- Ada, Oklahoma

August 12, 2013

Newcomer to 'Breaking Bad' gets hooked

Shannon Lowry Managing Editor

Ada —

I am hooked on a show about drug dealers.

If you are a television-watcher, or happen not to be living under a rock, you can probably guess which show I’m talking about. It’s “Breaking Bad,” which airs on AMC and will soon launch into its final eight episodes.

The series debuted in 2008 and concludes this season. I am playing catch-up on DVD, having missed the show for all these years. That is nothing new for me; I’m not a fan of most television programming and will, for the most part, ignore most shows that get big ratings.

For example, everybody loves “NCIS,” which has been No. 1 in the ratings for at least 10 years. I don’t love it for the reason that it never changes — you’ve seen one epsiode, you’ve seen them all. Same goes for “The Big Bang Theory” — they’re all pretty much the same. What’s the point of watching?

I recently watched seasons 1 and 2 of “Game of Thrones,” which I thought was the greatest thing I’d ever seen until I plugged in “Band of Brothers,” which I missed in its original run. Both of those series blew me away in terms of what television can do.

Watching the second season of “Breaking Bad,” I felt as if I were strapped in for some kind of ride. The show is incredibly dark and the characters are mostly miserable, but it’s one of those shows that’s so realistic and well-done you can’t stop watching it.

The main character, Walter White (played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston), is a middle-aged high school chemistry teacher who, in the first season, is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Walter reacts to the bad news (and the sky-high cost of chemo) by going into the meth-cooking trade with a former student (Aaron Paul).

Each new “business model” they devise for their partnership goes disastrously — sometimes hilariously — wrong. They meet some of the scariest bad guys imaginable. Thing is, each scrape with the law (or death) makes Walter into even more of a monster. He develops an alter ego capable of commiting any crime.

What is fascinating about the show is that you get the creepy feeling this could happen to anyone. Walter’s just trying to provide for his family. Faced with enormous financial problems — and the impending birth of an unplanned child — Walter’s just doing what he thinks is right.

I hate getting sucked into a show because it consumes so many hours! And I haven’t even started “Duck Dynasty” yet!