Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Breaking Bad, Season 1 (2008)
High school chemistry teacher Walter White discovers that he has lung cancer, and the prognosis is that he'll be dead within two years. Walter's already working two jobs to try and support his family, and they'll be left pretty much destitute once he's gone. So of course the obvious thing for him to do (at least on a TV show) is start making crystal meth. With the proceeds of this illicit activity, he should be able to leave a substantial nest egg ... assuming he doesn't get caught by the cops (who include his own brother-in-law) or killed by an irate criminal.
Armed only with his chemistry skills, and the dubious assistance of a former student who has become a low level drug-dealer, Walter sets out to make a mountain of money, and doesn't intend to let anything stop him from that goal. Not the fact that he knows pretty much nothing about criminal activity, not that he's suffering from a debilitating disease (and/or its debilitating treatment), and not even that his new partner is a drug-using slacker with impulse control issues.
Naturally, things don't go entirely to plan.
When Breaking Bad is slanted more toward drama and really black comedy, it's very good work. A fine cast, good writing. Thumbs up. Unfortunately, at least in the first season, the writers do seem to throw in a lot of quite slapstick-oriented physical humour, and that's not so successful. There were a couple of times where I turned to my phone for amusement while waiting out a particularly persistent scene of this kind.
Overall though, so far Breaking Bad is pretty good.