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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Brodey

Breaking Bad: The Greatest TV Show Of All Time

Breaking Bad is the greatest TV show of all time. I remember watching the show and being blown away. I've never seen a show that is phenomenal in every way. The writing, acting, directing, and basically every other element that makes a TV show is perfect. Vince Gilligan and his crew are masters of their craft.

It's ironic because when this show was airing on TV, I remember seeing the commercial on AMC and thought "That looks stupid." A few years later I actually gave the show a watch and I was so so wrong. My dad said the same thing but once I showed him it, he changed his mind like I did. Now we watch Better Call Saul together and it's one of our favorite things to do.

The initial story idea is brilliant. IMDb summarizes it as: A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future. Perfect concept for a show.

I love the story and the dark nature of it. This show has so many film noir elements that I love. I'm a fan of dark stories and this show gives me plenty of "What the fuck" moments and it's awesome. The more Walter progresses as an evil mastermind, the darker the show gets.

Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, is one of the most iconic characters in TV history. Cranston's portrayal is beyond fantastic. When I watch the show, I don't see Cranston, I only see Walter White. Walt's transformation throughout the show is the main highlight. In the beginning, I truly cared for him and his situation. In the end, I hate the guy. That's the show’s goal and it succeeds in spades.

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is the heart and soul of the show. Seeing what Jesse goes through throughout the show is tough to watch. The way we see him being manipulated by Walter is really hard to watch. Paul is perfect for the role and he deserves all the praise he gets. What an awesome character and I'm happy to see him live and have a "happy ending."

The writing and filmmaking in this show is unlike anything I've ever seen. The unique way they shoot each episode makes the show stand out. I could spend a whole piece discussing the writing but to save time, I'll just say it's perfect. I love how an episode will start off with something obscure but then it comes back to play at the end of the episode. It's brilliant. Perfect setups and payoffs. The quality of this show ruined other shows for me. I can't watch other shows without comparing it to Breaking Bad. Even The Sopranos (which has phenomenal writing) lacks the unique direction that Breaking Bad has.

One thing I love about the show is the world. Walter White and his family are the focus but I love the criminal underworld that inhabits Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's unique and well thought out. The villains in this show are fucking awesome. Tuco, Hector, Gustavo Fring, the cartel, and Todd are all awesome and unique. They really challenge our protagonist in every way and it's fun to see Walt get himself out of awful situations.

I love love love how this show progresses from episode to episode. From the start to the end, every event that takes place affects the next event. One thing happens that causes another thing to happen and then another. That sounds basic but in writing terms that's hard as hell to pull off perfectly like this show does. That's another reason why the writing is so perfect. As Tuco would say it's "Tight tight tight!"

My favorite character from the show is actually Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk is amazing as the sleazy attorney. What I love about the show is how they take this clown of a character and make him an awesome and grounded character. On paper, Goodman can easily be written off as comic relief or one note but in the show he's brilliant and fits that world perfectly. They took a stereotype and made him into one of the best characters in TV history. You bet your ass that I watch and love Better Call Saul, his spinoff which I'll write about in the future.

Mike Ehrmantraut is another favorite character. Again like Saul, on paper he sounds one note but he's the opposite. Jonathan Banks plays the character beautifully. One thing about the show I hate is his outcome. Walt killing him pisses me off. I wish Mike was able to live and give all the money to his granddaughter. Overall, a phenomenal character.

Gustavo Fring has to be one of the best characters ever. Giancarlo Esposito delivers one of my favorite performances as the best villain in this show. He has a presence whenever he's on screen. I love love love that character. If anything, I'd say Walt is the villain more than Gus. I wish Gus lived but the way Gus was taken out by Walter is iconic.

I'll talk more about those three characters in a Better Call Saul piece. Even though I prefer the characters of Better Call Saul more than this show, I still love Walt and his family. They're the main focus of the show and I think it's brilliant.

Below I'll be discussing each season and my thoughts on them!

Season 1:

I used to not like this season. I thought it was boring. After a recent rewatch, I couldn't be more wrong. The fucking character development is on point. Like I said before, I cared about Walt in the beginning. I also care about Skylar, Walter Jr, Hank, and Marie. The family plot line is essential to the show and the first season really did a phenomenal job with developing that and those characters. That aspect is why this season is so awesome. I love how the season explores Walt's choices and how he slowly becomes an evil human being. The later seasons have more going on than this season but it’s still perfect.

My favorite episode of season 1 has to be the pilot. It's a brilliant example of how to write a pilot.

