The husband and I decided to start the addiction: AMC’s Breaking Bad on Netflix streaming.


best. pilot. ever. I’ll allow the introductory minutes to speak for themselves:

A couple still shots of cacti and a large desert rock formation on a sunny day, and the barely audible sound of a slight wind.

Then a shot of deep blue desert sky. A pair of men’s khaki trousers drifts down slowly from the top of the frame, belt still in the loops, ballooning with air as it heads toward the ground.

The camera continues its downward pan, the trousers hit the edge of a dirt road, and suddenly an RV careens by, a button-down long-sleeve shirt on a clothes hanger fluttering wildly from the right side-view mirror. Cut to a frantic Bryan Cranston (of Malcolm in the Middle fame) at the wheel, wearing socks and shoes, a gas mask, and not-so-tighty tighty whities. He glances at the passenger seat, where a young man slumps, unconscious. He’s also wearing a gas mask, his head and limbs bobbing as they veer erratically down the road. In the back, a couple of prone bodies on the RV’s floor slide around in a pool of dark liquid, along with a lot of broken glass and other debris. The gas mask is fogging up, the RV getting harder to control. Inevitably, the vehicle goes off the road and nosedives to a stop in the dry brush.

WTF in the best way. I was all like, they better not take the entire season to explain this first scene, and amazingly, they didn’t; it’s all covered in the pilot. Great cinematography, great acting, great characters, great dark comedic writing. We’ve finished season 1 + one episode of season 2. Looks like AMC has scheduled a fifth and final batch of sixteen episodes for 2012.

Characters are a big draw for me in film and television. These characters and actors have a lot of chemistry, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the characters’ weaknesses and/or strengths take them in the strange circumstances they find themselves in. We’ve tentatively pegged pride as Walter’s long-time achilles’ heel (but maybe it’s also sort of a strength…albeit for contending with the very problems his pride got him into). We’ll find out if we’re right or not…

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