After five seasons, countless meth cooks and the transformation of Walter White into TV’s reigning sociopath, Breaking Bad will end this Sunday. During the past five years, Breaking Bad has become one of the most popular acclaimed TV series in recent memory. In fact, the show is in the Guinness World Records book for being the most critically acclaimed show of all time. So, what makes Breaking Bad so good?
From the beginning, Breaking Bad made great use of its visuals, from wide open vistas to cramped meth labs. Framing, color choices, lighting, set decoration, soundtrack, editing and dozens of other details, large and small, conveyed huge amounts of information to the audience in clear and elegant ways. The vision of creator Vince Gilligan has served to create unforgettable visual poetry.
Breaking Bad’s storytelling is a slow burn. The show takes its time with each development, while constantly pushing its own boundaries. Usually shows explore a character, says something about them then introduces new characters to present new obstacles. Breaking Bad, however, keeps the cast small and only introduces new characters when absolutely necessary. Gilligan has been able to reach a depth in his characters other shows can’t because of this approach.
Acting is almost paramount in Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston’s acting is one of the show’s hallmarks. Some of you might know him as Malcolm’s dad in Malcolm in the Middle, but Cranston’s performance as lead character Walter White is something to behold. As good as the narrative is, it never would have worked without Cranston’s masterful, nuanced performance at the center of it. However, Cranston isn’t the only masterful performer the show has. Aaron Paul, who plays White’s sidekick/ the son he never had, Jesse Pinkman, also shines and has become a fan-favourite with his excessive use of “bitch”.
The rest of the cast are also top notch. In fact they’re so good, Saul Goodman, White’s zany lawyer portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, has earned a spin-off show.
The visuals, storytelling and acting are just three in a sea of reasons for why Breaking Bad is so good. Dissertations could be written on the subject, it’s that intricate. Watching the show has been a fun ride and it’s sad it has to end.
However, the show’s anticipated ending is another reason why the show is so good. Gilligan knew the end before he even started the show and it’s that vision that shaped the show to be what it is today. So strap on your helmets and get ready for the end, 10 p.m. Sunday.
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