The Bug House Files

Breaking Bad: not that good

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Spot the difference: The Shield's Vic Mackey, left, and Walt White from Breaking Bad

Spot the difference: The Shield’s Vic Mackey, left, and Walt White from Breaking Bad

So I finally got to the end of Breaking Bad, after a bum-numbing 62-hour Netflix blitz.

Was it as good as everyone promised? Yeahwellhmmm… Probably not, to be honest.

When it was good it was very, very good. The first season was outstandingly original. But after that it was decidedly patchy and episodic. And Walt’s year-long transformation from mild-mannered chemistry teacher into Vic Mackey from The Shield was rather hard to swallow, despite the undoubted brilliance of Bryan Cranston’s performance.

What the show really lacked, unlike The Sopranos or The Wire to which it has been compared, was a heart. All three series are about villains and murderers and corrupt scumbags; but the difference is I cared about Tony and Paulie and Stringer and Jimmy McNulty and continue to miss them now they’re gone.

By the end of Breaking Bad I’m afraid I cared as much for Walt as I did for the insufferable Jessie, who really should have been put out of his interminable misery at the end of Season 1 as creator Vince Gilligan originally intended.

Anyway, such is life. We are indeed living in the golden age of TV drama, my friends, when one can afford be sniffy about a show like Breaking Bad.

The good thing about the current crop of shows is that what they take away with one hand they give with the other. Justified continues to delight, and I’m looking forward to True Detective, the new cop show with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. And it’s only three days till the next dump of House of Cards.

All, of course, are American, as often seems to be the way these days (I’m afraid Scandi crime leaves me cold). However I have a feeling it may be a British-made cop show that will trump them all this year. The Line of Duty was a stand-out last year and it returns for a second season tomorrow night. I’ve already booked my seat on the couch for the duration.


Author: Jim Ford

I'm an author and journalist. "The Bug House" series of Tyneside-based crime novels is published in 2014

One thought on “Breaking Bad: not that good

  1. oh dear, once it gets past “Pointless” and “Eggheads” I’m thinking about cocoa,book and bed. What a saddo!

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