Sunday, September 25, 2011
Breaking Bad Is Seriously the Greatest Show Ever Made
(Image taken from: entertainmentwallpaper.com)
I've said it at least over a 100 times in conversation and on Facebook, but I have to get it all out there in a blog post. Breaking Bad is simply the greatest show ever made. And I've seen a lot of great shows, drama and comedy alike.
Many would argue that The Wire or The Sopranos or even Mad Men are the greatest shows to ever grace TV. And while I've never seen more than five episodes of Mad Men (More because I haven't gotten the time, not because of the quality of the show), I can say that I have seen the entirety of The Wire and The Sopranos and I still stand by my decision--Neither can touch BB.
The main reason for this is not so simple. While yes, Bryan Cranston is certainly the most captivating actor on television now and possibly ever, it's not just him that makes the show great. For a show like The Sopranos, yeah sure, it could be said that the main character carries the whole thing. I remember when there was actually speculation that Tony might be killed on the show. Well, if that ever happened, then the show would have gone right down the terlet. The other characters were enjoyable, but none of them had the nuances or the depth that Tony Soprano had. I mean, who would have led the show if he had died? This guy?
(Image taken from: thesopranosblog.com)
Yeah, right. Great show, but without Tony, it would have been lost. As for The Wire, well, I think that was a great case study for the streets and everything that functions around them. Don't get me wrong, each season of the show was unique and brought something thought provoking and entrancing to television like no other show has before it or since. And if you were to ask me the second greatest show to ever be on TV, I'd definitely say The Wire.
(Image taken from: em.wikipedia.org)
It shined a direct light on a city with problems and didn't give any solutions whatsoever. It was real, man. Damn real. And excellent, too. But for me, the city of Baltimore, which was the REAL main character, just wasn't as gripping as even a SINGLE character on BB, where every single moment of screen time for anybody is meaningful and will impact the show at a later date.
I mean, just look at the character arc of Gus this season. The show may still center around Walt, but this is the season of Gus, no question.
(Image taken from: blogs.amctv.com)
If Gus were to die, I think that would leave a huge gaping hole in the show like no other program on television before it. In most shows, characters are expendable. Just look at Omar in The Wire. Sure, it was toward the end of the series run when he died (And oh, spoiler alert). But while his death was shocking, by the end of the episode, you were over it. This is again because the show was more about the streets and the cyclical nature of it, i.e., While Omar may be gone, another rogue gangster will take his place in the future with Michael (The one who killed Snoop in the car). Again, I applaud The Wire's deep approach to the streets, but with BB, well, EVERYBODY means something to the show.
In all truths, BB is not a particularly deep show, but it's entertaining beyond measure. Never has a show balanced comedy with searing drama before like BB has (One minute, Hank is cracking me up, and the next, Walt is making it hard not to tear up when he misses his own son's birthday and calls him a different name when he comes over to see if he's okay).
No other show has pacing like BB. No other show has characters like BB, and no other show is quite simply, as fun to watch as BB. I mean, just watch this intro to one of its best episodes.
What show STARTS an episode like that? I cannot miss a single second of a single episode because I might miss something like that at the start of it. The only thing BB has going against it is that it's still on the air. A lot can happen that can make me change my mind about the show if it has an awful conclusion to it (Like Walt dies of cancer or Jesse kills Walt). But BB has been anything but predictable or boring. I have faith in the show and look forward to its ending so I CAN say with confidence (And with Alan Sepinwall's agreement) that it's the greatest show that ever was on TV. Now, if only more people would watch it. From the beginning, of course. Did I mention Walt is a different character completely in every single season? What growth! What storytelling.