Breaking Bad is one of the most critically acclaimed television shows of the past decade, as well as one of cable’s most watched dramas.
Winner of sixteen Emmys (including multiple statuettes for its central cast members and its writers), Breaking Bad premiered in early 2008 before concluding with a memorable finale in the fall of 2013. Breaking Bad was cable network AMC’s second talked-about hit series after Mad Men and has inspired fierce loyalty among a considerable fanbase since its debut.
A neo-noir crime drama set in the heart of America’s New West, Breaking Bad concerns a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White (Four-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston) who has run upon hard times. Living in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his pregnant wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) and physically handicapped son Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte), Walter struggles to stretch his income to support his family and suffers a major setback when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Desperate for money and certain of his own impending demise in any case, Walter has a chance encounter with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), now a small-time drug dealer and crystal meth cook. Learning a few key details about the burgeoning underground meth trade from his DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), Walter utilizes his brilliance as a chemist to manufacture and sell meth with Jesse to leave his family with a nest egg once he passes away. As their operation and profits grow, Walter and Jesse stand face to face with the harsh realities of the drug trade, come under threat from the law and from criminal violence, and must reckon with the moral, psychological, and physical consequences of the darker side of the American Dream.
Breaking Bad was created and produced by Vince Gilligan. A key writer for The X-Files and co-creator of the short-lived spinoff The Lone Gunmen, Gilligan and his creative team craft Breaking Bad into an absorbing and compelling exploration of morality, greed, and masculinity with superb acting and a strong sense of place and of contemporary relevance. Although the Breaking Bad series ended in 2013, a spinoff entitled Better Call Saul debuted in early 2015, focusing on the exploits of Walter and Jesse’s resourceful and dissembling lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).
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