7 Reasons why “Breaking Bad” is the Quintessential TV Series of Modern Times

Breaking Bad ended in 2013, the show lasted for 5 years, and it told a story, unlike anything you had ever seen on TV until that date on prime time TV. Breaking Bad release date was on was on January 20 of 2008. The show became the staple of the AMC network and it broke several records previously held by HBO prime-time dramas “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” the last one being considered almost universally the greatest show ever made by a TV network that failed to gain any sort of recognition by the many award organizations offering yearly trophies to TV productions. 

Breaking Bad didn’t go unnoticed: the show managed to score several Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and the recognition of the Screen Actors Guild on its five-year run. His creator, Gillian Anderson, the same guy who created the X-Files had this powerful story to tell inside his guts, and he went all out to make it happen on his own terms. AMC listened, and the show is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of release on 2018 still in the collective minds of everyone across the world.

Breaking Bad broke the mold for TV shows, and it let networks know that people still craved well-acted and produced TV dramas in an era where reality TV was very invasive at all moments. The show consolidated the current trend of making TV productions with the highest possible quality, but no one has been able to top the AMC drama in terms of face value and with intricate characters that left you waiting for more. There are more than 7 reasons to establish why Breaking Bad is the quintessential TV show of our times but we are going to do our best to narrow it down. Let’s round them up:

1. It Came Out of Nowhere 
Breaking Bad premiered in 2008 with a 7-episode season, the industry was facing a strike by the Writer’s Guild, so every show suffered, and they were no exception. In the same year that AMC’s strong offering was deemed to be “Mad Men” very little was expected out of this show. Those first 7 episodes, however, pack as much punch as a chemical explosion. We got to know all the main characters and future plotlines where established. It also managed to leave the audience waiting for more, a trait that would become a recurring issue each year between seasons. Breaking Bad episode duration was listed at 45 minutes each.

2. It spoke to the Audience with Issues too Close to Home
American audiences fell in love with Walter White even though the story revolves around him turning into an evil, manipulative, drug dealing bastard. For the first time, the audience was cheering for the Bad guy on a story, and no one seemed to mind. The reason for this was because Walter chose to face adversity with his own willpower and by using what life, God or destiny gave him: his mind, his wits, his knowledge. Walter was a chemical prodigy that made some Bad decisions in the past that lead him to be a low middle-class American that struggled to make ends meet. When Cancer hit him, he wasn’t ready to leave his family struggling, so he put all his talent into doing what he felt was the best way to provide for his family: chemistry work for processing drugs.

3. Continuity Became a Positive Trait for a TV Show
Breaking Bad relies heavily on continuity. People really need to watch the show from the first season to have it make sense. This was not something new at the time. Shows like 24, Prison Break and Lost also managed to tell a story using continuity as their main feature to keep viewers hooked for the duration of the season. But all of them told a story during a single season to change their focus to a different plotline on the next one. Breaking Bad told a single story across their five seasons just like a soap opera, and no one complained about it.

4. The Creative Team was Solid
The main strength of the show during its 5-season run was the fact that the creative team behind the story remained untouched and unchanged. AMC recognized that consistency had a lot going on for the success of Breaking Bad and they handed Gilliam Anderson complete creative control over the story. The finished product speaks for itself.

5. The Leading Characters were cast to Perfection
Breaking Bad also made superstars of almost everyone on the cast, even though you don’t see much of them on films these days, Breaking Bad cast has been widely recognized as one of the most versatile bodies of actors ever gathered for TV production. The most notable Breaking Bad characters were Walter White who was masterfully played by Bryan Cranston, a chemistry teacher who finds himself in a tough spot, very ill and with no money for treatment. His partner in crime was played by a boyish-looking Aaron Paul, a student of Walter with basic knowledge of the criminal world.

6. The Secondary Characters were also Very Solid (All of them)
If you check Breaking Bad IMDB profile you’ll see a cast full of working actors that you probably recognize from minor productions or other TV shows became familiar faces that you couldn’t wait to see on screen for one reason or another. Dean Norris as Hank Schrader, the cop who had the evilest mastermind right under his nose all the time and only managed to figure it out by a minor slip up. Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo Fring, one of the most formidable antagonists ever created for a TV show. And of course, Anna Gun who played Skyler White, the dedicated wife of Walter who slowly fell on the dark side with him.

7. The Ending Was Flawless
Breaking Bad reached the peak of its own limits in the last two episodes of the saga: Ozymandias and Felina are regarded as two of the most somber and most powerful episodes of the show. Ozymandias especially still holds the record as the most viewed Breaking Bad episode on all the show run and the most widely watched episode of any show in life. Where everyone gets what’s coming to them and every loose end is tied up. No other outcome would have made the audience happy even if Gilliam managed to make the show the way American audiences are used to have them (with a happy ending).

If you are one of the very few people that haven’t watched the show, do yourself a favor and type in your browser “Breaking Bad Netflix” to gets the whole saga in one sitting.