Breaking bad-habits


breaking-bad

I’ve waited until now to post about what has arguably become one of the most talked about and celebrated TV shows in history.  Yes Vince Gilligan’s award winning Breaking Bad.  Last night I finished watching the final season, and came away so shaken, impressed and wowed at the shows excellence that I really felt I had been witness to a major landmark in television entertainment.

I will try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible as I think this is a show that really needs to be enjoyed to the max, without knowing what lies ahead, and is another reason I have waited this long to talk about it.  Brian Cranston, previously best known as the dad in Malcolm In The Middle, plays a chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer.  Fearing for his family’s financial future, including a disabled son and a pregnant wife, he plots a scheme to get involved in the crystal-meth cooking business with a helping hand from former student Jessie (Aaron Paul).  For me I considered this a strange concept for a show and not one I could have foreseen being so popular – I mean really, the main character is a drug dealer (of sorts).  Yet in the hands of Brain Cranston he makes a morally dubious and sometimes downright awful person likable … and you are there every step of the way as he faces up against rival drug barons, his own brother-in-law DEA agent (the wonderful Dean Norris) as well as his own family woes.

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First and foremost despite an unusual premise, what holds this all together are a wealth of first class performances, especially from Cranston and Paul who excel in their roles and believe me go through the full gamut of emotions and obstacles throughout the  series … these guys really earn their pay cheques.  Cranston especially breaking out of his sitcom routes to become one of the most iconic and memorable characters, nicknamed Heisenberg and with a bald head and goatee that will truly go down in history.  I really can’t praise this show enough.  Gilligan’s direction (and the various other names who step in, including Cranston himself) all deliver a show full of style, quirks, often clever camera work, great music choices and plenty of tension – with a fair bit of comic-relief too.  This is a black comedy at times, but also hard-hitting, violent and disturbing – in a good way that hits home and lingers in one’s mind.  The kind of show you just have to talk about afterwards.

Another feather to its cap are some of the supporting characters, the lovable but deadly hit man Mike (everyone’s favourite eighties villain Jonathan Banks – Beverly Hills Cop anyone?) and most notably Giancalo Esposito’s Gustavo Fring – who really stamps his evil presence from the show’s 3rd season onwards.

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My American readers may have already seen this show and moved on, some may wonder what all the fuss is about – as did I … but after reading many (often celebrity) recommendations, I got curious and thanks to Netflix have been able to enjoy this show in it’s entirety.  It hasn’t been treated the best by British TV networks, being a complete no show on terrestrial television or even satellite service Sky – something that totally baffles me to this day … maybe that will change some time soon, even now the show is done … because it really deserves the widest audience possible. 

TV programmes come along like this very rarely … so don’t let it slip you by.

Update


Just a short post trying out the Windows Writer software available in Windows Essentials that’s meant to make blogging easier.  Also using this opportunity to update my readers on a few things I am looking forward to and doing at the moment.  Been reading the rather enjoyable book ‘A Step Too Far’ by Tina Seskis.  Proving an easy read and as someone who isn’t an avid reader … it’s not too long at three hundred and odd pages, compared to the tomes of say, Stephen King clocking in at an intimidating one thousand plus!  I am also using reading again as a segway into perhaps writing, a hobby of mine I would love to start doing again, and have found a way by putting my hand to short story writing, some of which I might publish on here one day.

Other than that I have been enjoying Breaking Bad (currently on season 3) and Ray Donovan.  Both proving very enjoyable and come highly recommended.  I am also currently watching the final season of Dexter, one of my all time favourite shows, but this season sadly is leaving me rather cold so far.  Last night I watched (not exactly) classic 1982 horror The Entity, that I think is probably way too obscure to grant a review on here, but proved kind of interesting, and the based of an apparent true story aspect kept me focused, even if the badly acted and poorly framed experience got me yearning for something more modern, high def and wide screen (!).

I am not that interested in gaming right now but have pre-ordered the way too good looking Grand Theft Auto V for XBOX 360, and am looking forward to it, despite failing to complete (at least so far) games such as Hitman Absolution, Dead Space 3 and to a lesser extent the mostly ‘meh’ Remember Me. 

Movies on the horizon I plan on reviewing though, include: James Macevoy gangster thriller Welcome To The Punch, Elijah Wood serial killer remake Maniac, Rob Zombie horror-fest Lords Of Salem and also attempt to review classics newly coming to Blu-ray such as Edward Woodwood chiller The Wicker Man and Tobe Hooper sci-fi gore / nudity classic Life Force.   Oh, and also don’t judge me for wanting the Blu-ray set pictured below, even if the latest Studio Ghibli release it houses (From Up On Poppy Hill) isn’t exactly on my must see list:

Along with work, life and other things that crop up, plenty to keep me busy and some interesting stuff on the horizon I’ll no doubt enjoy blogging about. 

Craig.  Winking smile