I wanted to write about this epic television series. This series has converted me. I never watch soaps. I remember some Hindi serials like Junoon and Swabhimaan being aired. I followed them for some time, since those used to be the programs when we came back from school and had our food. I was glued to them for some time. Till I lost all interest. I used to follow Byomkesh Bakshi which was a crime series. It was one of the best made in my opinion. Somehow could never digest any of the Ekta Kapoor genre. My mom and granny are avid followers of some programs like Balika Vadhu, Mahadev and recently Mahabharat :) For me its all white noise.
I was never much into sitcoms either. In college most of the populace raved about F.R.I.E.N.D.S; I used to find it utterly mundane. Only during my maternity leave, for the lack of anything else in the 1400-1500 slot, I watched all the episodes. Post marriage, thanks to K, I started following Scrubs, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, My wife and Kids, Seinfield, Everybody loves Raymond and a few more. Some of the recent ones we watch together are HIMYM, Don’t trust the B in apartment 23, 2 Broke Girls, Happy Endings, New Girl, Rules of Engagement, Episodes and of course BBT. There are some British comedies which are funny like Bad Education and Pram Face. I watch them, more as something that is running on the television. I am not too serious and would not mind missing an episode. Though there are lots of chances to catch up on any missed episode, I have rarely brought myself to view them.
There was a lot of hullabaloo about Breaking Bad. Since I am not into serials I did not give it much regard. One fineafternoon, to utilise the unlimited broadband, K downloaded Season1. That very fine afternoon, for the lack of anything better to do, we watched E1 S1. It was all right. I could not ascertain why was it so popular. Since we had a free download, we decided to watch the next episode. There was some time, we had no plans. We watched one more episode. Till we sucked into the vortex. It was very easy to dismiss the first episode. It was just as easy to get glued onto the third and subsequent.
The first thing that impressed me was the acting. The lead characters of Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn and Aaron Paul are phenomenal actors. I have an itsy bitsy crush on Bryan Cranston. ;) The actors have emoted the characters with dexterity. Bryan Cranston who plays the moppy but highly intellectual under achieving chemistry teacher is very playful and vibrant in real life. Aaron Paul's portrayal of a 'Yo' kid is phenomenal. He injects the humour element without being a caricature. He makes over the top stupidity feel valid. Anna Gunn who plays the uptight wife evokes the rage and empathy of the viewers in equal measure. On one hand she is this idealistic wife who does not see practical aspects which strikes as ridiculous, but on the other the extent to which she believes in some virtues strikes as commendable. The lead characters are very well supported by a cast who are on par in acting.
The second box that the series ticks is the wonderful writing. I like the way the story is woven. As the viewer is taken through the journey, it all ties together. A big role is played by chance. I am a bit of a fatalist, who believes in fate and destiny. If some things are destined to happen they will. In the story there are many instances I have exclaimed 'What are the odds!?". Does that not happen oh so often? History is speckled with instances where chance played a major role and changed the entire course of events. Any epochal event has a chance incident as its instigating factor. Similarly providence plays a major role throughout the script. Else it could have well got over in season 1. I like the way known factors are matched with unknown which are then altered due to the actions and personalities of the characters in question.
The third element is the element of suspense. It is no whodunit, the story revolves around happenings of people wanting to make a life of crime. They land in pretty precarious situations. The point till they extricate themselves can take one's breath away. There are so many such instances and each one is fantastically executed. Much praise is due to the actors who make the scenes so real and life like and make the viewer a part of it.
Well, I have been recommending Breaking Bad to everyone and his dog. As is custom, I have been late in jumping this bandwagon, but now I wear my love for this fabulous program on my sleeve!