I thought about this post since i started this blog. The whole point of this segment is talkinbg about great tv series that i love. But when it comes to the series that i consider one of the best things ever produced in the last ten years of fiction, any word is going to sound empty and retarded.
To put it simply, "Breaking Bad", is the reasons i am watching more ficiton than movies today. It's the perfect (and i'm using this word in its literal meaning) example of how a "television" product can defeat the restriction and prejudices behind its format and create something that defies labels, definitions and limitations and create art. No fuck art too. Create beauty and emotion.
Breaking Bad starts with an intriguing premise, seimple and weird. A middle aged chemistry teacher, living in a dessicated suburbia, with a nice but difficult wife and a son that happens to have cerebral palsy but is really a perfectlyu normal teenager, is frustrated with his job. He teaches to uninterested students the secrets of chemistry and science. He loves it, he used to be a promising scientist. But necessities took his dreams away so now he lets himself go in monotony. Until he gets diagnosed with terminal cancer and realizes that he will die and needs something more to give a future to his family.
And from that the series explodes. It starts grabbing you directly by the throat. Everything is violent, desperate, cynical, pignant and yet comical, surreal, sarcastic, insane. The cinematography keeps mixing quiet slow sequences of saturated "american beauty" like fake perfectionb and then creates shots that could be framed and hung in a gallery for their Kubrickian/Aronofsky beauty. The pace slows and lets you savour moments of intense drama, sheer terror, pitch black comedy an suspense. The blows up, raising up the pulse until your heart blows. The dialogue is mean, witty and cruel.
And the acting? Jesus. the whole cast is perfect, layered and unpredictable. Every single character is key. They defy any sterotype or expectations. From a housewife that has more darkness than you'd thin, to a cocky policeman, who's actually a heroic and nice hearted person with touching flaws.
And i havent talked about the main duo. Bryan Cranston as Professor Walter White and Aaron Paul as slacker, dealer and once-promising student Jesse Pinkman. Both award winners for this. Both beyond any superlative.
Cranston is the first to get you. His physical presence and special timinhg already showed off when he played the hilariously timed, almost Jacques Tati-like Hal in Malcolm in the middle. But what you'll witness here, is one of the most soul shredding, complex, touching, scary and intense performances of all time. Cranstone embodies White as a shifting creature. He gives him a piercing stare that etlls more than dialogue. A voice that seems to come from a milliond ifferent personalities. He transforms his body, his face and turns moments, scenes, lines into fragments of something outworldly.
There are bits of this show, many many bits, that will have you exhausted, with heart racing, wanting to share your emotions with others. Speechless and numb out of absolute, insane perfection. It will be Cranston, Paul, the twists, some moments of utter shock (boy does this series deliver some gut churning shocks and i dont mean cheap ones), moments of "OH MY GOD HOW FUCKIN COOL WAS THAT!".
You'll reccomend this show to someone and hook them. They will remember you forever for that. I remeber who reccmìomended the show to me and passed it on.
You'll find yoursleves having converstaions on an episode right after yopu saw it and not in the usual "nice" or "what happened" way. you'll share this show like you just witnessed the best thing ever. Or the most completely disturbing. And this show will make most movies you'll see look lame and boring. And when the seaosn are over, you'll have withdrawal.
Welcome to the family.