If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of entertainment buzz you should already know of, and be avidly watching, AMC’s first breakout original progam Mad Men. I would like to now boldly declare that cool cat Don Draper isn’t the only compelling character ruling the airwaves – he’s got stiff competition in the form of an Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher. “Wha, wha, what?” you may be asking yourself. Stay with me, there’s more to the story. This particular teacher shaping young minds by day has a moonlighting gig: cooking and dealing crystal meth. Meet the shades-of-grey “hero” of Breaking Bad, Walter White.
Bryan Cranston imbues Walter with the same kind of intense, nuanced bad guy gravitas that James Gandolfini brought to Tony Soprano which has netted him two well-deserved Emmys in the process and deftly made Breaking Bad a show worthy of taking up The Sopranos mantle. The crux of the series is not only following but ultimately feeling for someone introduced as an innocent everyman who chooses to navigate down a conscience-corrosive road of crime all the while maintaining a deluded end-justifies-the-means attitude.
Amazing character development plus the high stakes inherant in dealing with the dangerous underbelly of drug trafficking makes for a series that cannot be missed. Take six minutes to watch a recap of the last two years bringing the uninitiated viewer up-to-speed for tonight’s explosive season three premiere.