Review: Breaking Bad

Jack Brillantine

“Breaking Bad” was a televised drama series created by Vince Gilligan, who had previously written for the television show, “The X-Files.” Breaking Bad was released on January 20th, 2008. The series lasted for five seasons before ending in 2013.  Mr. Gilligan made the decision to end Breaking Bad after realizing that most shows, even good ones, go on for far too long.

The Breaking Bad storyline centers on a public school chemistry teacher by the name of Walter White. Walter White is diagnosed with lung cancer within the first four episodes of the series. The following five seasons center on how Walter responds to his diagnosis and every subsequent decision he makes because of it. These decisions will vastly affect his family as well as former chemistry student Jesse Pinkman.

After Walter is diagnosed with cancer, he is determined to not put his family through financial ruin and refuses monetary aid from family and friends. He teams up with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, and begins a short but highly profitable career in making crystal meth. This venture involved violence, betrayal, heartbreak, and death. Why Walter chooses to become a criminal instead of accepting legitimate help from others is the most perplexing question, and viewers have varying opinions. Fans of Walter’s character argue that he most likely just wanted to be the best at something in his life before potentially dying of cancer.  

Breaking Bad had the qualifications to make for a great show: amazing photography from the desert in Albuquerque, to the labs Walt and Jesse use, and creative writing. The story is carefully woven right from the first episode to the last, and great actors were casted who play their roles compellingly. According to user FiRE10 on IMDb, “The emotional journeys of both Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are unforgettable.” Another fan, named Kinokoppakid, said on IMDb that he has never watched a show as “consistently genuine and engaging” as Breaking Bad.

Overall, Breaking Bad is a highly rated series, receiving a 9.5 out of 10 on IMDb, 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 58 Emmy nominations, not to mention countless other accolades.  A spin-off show titled “Better Call Saul,” which follows an attorney Walter and Jesse utilized in Breaking Bad, has also been successful.