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September 16, 2014

Breaking Bad

Some random thoughts on the Emmy nominations

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 16th 2009 2:44PM
Emmy_statue_ATASNow that the excitement has died down, I've been scouring the complete list of nominations. Here's a few observations... Then, let me know what you think.

-- Why bother with the Outstanding Mini-Series category? There were only two nominees worthy of a nomination. Exactly how many mini-series are even produced anymore? This is an outmoded TV format. Kill the category.

-- What's going on with the writers? 30 Rock dominates the comedy category and Mad Men dominates the drama category. What are the chances that the lone nomination in each category wins? I'd say slim and none. I call for limitations; only two episodes per series. Writing is such a subjective thing anyway. If you like 30 Rock's scattershot humor, you're more likely to vote for it compared to a traditional sitcom like Big Bang Theory. The latter should have snagged a nom for The Lizard-Spock Expansion episode.

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Emmy Wish List: Supporting Categories - Drama

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 15th 2009 3:26PM
Emmy_statueTalk about a wealth of choices! When it comes to the Primetime Emmys in the supporting actor and actress categories for drama, there are a plethora of worthy candidates. Some shows, like Mad Men or Lost, for instance, have multiple choices in the supporting ranks, especially since these ensembles seem to have a hard time determining who's really the lead.

Earlier, I shared my wish list for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama nominations, and I mentioned that Chloe Sevigny from Big Love would be a deserving selection. A TV Squad reader let me know that Chloe has actually been submitted in the supporting category. Good to know, and with that in mind, I'll start my wish list by talking about that category. (Remember, there are six nominees per category.)

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Breaking Bad: Walter White's Report Card

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 25th 2009 11:03AM
Breaking_Bad_Walter_White_Bryan_Cranston

Now that the second season of Breaking Bad is in the books, it's time to evaluate high school science teacher Walter White's performance. He's been giving out the grades to students for years, but who's been monitoring this high school teacher?

It's time for this Breaking Bad character to be graded. Here's a report card for Mr. White, and whether he's using the name Heisenberg or White, we're turning the tables on "teach" and giving him some grades across the board.

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Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad: The TV Squad Interview

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 19th 2009 11:01AM
Aaron_Paul_Breaking_Bad

On July 16th when the Primetime Emmy nominations are announced, one name that is likely to appear in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series is Aaron Paul. As Jesse Pinkman on AMC's Breaking Bad, Aaron has done amazing work, revealing a character as fascinating as he is flawed.

His performance this past season on Breaking Bad has generated lots of talk about an Emmy nomination, but not to be overlooked is the fact that Paul is also doing great work on HBO's Big Love. On that drama, his character, Scott, is the antithesis of Jesse. It's a testament to Aaron's skill as an actor that I didn't recognize him at first from Big Love when I watched Breaking Bad. A search of his IMDB listing was one of those 'ah-ha' moments. Recently, I had to chance to speak with Aaron, and we started with the jaw-dropping season finale of Breaking Bad.

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Breaking Bad: ABQ (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted May 31st 2009 11:22PM
Walter and Mike, the cleaner
(S02E13)
Cause and effect, random selection, grief, life and death... "My father is my hero, he's just decent." Breaking Bad covered all that and more in the season finale, setting up Walter White's life after successful surgery that bought him more time. The question was this when the end credits rolled, what will that life be for the New Mexico science teacher after all that's come before?

Anyone out there who thinks they know is lying because only creator Vince Gilligan has a handle on what's been going on and what's to come. What we do know after watching the season finale is this: Breaking Bad is as good as any other drama currently on television, and that includes Lost, Mad Men, House, 24 and the other potential Emmy nominees for Outstanding Drama Series.

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SaveWalterWhite.com joins the real world wide web

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 28th 2009 5:03PM
From Save Walter White.comSomething from AMC's brilliant Breaking Bad has found its way into the real world. And no, I don't mean 34 pounds of pure crystal meth so fine it could make your toes curl into sheepshanks.

During last Sunday's episode, Walter's son created a very touching web page for his ailing father that solicits donations for his cancer treatments. Walt was very touched by the gesture, but objected to taking charity from strangers. Of course, that changed when Walter's legal partner in crime Saul saw it as a way to launder his drug money to his family without them getting wise to his deeds.

That website actually exists on the web at SaveWalterWhite.com.

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Breaking Bad: Phoenix

by Allison Waldman, posted May 25th 2009 3:29AM
Walter - Breaking Bad

(S02E12)
Walter White, be careful what you wish for. That's the thought that occurred to me watching this penultimate episode of season two. Is it possible that Walt might actually make it through this bizarre journey to the dark side and actually come out the other side in one piece? For a time, it sure seemed possible.

For starters, there's Holly. Sky finally has the baby and she's perfect. The scenes of domestic bliss at the White's contrasted with the wreckage at Jesse's bungalow. Vince Gilligan may make Walter's perfection of crystal meth seem like a noble achievement -- the best ever cooked in New Mexico -- but seeing how Jane and Jesse's lives have deteriorated in just a few weeks of shooting heroin seemed like the ultimate anti-drug message. They were as gross as the meth couple with the ATM machine that Jesse found so disgusting.

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Will Walter kill Jesse on Breaking Bad?

by Allison Waldman, posted May 20th 2009 2:06PM
Jesse in bed Breaking Bad

A few weeks ago, I got to speak with Bryan Cranston about Breaking Bad winning a Peabody Award. In the course of that conversation, Bryan told me that writer/creator Vince Gilligan had considered killing the character of Jesse Pinkman at the end of last season. This was a bit of shock to me, but according to Bryan, what saved Jesse was Aaron Paul's performance. "He has this puppy dog quality even when he's doing the most despicable things," Bryan told me.

