Darrel Manson

Breaking Bad

201 posts in this topic

I enjoyed it, if you can call sitting on edge for an hour "enjoying it." But it is. It's a pleasure to watch this show. The creators on this show know how to bring the tension every episode.

Walt is already back to his denial, attempting to make excuses for everything he has done. Aaron Paul does a great job at portraying Jesse's situation with very few words.

At first it didn't feel like much happened this episode, but

the ending with the forensics team in Gale's apartment and the "lab notes" sitting on the table was a very portentous ending indeed.

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I decided to finally catch up with this show a few weeks ago, and I'm 3 episodes from the end of the second season right now. Cranston is great, and is definitely has its moments, but I haven't been as impressed as I was expecting. The thing I don't like is how dead-end a lot of the storylines are: something happens (Tuco kidnaps them, Hank goes to El Paso, Jesse meets the junkies and their kid), there's conflict and maybe a few lessons, but by the end of each arc, the characters basically go back to where they were before, and nothing (story-wise) has really been risked. There aren't "can't go back from here" moments, though there is definitely potential for them, and maybe they'll happen later in the series--it seems like Walt's remission is pushing him toward a change in his character, where the meth becomes what he wants to do, rather than what he thinks he has to do. But I'm in the middle of that storyline, so I'll have to watch and see where it goes.

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I finished the second season tonight, and I'm satisfied. I still think the early episodes are kind of slow and start-and-stop, but it really comes together in the finale.

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Saul Goodman looks like a young Barry Zuckercorn.

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Interesting news here. I am typically against dragging things out to multiple seasons, and have a hard time seeing this show be as good on a different network.

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Mike, I was pretty disheartened to read that article, too, coupled with a couple of the other recent media pieces about AMC's lineup. The idea of Gilligan/Sony having to shop the show around is one thing-- Matt Weiner did the same thing to drive up the asking price for MAD MEN last go-round-- but the fact that AMC's scaling back the per-episode expenditures on BREAKING BAD and the zombie show. I wonder whether the increased cost of putting on MAD MEN is to blame-- I tend, fairly or not, to see AMC like a professional sports team working under a salary cap, and so I don't like to think of MAD MEN getting the Peyton Manning money while everybody else has to rework their deal. On a bigger front, I hope this doesn't signal a trend that AMC's business model isn't working.

Or maybe I should say it another way: I hope that AMC is able to adjust its business model without having to forego the dramatic ground they've carved out. I'm dying to cut the cable TV cord, but AMC is holding me in there. I could get an iTunes season pass of BB or MM for about $30, which is between 33% and 50% of a month's worth of cable, but I'd save a good bit more than money.

On topic, I've been pleased with how the season's played out thus far. I love the way in which the writers bring new, urgent dramatic tension to Walt's situation in new and unforeseen ways. Every time he thinks there's an escape, he's disabused of that idea. Meanwhile, his fetid stench spreads outward, now thoroughly infecting his quasi-wife and drawing her into his language of lies. That moment on Sunday where Walt in the dress rehearsal fake-apologized to Skylar for dragging her through this, and she momentarily thought it was a real apology-- the first one he'd ever deigned to make, that blameless provider-of-income-and-security--and she paused, and for a moment words actually stood for their real meaning, and not for some expedient way to a end, but then it was clear that he was still lying, but this time in collaboration with her, instead of to her. That's great drama.

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I watched "Fly," from near the end of the third season, last night. It was a fun bottle episode and a nice change of pace. It was also fun to see that Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper (one of these days)) directed it.

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I watched "Fly," from near the end of the third season, last night. It was a fun bottle episode and a nice change of pace. It was also fun to see that Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper (one of these days)) directed it.

We recently finished the third season, and for all the adrenaline you'll find in "One Minute" and the final two episodes, "Fly" might be my favorite. It's the one that best captures what the show is really about: The teacher and the pupil, stuck in a room together, driving each other crazy, putting all their monstrosity and humanity on display for us to see.

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I like Michael Clayton to begin with, but I would have liked it more if it was about a different Mike. (sort-of spoiler if you haven't watched the third season.)

[edit] Just finished the third season. I didn't think this would ever happen, but I might be ready to get on board with the "better than The Wire" argument.

Edited by Tyler

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http://latimesblogs....amc-sony-1.html

After almost losing one of its signature shows, cable network AMC has signed a new deal for 16 episodes to keep its critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad."

For weeks, AMC and Sony Television, the studio behind the drama about an ailing high school teacher who turns to selling crystal meth to make ends meet, had been bickering over a new deal for a fifth and final season of the show. Talks got so bad that Sony actually shopped the show to other cable networks including News Corp.'s FX.

One of the issues over the show was costs and how many episodes would be produced for the final season. Sony wanted 13 episodes, whereas AMC was hoping to order just half a dozen or so in a cost-saving move.

Although AMC has ordered 16 episodes, it is not likely it will air the episodes as one season. Instead, the cable channel is expected to space the episodes out over the next few years. AMC said production on the last 16 would start next year but declined to comment on when they would air. The fourth season is currently underway.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that "Breaking Bad" will not air on AMC at all in 2012 and instead will return in 2013 and wrap up in 2014. AMC did not bring "Mad Men" back this year, choosing instead to start the next season in early 2012.

