Wednesday, April 24, 2013

YOU KNOW THE BUSINESS AND I KNOW THE CHEMISTRY. MAYBE WE COULD ... PARTNER UP:   So I've finally started watching Breaking Bad; four episodes quickly down, and I can see completing two more per-night on nights when there's nothing else worth watching. Between the show's general reputation and that thing with the bathtub ... okay, I'm hooked.

There's fifty-four episodes in total; fifteen weeks until the show returns. Do others want to form a recap club to make sure we all finish in time and, if so, how to structure?  In addition, if any Breaking Bad vets want to provide any non-spoilery pointers on what to watch for, I'm listening; about all I know is "Walter White does bad things"/"Bryan Cranston is awesome at it" and "there's a character named Gus Fring to whom I should pay attention."


  1. Man, I wish I could watch this show again for the first time. Even more than, say, THE WIRE and MAD MEN, BREAKING BAD benefits from not knowing what's coming. Having said that, I'm hoping to rewatch the whole series before its final half season, but I might refrain from commenting to avoid spoiling anything.

    Some non-spoilery stuff to watch out for:
    - the unusual POV shots. (Some critics cite these as a reason that the show is "over-directed"; I just think they're awesome.)
    - the gorgeous SW landscapes
    - Jesse Pinkman's use of the word "bitch", which never gets tired.

    - The show's cold opens are the best in the business.
    - And the pizza. Watch for the pizza.

  2. I've watched all but Season 5 (hoping for/waiting for AMC to rerun first half before second half premiere). Happy to be involved in a rewatch.

    Hank was a character I loathed at first and became one I actively rooted for. Tremendous credit for that goes to Dean Norris's performance.

  3. The Pathetic Earthling12:05 PM

    I've gotten as far as the end of Season 4, but my only general non-spoilery things to say is that Jesse Pinkman is a terrific but utterly fucked-up kid. He's the Theon Greyjoy of Albuquerque.

    Second, don't worry too much about trying to understand early-episode and early-season flash forwards and flash backs. They all make sense in time. Just let them be.

    Third, if you've never been to New Mexico rest assured that the sky *always* looks like that. You could drop me on a dung heap in Albuquerque, but I'd still enjoy looking at the sky.

    Fourth, some of the domestic stuff with Skylar and Marie can get a little tedious, but stick with it. I think it mostly pays off by Season 4.

  4. Yeah, what she said. Hank drove me nuts in the first season - all that macho bluster. But Hank gets A LOT more interesting in later seasons, and Norris is fantastic.

  5. Adam, Breaking Bad is Sopranos level TV. I think you just watch it. The only non-spoilery thing I can say is, "It's so cool." By the way, I had dinner with some of our former workmates this weekend, and nice things were said about you.

  6. My aunts, uncles, cousins all live in Albuquerque and the thing that's always struck me when I visit is how beige/brown everything is. Even the "green" plants aren't the GREEN I'm used to growing up with in the southeast. Last time I was out there, we went out to the Acoma Pueblo and it's a fair drive away from ABQ. Parts of the drive, the landscape felt so weird and foreign I thought I might as well be on a different planet. If you like looking at amateur pictures of a beautiful place: (Although we did manage to get up there on one of the rare overcast days.)

  7. Maggie1:35 PM

    This is the prompting I need to get started. The Sundance reruns have been building up on my DVR and this is my first free weekend post tax season, so I hope to knock out a few episodes. I'd be up for a recap club if there is a critical mass.

  8. LOVE this show. Totally agreed about Hank. Watch for his performance in the episode "One Minute."

    I think it was Alan Sepinwall who pointed out that we hardly ever see Walt Jr. except when he's eating breakfast. Which just made it a funny thing to watch for - Walter Junior eating his cereal, Walter Junior eating his eggs...

  9. KCosmo's neighbor2:30 PM

    Welcome to some amazing TV. I'm excited to read your reactions to it. Walt's evolution is unreal. My husband's favorite line, "You all know who I am... yes you do, you all do, say my name." And that's the only spoiler-y line I'll give you from Season 5. out for the domino effect caused by one of Jesse's relationships. Unreal.

    Sit back and take it all in. It's brilliant. You will find yourself referring to it day after day.

  10. KCosmo's neighbor2:32 PM

    Oh, my husband says you should count the number of times Jesse gets beat up. Apparently it's a running joke among the writers. Any questions...we've got answers here at Cosmo neighbor central. My husband has been through the series twice (once solo, then he rewatched the whole thing with me--and don't think he didn't try to spoil it for me on more than one occasion).

  11. bellawilfer2:47 PM

    Jesse as the Theon Greyjoy of Albuquerque = best thing said on the Internet today. Love it.

  12. janet3:57 PM

    I'm in for a first watch with you. It's a pretty open time for me in the months ahead, so I can probably keep up with any pace you set.

  13. This is easily my favorite show (sorry, GoT), and, to me, it's only topped by The Wire. It's just got that magic combination of awesome writing, awesome acting, awesome directing, awesome cinematography, and awesome use of music. My only "advice" will be to keep in mind that, however good it is now (season 1), it gets soooooo much better in seasons 3 and (especially) 4. S4 is one of the very best seasons of tv I have ever seen.

  14. BTW, while Breaking Bad gets tons of well-deserved accolades, I don't think I've seen enough credit given to its brilliant pilot. The pilot tells a terrific story, introduces the characters well, and pacs in a LOT of plot in a very short time frame. Even if it get s a bit cheesy (Skyler's "Is that YOU" at the end -- as if Walt's reattainment of agency has literally caused him to grow an inch or two), it's really masterful.

  15. Watts6:32 PM

    When I watched a certain pivotal scene in "One Minute" I found it so impressive that as soon as the episode ended I rewound it to watch that scene again. And then once more.

  16. Randy6:47 PM

    Also watch out for the costumes. Characters' mental states (especially Walt's and Skyler's) are often revealed through shirt colors. (And I'm sure there's something to be decoded about Skyler's bracelets, too.)