Season 2:

This season is when the show picks up and adds a lot more to the world. It's dark… I mean really dark. Walt watching Jane's death might be the most fucked up thing in this show. That scene is so hard to watch… In this season we see Hank really become a character instead of the mochoman persona we see in season one. I like his storyline with the turtle bomb PTSD and his hunt for Heisenberg. This season is also the introduction for Saul, Mike, and Gus which is awesome. I’ve seen people complain about the plane crash at the end and I don’t understand why. I love the set up in a few episodes, causing the audience to wonder what the fuck is going on. Everything leading up to that explosive moment is so well thought out. Jesse and Jane’s relationship is a main focus of this season and I just wish they stayed clean and lived happily ever after… not in this show.

My favorite episode of season 2 is Better Call Saul because it's a perfect example of how this show is perfect.

Season 3:

Hell yeah!

This is where the show really takes off and never lets up. Season 3 has so many insane moments that I can write a whole piece on it. For one, this is when Gus is a main focus and Walt works with him. Jesse gets himself in a situation that causes a riff between Gus and Walt in the end. The shootout with Hank is beyond intense. Mike delivers an amazing speech in the episode Half Measures. Walt killing those drug dealers and saving Jesse is crazy. Then we get to my favorite episode of season 3 which is Full Measures. It’s another prime example of why this show is perfect.

My favorite episode of season 3 is a tie between Half Measures and Full Measures. I can’t pick, so I'm picking both.

Season 4:

This is my favorite season of the show.

By far the greatest season of any TV show. Take the intensity of season 3 and multiply it by a million. Box Cutter is one hell of a way to start a season. Gus killing Victor to send a message is chilling. What I love about this season is the fact that Walt faces many obstacles. So most of his scenes are really intense. Gus is trying to kill him the second he gets a chance. Jesse being pulled away from him by Gus. Skylar joins in on Walt with buying the carwash, in a clever way of getting it. This season gives Skylar a lot more to do and I like how she takes on the criminal world. I like her side plot with Ted and getting Saul’s help with solving it. That plot line leading up to Crawl Space is amazing. I like Hank coming after Gus with no one believing him. The later half of this season is banger after banger after banger. I LOVE that we get a lot of badass moments from Gus. His back story in Hermanos is tragic. It’s a tough scene to watch. To see him get his revenge in Salud is fucking awesome. What an episode. Of course, Walt defeating Gus by utlizing Hector Salamanca is brilliant and an amazing ending to the season. I wish that Gus was able to kill Walt and Jesse would be his main cook because I love that character so much. Still, season 4 is perfect in every fucking way.

Again, I can’t pick a favorite episode so I’m going to say episodes 8-13 are my favorites because it’s banger after banger after banger.

Season 5:

I’m going to be honest, I don’t like the first half of season 5. I’m not saying it’s bad or lacks the quality because it’s still amazing… but season 4 had that perfect storyline. Going into season 5 the story deflates so quickly. I can’t stand Walt and his fucking ego (I know that’s the point). Walt and Skylar’s issues aren’t that interesting. I HATE what the show does to Mike. It’s not bad writing, I just wish he got a happy ending. I HATE that Walt kills him. I can’t stand that. I don’t like the nazis because they feel like cartoon characters. I like the train heist sequence but besides that, and Saul’s awesome moments, I’d rather just skip to the second half where Hank discovers Walt is Heisenberg.

Once Hank is onto Walt, the show picks back up and gets really fucking intense. Jesse really gets into a fucked up situation that it’s hard to watch. I love that he gets away. Same with Saul. Ozymandias is regarded as the best episode and I can understand why. It’s probably the best example of how perfect this show is. Hank’s death is truly tragic, especially since he finally captured Heisenberg but is killed for it. What an episode. I like the finale. I like that the show is tied up neatly. I love that Jesse gets to kill Todd. I’d say it’s my favorite episode of season 5.

My ranking of the seasons:

  1. Season 4

  2. Season 3

  3. Season 2

  4. Season 5 (2nd half)

  5. Season 1

  6. Season 5 (1st half)

I do have one issue with the show and that’s the character of Skylar. Now, I don’t hate her. I think her hate backlash is ridiculous. She doesn’t deserve all that hate. My issue is her character is negative 99% of the time. Here’s the thing, she is totally justified for being that way. I am on her side. She is a victim and didn’t deserve any of what Walt put her through. However, her negativity really brings down some scenes, especially in the first half of season 5. It makes sense she is reacting the way she does writing wise, so I’m sure why I feel this way. Maybe it’s the acting by Anna Gunn. She is phenomenal in the show so I’m not saying she’s bad but there’s something that’s off that could be it. I’m not sure.

Overall, I feel like I could’ve added so much more but I don’t want this to be long. Better Call Saul is the only other TV show that can compare to this one. Breaking Bad is perfect in every way and it’s by far the greatest TV show of all time.

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