in fact, i'd watch danny trejo on the office or on the home shopping network.  he's fucking danny trejo. 
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Offline nacho

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Re: Breaking Bad
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2009, 05:34:35 AM »
I agree, Cass.  Especially the artistic exercise thing.  Very much that feeling...which is fun and refreshing.