My housemates and I finished watching Breaking Bad about a month ago (I’m super tardy with this review).  With television shows there are two possibilities: being satisfied with the time that was invested into show or feeling that the show wasn’t fulfilling enough to warrant the time that was invested.  One of my housemates was of the latter opinion; even after recognizing the merits of the show, she was skeptical about the time we had been invested in watching the entirety of the program. My feelings were a bit more mixed.

There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said before. Breaking Bad was probably one of the better television shows I have watched in regards to overall quality. To hit some of the main points:

  • It had a really good cast; joining the band of praise-singers, Bryan Cranston was really amazing as Walter White.
  • The show’s use of foreshadowing, flashbacks, and symbolism was also very impressive.  There was a perpetual dialogue between the past (before the show and the earlier parts of the show) and the present.  Besides providing background info and character development, the flashbacks and foreshadowing helped to create this parallel imagery and a nice framing element.
  • There were also some pretty amazing camera shots.  Really beautiful panoramic views.
  • Great episode titles.

My favorite episode was probably Ozymandias because of the writing for that episode and the use of flashbacks (also the relevance of the title).  But there were many notable episodes that left the viewer satisfied.

Overall, Breaking Bad was one of the few really well written and directed television programs I have watched. It wasn’t just entertainment value; its employment of some of the aforementioned techniques effectively make it an art work.  I know it’s difficult to think of television shows in that context, but there was artistic worth in Breaking Bad.

However, I think this show was truly rewarding for those who watched it as it came out, or for those who actually marathoned it (unlike me who watched it over the course of three or four months).  At the end of the day, I am glad I watched the entire show, as it had worthwhile elements.  Plus, it has become a part of media history/culture, and I like investing time in familiarizing myself with said culture.  Still, I didn’t feel as content or fulfilled at the end as I thought I would have.