Breaking Bad is racking up the praise at this point like nothing since the Wire, so I’ve been meaning to dive in — but, at this point, with four seasons in the can and another one in progress, that’s a rather daunting prospect. Especially when it’s exactly the sort of show (violent, bleak) that Mrs Heathen wants no part of. (We are sometimes accused of un-Americanism because we have only one TV.)
However, she’s out of town this weekend, and I have the first 2 seasons on DVD on loan from a friend. So, since Friday evening, I’ve watched the entire first season (only 7 episodes) plus over half (8 of 13) of the second season. It’s network TV, not pay cable, so each episode is only about 47 minutes, but that still means it’s been a pretty serious binge.
It started simply, which is fitting for a show about meth: I watched the first two episodes on Friday night before I stepped out for a party.
Then I went a little nuts. On Saturday, after lunch, I sat down and watched SEVEN EPISODES IN A ROW — over six hours of this bleak cancer-and-meth extravaganza. And I only quit because I wanted to go catch a band. Then, when I came home, I watched ANOTHER episode.
Today, I spent the bulk of the afternoon doing something really incredibly geeky with four other people, but I got back from that at about 7. It is now 11:47, and I’m still up because I have a con call with Abu Dhabi in 13 minutes. But for that con call, I’d still be watching Breaking Bad, but as it is it appears that I’ll have to content myself with only five episodes today.
For devoted fans, I’ll note that my latest episode is the 8th of season two, which is where we’re introduced to Bob Odenkirk‘s character, Saul Goodman. Who is AWESOME. Also awesome: the entire “wrong bald guy” sequence.
The show is not the equal of the Wire, but I can absolutely say that Bryan Cranston has deserved every nice thing said about him here — and more. The evolution of Walter from the first episode is astounding. His ability to channel that prior Walter becomes more and more unnerving as the choices he makes take him further and further into damnation.