Well, as I watched Breaking Bad the other night, it occurred to me that Jesse's days might be numbered. In fact, Jason alluded to the possibility in his review; those two dead bodies lying under blankets that have been beside the White pool in the season-long foreshadowed crime scene could be Jane and Jesse.

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Breaking Bad: Mandala

by Jason Hughes, posted May 18th 2009 11:01AM
Breaking Bad - Mandala
(S02E11)
After last week's episode, I thought we might have a moment where Walt came back to Jesse and said that it was back on. He'd got the passion for cooking in his soul and he couldn't shake it out. It's really starting to make me worry more about those foreshadowing opening sequences we've seen with body bags and destruction. Explosion at the White house? Is his family going to be collateral damage?

We didn't get any further on the foreshadowing sequence in the opening segment, instead we got something equally devastating in the here and now. If you're going to get into drug distribution, you have to learn to expect collateral damage. When that damage came it was perfect that Walter didn't even recognize him by name.

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Breaking Bad: Over

by Allison Waldman, posted May 11th 2009 10:27AM
Walter AMC
(S02E10)
As I watched this episode, I was pondering, can you put the toothpaste back in the tube? What about taking a bite from the apple from the tree of knowledge, if you want to get Old Testament about it? Walter White has issues with what he's done, how he's rationalized his doing them and now, seemingly, wants a fresh start. But as another saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

For viewers who haven't yet watched the episode, from here on I'm talking spoilers, so be forewarned.

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Breaking Bad: 4 Days Out

by Jason Hughes, posted May 4th 2009 12:40AM
Bob Odenkirk(S02E09) When a cancer patient awaits the results of a PET-CT scan, the anxiety can be overwhelming. Walt deals with that anxiety by preparing for the worst, which in his case means cooking. And cooking in mass quantities, though even he wasn't prepared for just how massive it turned out to be. As for poor dumb Jesse, I'm just waiting for his whole life to fall apart again.

Jesse is a nice guy, but he's not that smart and he has the absolute worst luck of almost anyone on television. So now that he's getting into this semi-serious relationship with the landlord/neighbor, I'm just waiting for something horrible to happen to him or her or both. It's inevitable. Nobody suffers like Jesse suffers. Well, except for tonight. There was a whole lot of suffering going on from everybody. I'm sure Skinny Pete was suffering too, wherever he wound up. As for Bob Odenkirk up there, well he barely appeared, but I like his character so much on the show I'm featuring him anyway!

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Breaking Bad: Negro y Azul

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 20th 2009 4:15AM
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad(S02E07) The episode opened with a video by Mexican cousins Los Cuates de Sinaloa; the song is our episode title. It looks like the boys were hired to pen a tune that explains exactly what is going on in the drug community now that White and Pinkman are peddling their blue meth. The video is produced like something you'd see on Latin MTV (sort of) in Spanish with English subtitles. It also goes on to tell us that White, as "Heisenberg," has gained notoriety of the not-so-great sort in the drug cartel world further south. It was a unique if strange way to open the episode, as well as provide exposition on White's growing infamy.

As for Walt, one of the benefits of his newfound career in drugs is that he's a much more aggressive taskmaster in the classroom. No more timid Mr. White; Walt's apparently becoming a badass in all walks of his life. Or at least much bolder than he was. Meanwhile. Jesse is finding out that it's a lot tougher to be the badass everyone thinks he is when he doesn't have the self-confidence to be as hardcore as his image.

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Breaking Bad: Peekaboo

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 13th 2009 12:48PM
Breaking Bad
(S02E06)
Even though this episode was slow on external conflict as compared to other episodes, it was still an amazing and important episode. For twelve episodes now we'd been seeing our heroes immerse themselves in this world of meth with little to show the consequences of this. It was two very different storylines focusing each on Walt and Jesse, but in both we got to see how meth destroys lives and changes people.

It was powerful stuff and easily one of the best episodes of the season. Featuring the return of the junkie couple that robbed one of Jesse's men last week, theirs was the most direct and the most tragic fallout from a life of drugs, and meth in particular. I live in what was at one time at least the meth capital of the country. This county used to lead the nation in meth production and even now we can see the ravages of the drug on the faces of too many people in this community. It's all consuming and its destruction on your life and family is total. You can't find a better outreach against the usage of drugs than what Jesse experienced in that house.

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Breaking Bad: Breakage

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 6th 2009 3:37PM
Jesse Pinkman(S02E05) You know that things are really bad when even a stalwart rock like Hank starts to break down. All around Breaking Bad, the characters have been crushed under the weight of problems that seem to be unsolvable. I mean when this episode was over, the most together person was Jesse. Imagine that. Apparently last week's trauma in the Port-a-John left an lasting and therapeutic impression.

The image of Walt laying awake in bed was haunting. It was also universal, because I would bet there are a lot of people unable to sleep with the economic woes they're facing.

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Breaking Bad is renewed for a third season

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2009 9:45AM
Walter Breaking Bad
Yesterday was a sad day for many TV fans. Guiding Light was cancelled after 72 years of continuous broadcasting (radio and TV). Even people I know who don't watch soaps, were upset by the end of this program.

That said, it's with some real glee that I tell you that AMC has picked up Breaking Bad for a third season. It's not just that the Vince Gilligan's show is one of the best dramas on television – it might be the best! – it's the fact that renewing the program for year number three restores my faith that idiosyncratic, unusual stories like Breaking Bad can find a place to thrive and survive on the tube.

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