Breaking Bad 2008 series review | Book Addicts

Breaking Bad (series)

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Breaking Bad is a series that began in 2008 and ran for five seasons on AMC.

10 out of 10 stars.  This is actually a very entertaining series well-acted and cleverly plotted.

Walt White is a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with stage 3a lung cancer even though he’s never smoked.  He has a sixteen year old son named Walt Jr with cerebral palsy and a pregnant wife Skyler.  As the only breadwinner in the family the thought of leaving them without an income is more terrifying than the thought of death itself.  Then one afternoon Walt does a ride along with his DEA agent brother-in-law Hank who is Skyler’s brother.  As the DEA agents are taking down a meth lab inside one house he sits in the back seat of the cop car watching a half naked man climb out of an upstairs window at another house being kissed by a naked woman.  He recognizes the man as a former student, Jesse Pinkman.  Jesse drives away in a red car with the license plate THE CAPTN and since Hank has told him the cook for this meth house is nicknamed Captain Crunch he realizes Jesse is the cook for the meth house.  This one event shapes both of their lives as Walt decides to become Jesse’s new meth lab partner.  Unlike the other meth labs, their product is clear crystal, the purest meth the Albuquerque DEA has ever seen because it’s been created by Walt who is a master chemist, way overqualified to be a high school chemistry teacher.

In the first season Walt and Jesse face the challenges than any meth lab would encounter.  It’s quite an education.  They solve these challenges in ingenuous ways because Walt is nothing short of a genius and Jesse is street smart.  But they also encounter quite a few unsavory characters in the drug world.

In the second season Skyler is still pregnant (so it takes place in the same year as season one).  But she’s become very controlling of Walt now that she knows he has cancer.  She insists on a private oncologist who charges $1900 a week for treatment in addition to the $35,000 down payment for his services.  Walt makes $43,700 a year when he’s working.  So the amount of cash he’s making with Jesse in their mini meth lab isn’t enough and they branch out to become wholesale suppliers.  All of the meth in Albuquerque is controlled by a drug gang led by a psycho named Tuco Salamanca.  He really is crazy, killing his partners in fits of rage.  As Walt’s secret meth life becomes more dangerous, his wife Skyler becomes more controlling of Walt’s life.  She needs to know where he is at every minute and that’s hard to do while you’re secretly cooking meth.

This series is both entertaining and educational.  It shows what cancer treatment looks like.  And it has clever moments like burning through seven inches of steel with thermite on fire (the thermite came from a kids’ toy).  Bryan Cranston does an incredible job as Walt.  His anguish at discovering he’s dying and knowing that his wife won’t have enough money to live on is real.  His guilt at watching Hank bust meth dealers in town is also very real.  You can also feel his frustration in dealing with a wife who is so controlling she’s derailed his career and his life and now it’s almost over.  When Walt met Skyler he was a chemist and part owner in a company that has now made millionaires of his former partners.  His brilliance has been completely wasted as a high school teacher all for Skyler.

10 out of 10 stars.  The first two seasons are educational and entertaining.  And kudos to the producers for hiring RJ Mitte as Walt Junior.  He’s gorgeous.


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