Monday, April 21, 2014

Breaking Bad is Not "All That"

So, I just finished the first season of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan's hit AMC show about the high school chemistry teacher who "breaks bad" after learning he has stage-3 lung cancer and starts "cooking meth" with a former student. The show, which just wrapped last year, grabbed America's attention, especially during the fifth and final season, as everyone waited to learn the fate of "everyman" anti-hero Walter White. The show's raves have elevated it to nearly mythical status, with some even opining that Breaking Bad is "better than The Sopranos.

Well, I'm just not seeing it.

Walter White is an interesting character in some regards, true. And the story is compelling enough for me to venture into the second season. But better than The Sopranos? Blasphemy. And just naive and misguided TV watching. Overall, the characters in Breaking Bad are just too limited and un-interesting to hold a chance against the boys of Bada-Bing. David Chase created a world of New Jersey thuggery that was on par with The Godfather, and the characters of Paulie and Chris and Carmela and Meadow and so many others represented depths of humanity that Breaking Bad - at least in the first season - can't begin to match.

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