Friday, March 19, 2010

Question for 'Breaking Bad' Fans

Given how much TV I watch for my pop culture work, I find myself embarrassed to admit that I did not watch the first two seasons of AMC's Breaking Bad. Now, as the show is about ready to kick off its third season on Sunday, I'm wondering if I should leap into it or hold off and watch the first two seasons on DVD first.

The critically acclaimed show features the Emmy-winning Bryan Cranston -- whom I adored when he was on Malcolm in the Middle -- as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who discovers he has inoperable lung cancer and is terrified that he'll leave his wife and children with nothing, so he teams up with a former student to make and sell the best crystal meth in the area. All without letting his family know what's going on.

My compadres in the TV critic/TV blogging circles are as enthusiastic about this show as I am about Mad Men, which also airs on AMC. As much as I go around practically insisting that people watch Mad Men -- in fact I've been forcing my DVDs of the 1960s drama into my poor brother-in-law's hands -- others have been equally as enthusiastic about this edgy drama.

Entertainment Weekly -- which put the Breaking Bad season three premiere on its "Must List" -- gave it an A-, with reviewer Ken Tucker saying, "No other current TV series balances sensitivity and toughness the way Breaking Bad does . . . Breaking Bad has, in short, everything you could want from an hour-long show: suspense, laughs, danger and poignance."

A colleague at CliqueClack TV, who called it one of if not the best show on TV, says:

"There is certainly a lot of heavy drama, with Walter’s illness and home life, hiding his secret life from his family, and dealing with the dangerous world of drug trafficking. The show also offers a tremendous amount of dark humor. It often works as a perfect balance with the heavier material, giving a more realistic balance to the show and avoiding the trap of melodrama."

With so many accolades being heaped upon this show, I feel I need to at least try it and see if it lives up to the hype. Which brings me to my question, for people who've been watching Breaking Bad:

Should I go ahead and watch the show when it premieres, even though I haven't watched the other two seasons, or should I DVR Breaking Bad's new episodes and start from the beginning by Netflixing seasons one and two?

Image credit: AMC.

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