Part of the reason a network would do that is that typically the cost of producing the show does not have to be accounted for on the books until the episodes are run. AMC premiered the new series "The Killing" this year and brought back "Breaking Bad." Keeping "Mad Men" off this year, even though production has just started on the new season, will mean lower programming expenses, according to an executive at a rival cable network that carries a heavy load of original programming, who did not want to comment publicly about a competitor.

The difficulty in sealing a deal on "Breaking Bad" coupled with budget cuts on AMC's biggest hit "The Walking Dead" -- which also led to the departure of that drama's showrunner Frank Darabont -- has been the subject of much talk in Hollywood. AMC executives have denied that its lucrative deal for "Mad Men" showrunner Matt Weiner to stay on that show for a few more seasons is the cause of the financial issues at the other shows. However, AMC, a unit of AMC Networks, has declined to elaborate on why Darabont left "The Walking Dead" or what the issues were in cutting a new deal for "Breaking Bad."

Looks like Breaking Bad will run for five seasons.

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Anyone watch last night's episode, "Shotgun"?

I feel like some big season story arcs finally left the harbor and set sail last night.

Jesse: Now has a reason to live, even though he's unknowingly being manipulated by Gus/Mike. This is only going to further isolate Walt.

Hank: Now has a reason to live, Heisenberg is still on the prowl. After how depressing Hank's scenes have been all season, it was nice to see him sitting at the table at the episode's end, drinking coffee and looking at the files. Won't take too long before he'll be looking at our friend Gus.

Walt: What an arrogant idiot! As we've seen he always wants to be in control and/or be the hero. He thinks he'll give his life to save Jesse, he orders Saul to give the money to his family, he drunkenly belittle Gale when Hank praises him, etc. But none of it is genuine, it is all serving his need to be the best, to be the hero. He doesn't get the recognition that he thinks he deserves. I've always hoped the show would end with Hank taking Walt down. Last night in the scene at the dinner table, I felt like a little snowball started rolling that could take us all the way that sort of series' end.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, the writers for this show have such a keen understanding for how pride/sin/bitterness can function like a disease in the human heart and eventually destroy a person. I think that's what we're seeing on this show.

And is there any show that builds and uses tension as skillfully as this show? Gus changing clothes in the season opener. Mike and Jesse's silent drive last night.

Edited by Gavin Breeden

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Anyone watch last night's episode, "Shotgun"?

I feel like some big season story arcs finally left the harbor and set sail last night.

Jesse: Now has a reason to live, even though he's unknowingly being manipulated by Gus/Mike. This is only going to further isolate Walt.

Hank: Now has a reason to live, Heisenberg is still on the prowl. After how depressing Hank's scenes have been all season, it was nice to see him sitting at the table at the episode's end, drinking coffee and looking at the files. Won't take too long before he'll be looking at our friend Gus.

Walt: What an arrogant idiot! As we've seen he always wants to be in control and/or be the hero. He thinks he'll give his life to save Jesse, he orders Saul to give the money to his family, he drunkenly belittle Gale when Hank praises him, etc. But none of it is genuine, it is all serving his need to be the best, to be the hero. He doesn't get the recognition that he thinks he deserves. I've always hoped the show would end with Hank taking Walt down. Last night in the scene at the dinner table, I felt like a little snowball started rolling that could take us all the way that sort of series' end.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, the writers for this show have such a keen understanding for how pride/sin/bitterness can function like a disease in the human heart and eventually destroy a person. I think that's what we're seeing on this show.

And is there any show that builds and uses tension as skillfully as this show? Gus changing clothes in the season opener. Mike and Jesse's silent drive last night.

I knew this season would take a while to get going, since they blew up so many storylines at the end of last season. It does feel like it's finally getting some momentum now, though. The Wire had some good slow-building scenes, and so did Rubicon.

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The ending of last night's episode was like Police, Adjective meets Columbo.

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I knew it couldn't really happen, but there was a minute when I thought Walt was going to kill Jesse at the end of the last episode.

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Is anyone else still watching this show? Because, last night's episode was one of the best hours of TV I've ever seen, on any show.

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Is anyone else still watching this show? Because, last night's episode was one of the best hours of TV I've ever seen, on any show.

The past three episodes have each successively been better.

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Is anyone else still watching this show? Because, last night's episode was one of the best hours of TV I've ever seen, on any show.

Just caught up on last night's episode and I agree.

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I am hesitant. I thought the

death scene was poor scripting, as it required every single dude to take a shot out of that bottle, and that bottle didn't actually contain enough mls to fill enough shot glasses. At least, this was a big stretch. And there was no back-up plan. Either every dude drinks a shot, or what... It was a rare plot hole for the series, which is typically thought out a bit better.

And I am not digging the tax evasion subplot. The show is getting really bloated, and its simplicity is what had always attracted me. Walt's wife is becoming an unwelcome distraction from the original Jesse/Walt groove.

