We rarely watch television shows -- John is allergic to commercial breaks so he watches movies from Netflix. For the most part I'm not interested. But every once in awhile a series comes along that hooks both of us-- "The Sopranos" was one; "Downton Abbey" was another (though by the third season, we both lost interest.) "Foyle's War" was yet another.
We started watching "Breaking Bad" only after the last show had aired and the word was going around about just how amazing these actors were --. Anthony Hopkins' fan letter to Bryan Cranston sure got my attention, for one thing.
We watched the five seasons over several months -- usually two episodes at a time -- and found ourselves getting increasingly twitchy when the next installment was slow to arrive. (Most episodes ended with a cliffhanger.)
It's not just plot; the characters are all complex and fascinating -- from Walter White, the mild-mannered, self-deprecating chemistry teacher who morphs, over the five seasons into a tragic megalomaniac, to the incredible array of supporting characters: Hank, the tenacious DEA agent (and brother-in-law of Walt;) Gus, one of the most unlikely druglords imaginable; Walt's wife, who has a little Lady Macbeth in her; the feckless Jesse, Walt's ex-student and assistant; Mike, the grandfatherly hitman; Sol, the sleazy lawyer (who is evidently going to have a spinoff series of his own) . . . there's not a weak actor in the lot. Even the despicable white supremacists are totally believable.
When the last for episodes arrived, we hurried through dinner and settled in to watch. We watched two ... and opted to continue . . . and after the next to last, there was no way not to keep going. (As I mentioned, this series is big on cliffhangers.)
The ending, in my opinion, couldn't have been better. I recommend the whole series as excellent drama. Violent, yes -- but no more than Shakespeare. I kept thinking of Macbeth ...