It has been 2 years and 11 months since the legendary TV series, Breaking Bad ended. It starred the amazing Bryan Cranston and the supremely talented Aaron Paul. Directed by Vince Gilligan and produced by AMC, Breaking Bad was by far the best drama series ever to be aired on T.V. Breaking Bad traces the story of a brilliant chemistry teacher, Walter White. His fight with lung cancer and how he starts cooking meth with an ex student to pay for his bills. During the show’s 5 season run, it chronicles how Walter gradually transforms from a reluctant cook to a drug lord.
The show was nominated over 250 times in various categories at various prestigious award shows. Breaking Bad ended up winning nearly half of those with the most notable one being the Emmy for the best T.V. Drama. So what was the reason behind its immense success? Why is it called one of the greatest if not the greatest TV drama ever? Here are some of the reasons-
Unlike most of the T.V. Dramas these days, Breaking Bad had a proper plot. From Episode 1 of Season 1 to the series finale, there was not one moment of incoherence. Kudos to Vince Gilligan and other writers on the show. They had a plot in mind and they stuck to it. Unlike so many modern day shows, where the plot is made for one season, Breaking Bad had a plot for its entirety. Not one episode of it can be called bad. From season after season, episode after episode, the writing and plot were seamless. Not one episode felt out of sync with the rest of the series. A show without plot holes for 5 seasons in indeed a great show.
Not one scene in the entire show felt over the top. From the time when Walt is diagnosed with cancer to his apparent death in the season finale, nothing felt outlandish. The gun battles and killings were perfectly captured without any hint of exaggeration. Even Gustavo Fring’s death was perfectly comprehensible. The show never over dramatized things and even the small moments, like Walt Jr.’s daily struggles were perfectly captured. The meth production, DEA investigations and the drug trafficking were shown as they really happen. Nothing was stylized or glamorized. This realism is what is needed in T.V. Dramas and Breaking Bad did a brilliant job at providing it.
All the actors involved in the show were, in one word, perfect. Bryan Cranston was already a brilliant actor, but here, he outdid himself. Aaron Paul gave outstanding performances episode after episode. The rest of the supporting cast was spectacular too. Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring was a treat to watch. The cold, calculating villain he portrayed was a delight. Another outstanding portrayal of villain was done by Jesse Pelmons. The way he portrayed the character of Todd was brilliant. Todd was one character that made me sick to my stomach and this was simply because of Pelmons acting. It was an outstanding job by all the actors and a special mention for the casting directors for their amazing choices.
Outstanding Character Development
The way each and every character of the show was developed was simply stunning. Walt’s journey from a cancer patient to a a drug lord – Amazing. Jesse’s journey from a drug addict to a caring, father like figure – Superb. Hank’s journey from a wisecracking DEA agent to an obsessed ASAC – Spectacular. Skyler’s journey from a caring wife to a quarrelsome partner in crime – Mind blowing. These were some of my picks. There are tons of more such characters over the course of 5 seasons. They way each character’s motivation is slowly revealed and then evolves kept me hooked till the very end.
The way every character got a proper closure was pure class from Vince Gilligan. Not one loose thread was left. Even minor characters like Elliot and Gretchen got a proper closure. The way the final episode was handled was pure genius. The way they pulled at the heartstrings during Walt’s last conversations with Skyler and Holly and his bittersweet last look Walt Jr. was simply spectacular. Towards the end, the way Jesse kills Todd is extremely satisfying after a year of torture that Jesse suffered. The last, wordless exchange between Walt and Jesse was a touch of class.
Every character, every arc, every aspect of the plot was properly closed. Walt’s final moments in the meth lab were sheer brilliance because they kept up with the realistic theme of the story so far. They didn’t go for an ending that would have pleased everyone. They instead followed on the path they had started on. With closing this good, we can officially say that Vince Gilligan is a better closer than Mr. Harvey Specter.
So these are some of the reasons I believe that make Breaking Bad the greatest ever T.V. Drama. Did we miss out any more such reasons? Or do you think that some other T.V. show deserves this title? Do let us know in the comments section below.