And the Jesse character arc is getting increasingly unexpected. Gone are the days of the great conversation he once had with his girlfriend outside an art gallery. But man, the infinitesimal smile of Gus in response to his taking control at the new lab represented one of the most alarming movements in this season.

So, I am split and headed toward ambivalence.

Edited by M. Leary

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I am hesitant. I thought the

death scene was poor scripting, as it required every single dude to take a shot out of that bottle, and that bottle didn't actually contain enough mls to fill enough shot glasses. At least, this was a big stretch. And there was no back-up plan. Either every dude drinks a shot, or what... It was a rare plot hole for the series, which is typically thought out a bit better.

And I am not digging the tax evasion subplot. The show is getting really bloated, and its simplicity is what had always attracted me. Walt's wife is becoming an unwelcome distraction from the original Jesse/Walt groove.

And the Jesse character arc is getting increasingly unexpected. Gone are the days of the great conversation he once had with his girlfriend outside an art gallery. But man, the infinitesimal smile of Gus in response to his taking control at the new lab represented one of the most alarming movements in this season.

So, I am split and headed toward ambivalence.

Yeah, I wondered about the bottle stuff, too. In an earlier scene in the episode, though, Mike told Jesse that either all three of them were going back to NM, or none of them were, so the all-or-nothing side didn't bother me.

I also thought the Walt/Walt Jr. scenes were done really well. I forget there are kids on the show sometimes, and I think the writers do too, but that was one of the highlights of the episode for me.

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I also thought the Walt/Walt Jr. scenes were done really well. I forget there are kids on the show sometimes, and I think the writers do too, but that was one of the highlights of the episode for me.

That was another false note for me. From what I gather, Walt Jr. has long been perceived as vestigial among BB viewership. This season, attempts to bring him back into the orbit of the Walt conflict have been a bit awkward. I guess this kind of conversation had to happen sometime, but this felt staged to me. It was as if they needed some Walt action in the episode, and this was a convenient moment.

So I guess I had a big structural issue with the episode. They interspersed the Jesse storyline with the Walt/Walt Jr. subplot and the tax evasion sub plot. Neither of these subplots actually accomplished anything other than serving as filler. The advancement in those storylines was very minimal compared to the time alloted to them. We already know that Walt is screwed and is starting to realize it. We already know that Skyler is having to deal with her old boss, and this subplot is turning out to be the kind of standard narrative embellishment that BB was always free of.

Last season, BB would have been fine devoting this whole episode to Jesse and letting us understand more about why and how he has transformed from relapsed meth addict into a guy that can boss around cartel employees. Previous episodes have been so rich with detail regarding Jesse's interim post-murder fugue state, but this episode failed to continue charting that progression.

We haven't seen Walt drive the Aztec for the bulk of an episode for a while. I hope they get back to that soon.

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Well Ted's death totally came out of left-field.

But the last ten minutes of the latest episode were terrific.

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Well Ted's death totally came out of left-field.

But the last ten minutes of the latest episode were terrific.

Yeah, but in a way, pulling a Dick Van Dyke on the rug and smacking his head felt like the kind of resolution that storyline deserved.

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Sorry for neglecting the Breaking Bad convo here. (Saul Goodman is silently judging me from my avatar window.)

The season began slowly so there wasn't much to say at first. But I think it was around episode six or seven that it just progressively better each week. It sort of took a simplified Wire-esque approach, taking time to put all the pieces in place in the first half of the season then watching these threads twist together in amazing-- and at times horrifying-- ways. Honestly, I'm having trouble thinking of a show that has so successfully risen the tension in successive episodes like that. For me, the whole thing reached a fever pitch with Walt's maniacal laughter in the crawl space. Man, that was chilling/amazing.

Even last night's episode's notable LACK of an explosive ending somehow seemed to elevate the tension even more.

M.Leary:

And I am not digging the tax evasion subplot. The show is getting really bloated, and its simplicity is what had always attracted me. Walt's wife is becoming an unwelcome distraction from the original Jesse/Walt groove.

I agreed while it was happening, but the conclusion of it which was so dark and strange and which led to Walt in the crawl space was worth it, in my opinion.

The great thing about this show is that each week, I feel that literally ANYTHING could happen. I even found myself thinking "Jesse is gonna kill Walt right here and now" even though that is truly absurd in the clear light of day.

My only real complaint about this season is that there hasn't been much Jesse/Walt interaction and they have such great chemistry together. (Granted, their fistfight was a long time coming and was great in a terrible, Breaking Bad kind of way.) So, I was happy to see them back together last night.

So, we're heading into the finale next Sunday. What's gonna happen? Who's gonna live? Who's gonna die? I have a feeling that Gus isn't gonna make it, but if that is the case, I'm not sure what in the world the plot of season 5 would be. And this season Gus has become one of the all-time great bad guys, so I'd hate to see him disposed of. On the other hand, we've seen the Walt/Jesse vs Gus plot going for about two seasons now, so would another season to justice to that story or just drag it out unnecessarily? I don't know. But I trust Gilligan more than almost any other show runner, so I'm not worried. And I'm more excited about this season finale than I've been for one in a long time. (Probably since Breaking Bad season 3!)

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