I wouldn't classify it as a "throat-clearing" kind of episode, because, even when treading water, 'Breaking Bad' still retains its intensity and sense of drama. But after the first three rollicking episodes, it was interesting to see the show take an hour to collect its thoughts and linger for a little while.
(S03E03) One of the aspects of 'Breaking Bad' that amazes me week after week, and one of the things that makes it one of the most compelling shows on television, is this:
Intellectually, as you watch Walter White lie his way through his family's lives and the lives of everyone he comes in contact with, you know he's one of the biggest bastards on TV. And, also intellectually, you watch Skyler have to suffer through all of Walt's lies -- at least the ones she knows about -- and you know she's trying her best to protect herself and her children from someone who's become a monster she no longer recognizes.
But, here's the compelling part: No matter how rationally I think about the situation, I still don't know who to root for.
Vince Gilligan and company continue to take things slow, after the bombshell revelation that Walter laid on Skyler last week. Walter's clearly in a state of crisis, and he's becoming unraveled completely because of it. He's without direction and focus. Everything he did for the past two seasons he did for his family; albeit misguided and taking things way, way too far.
He at least had a purpose and there was always a goal behind the production of meth: making enough money to keep his family going after he died ... then to pay for his treatment and surgery ... then to pay for Holly, the new and unexpected baby. Now, he's lost everything and he's lost in response.
After speaking to Vince Gilligan at the press tour, the folks at AMC were eager to get online writers a chance to talk to the entire 'Breaking Bad' cast. So, later on that day, about a half-dozen reporters sat with Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk and Anna Gunn to talk about the show's intense second season and what's coming up in season three, which debuts Sunday at 10PM ET.
The most interesting tidbits came from Cranston, which makes sense; not only is he the show's Emmy-winning star, but he has also directed a number of episodes, including the season three premiere. When I asked him about the next-to-last episode of season two, a moment that I've dubbed the show's "holy crap" moment, he had an interesting response.
(WARNING: Spoilers of season two are ahead!)
AOL TV recently chatted with Gunn to get the scoop on 'Breaking Bad' season 3 (premiering Sun., Mar. 21 at 10PM), including what's in store for Walt and Skyler, Skyler's new baby and her complicated relationship with Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins).
Read the full interview after the jump.
'Breaking Bad' isn't just reinventing the TV drama. It's also reinventing viral marketing.
With the third highly-anticipated season of the popular AMC show just around the corner, the show has unleashed "BetterCallSaul.com," a website advertising the shady law offices of Saul Goodman, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman's equally shady attorney.
Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk who also contributes to the series as a writer, appears all over the site in some hilarious videos that play with Odenkirk's trademark humor and provides some interesting teaser links to the show such as "the tragedy of Wayfarer Flight 515" and Walter's son's funding raising site, SaveWalterWhite.com.
Sure, it was great to hear Harvey's painful-sounding voice coming out Alyson Hannigan's mouth after a few days of smoking. It seems like it would fit well with her character; you know that she's only a few years from calling people "dollface," whether she's smoking or not.
But what carried the episode was seeing a new side to the gang that we haven't seen before, and how they all deal with it. Oh, and it was also good to see some new footage of Ted's kids, even if they're both visibly older.
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.
(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.
(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.
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!
(S02E08) I'm starting to wonder if Walter and Jesse have turned into the Abbott and Costello of Albuquerque or the New Mexican Laurel and Hardy or maybe some other bumbling duo that have been attempting to do something so far beyond their ken that the fact that they made it this far is a bloody miracle. This show illustrated yet again how the unexpected situations continue to pile up around Team Heisenberg and by the skin of their teeth; they come out the other side.
Breaking Bad's creator Vince Gilligan should be winning more awards. He's just nabbed a Peabody, but there are Emmys in his future. Breaking Bad is that good. This level of writing, the complicated storytelling is amazing.
If there is one thing I learned during the Comedy Central TV Funhouse panel on Thursday night, it's this: they are not good with computers. For most of the evening panelist Robert Smigel and moderator Bob Odenkirk spent their time fiddling around with the Mac laptop provided to them so they could show clips from the TV Funhouse DVD that was released on Tuesday. After they got that squared away they spent several more minutes setting up an iChat so Funhouse host Doug Dale could join in the conversation. They even needed to ask a member of the audience for their Mac Powerbook in order to set the session up. Obviously, you don't want these guys on your technical support team.
Despite the technical difficulties, the TV Funhouse panel was the highlight of my Thursday at Comic-Con.
Oh, and we also got to learn about the chain/circle/pyramid of screaming. I wish I knew about that when I used to be a corporate wage slave. It would have made my life a lot easier.
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