Monday, September 16, 2013


Breaking Bad is going for broke in it's final season.

74. 85. 89. 96. 99. Those are AMC’s Breaking Bad's Metacritic scores for each season…in order! It's literally gotten better each year. It’s the only show ever to do that. (To be fair, Game of Thrones is currently on track through three seasons.) The show's fifth and final season's score of 99 is the highest in the history of TV for the website. No TV show EVER has done that. So far, it’s TV drama at its absolute apex. What we’re witnessing is the equivalent of watching a pitcher throw a perfect game in the 7th game of the World Series. 

An even more accurate baseball analogy of what Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad’s creator) is trying to do, would be to say, he’s trying to hit a walk off homerun (The fifth season) WHILE throwing a perfect game (The Series). He’s attempting to send Breaking Bad off like no other show in the history of television. The Wire didn't do it. The Sopranos didn't do it. Mad Men isn't going to do it. The Wire had its missteps. Mad Men seemed like it was only going up, until Season 5 and Season 6 dipped a bit. In fact, it may have peaked in season four.

The Sopranos is still the best show ever... for now.

The Sopranos suffered from the syndrome of “more”. HBO wanted more and more from David Chase, (Creator of The Sopranos) so that show had entire seasons that were "missteps". TS went on a little too long and it had the worst ending ever for a show. (Half the damn country thought their cable went out so that’s a fail. Off that alone it ALMOST wasn’t the greatest show ever.) To be fair to TS, the death of actress Nancy Marchand in 2000 forced David Chase to reshape the show. Some of the best moments of TS were with James Gandolfini’s Tony and Marchand’s Livia. Chase originally planned to explore more of the relationship between those two characters. So we’ll never know what truly should/could have happened. Although, the end product was still very good.

Walt and Jesse haven't just being cooking blue meth.
They've cooked up television gold for five seasons.

What Gilligan really has working is the creative freedom AMC has given him. He’s getting to tell HIS STORY. On HIS TERMS! Think about it. No other showrunner's had this much control of their story. We went over TS's issues. The Wire got cancelled, so it’s kind of left untold or rushed. Mad Men seems to be "making it up" as they go along at times, but not Breaking Bad. Gilligan’s had every step planned out from day one. Every move. Every moment. Everything has been written, so to speak, before the cameras ever rolled. Walt’s fate has been sealed for years. And that’s why the show is so great. The show is as hot as ever and it’s better than ever but it’s ending. What show has EVER done that! The ratings and network executives usually dictate how much longer or shorter a show lasts. Sometimes ending a show prematurely or forcing viewers to "suffer" through an extra season or two as a cash grab. (Better Call Saul, the prequel spin-off to Breaking Bad is that cash grab. AMC can't totally let the show go right now.)

As Breaking Bad winds down, all I'll say about the plot is this. I’m not sure exactly what happens in the end, but Walt has to die. No one can be THIS evil and live right? Ultimately, Breaking Bad is the story of how a very dangerous, but complicated man lived and died. I think we're watching the twisted tale of Walter's meteoric rise and fall. Walt's metamorphosis from meek and cancer ridden chemistry teacher, that was looking to save an extra buck for his family, to psychotic and ruthless drug lord, that's hell-bent on having it all, at any cost, has been unlike anything I’ve ever seen. 

Walt makes you go through every emotion that you can have for a character. We’ve felt sorry for him. Sorry for his weakness and for the bad cards he had been dealt. We’ve feared for him. Feared that he'd get caught or worst. We've been happy for him. Happy when plans work out or when he's managed to stay a step ahead. We’ve hated him. Hated the things he's done and choices he's made. We’ve FEARED the man himself at times. Feared the lengths he'd go in order to get what he wants or to survive. I've physically felt my heart start to beat faster at times when watching this damn show! Nothing else on TV can take that claim.

There can only be one king in the history of television.
If there were a Mount Rushmore of Best TV shows, regardless of genre, it’d go, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Simpsons and The Wire. With The Sopranos being the best ever. It hurts to type this but, I gotta take The Wire off the mountain and replace it with Breaking Bad. Sucks but it has to be done. I mean, there's only four spots so what can you do. On its final season, I’ve come to realized that Breaking Bad is not only going for the Heavyweight Championship Belt of "Best Final Season" (Which the show already has by the way). Breaking Bad wants the "Best Show" belt too. Like Walt, the show itself wants it all.


  1. You started this off perfectly with those first graphs. This show has gotten better and better and it's going to benefit from not being drawn out to go past its prime. A lot of shows suffer from that and maybe that's why I hold The Wire in such high regard - 5 seasons and out. Just from watching Breaking Bad in 1 1/2 months all the way through, it builds like no other show I've seen. Most shows are the slow build or they just let things play out.

    It's probably the best character AND plot driven show I've seen. What Vince G and his team have done are create memorable characters that develop so perfectly but it also pushes the plot along without sacrificing it. I don't want to compare it to Heat or LA Confidential (two of my favorite character/plot combo films) but it's brilliant.

    Great job man. No spoilers and you still summed up why this show has been incredible. As writers, we live for shows like this.

    1. Thanks for RT and for the feedback Evan. That last episode was the greatest single episode of TV I've ever seen...and it's not even close...

  2. I like the recap, just one question that sparked some curiosity. If you think The Sopranos had these certain flaws, and Breaking Bad has been pretty much flawless, then why is the Sopranos better in your opinion (especially with that ending)?

    1. Casey thanks for the feedback...I say The Sopranos is still better because as much as I hated the "black out ending" the show's content was near flawless...and the episode before the final episode of TS was perfect....I'm just waiting to see how Gilligan ends it all...I'm pretty sure it takes the crown though...That last episode of BB had so many layers...It was the finest hour in TV history...even better than "White Caps"...We're pretty much waiting for the show to end so we can crown it...Thanks for the comment! It means a lot!

  3. Pretty good. My non-interest after Season Four is officially peaked now. Thanks~

    1. Welcome back to the party! Thanks for commenting!