It’s Never Too Late to Watch Breaking Bad

It’s Never Too Late to Watch Breaking Bad

It’s Never Too Late to Watch Breaking Bad

Nellie Shih ’19, Arts & Entertainment Editor


Breaking Bad is often regarded as one of the greatest TV series of all time. Created by Vince Gilligan, it has won 16 Emmy Awards, including two Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series. Its five seasons aired from 2008 to 2013, following the end of The Sopranos and the beginning of Mad Men, during what is considered the Golden Age of TV. Breaking Bad follows high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with lung cancer. In order to leave enough money behind for his family should he pass away, he and former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) begin to cook and sell crystal meth. Cranston won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series four times, Paul won four Supporting Actor Emmys, and Anna Gunn won two Supporting Actress Emmys for her performance as Walter’s wife, Skyler.

This article is probably ten years late, but kids age 8 to 13 aren’t exactly encouraged to watch shows about cooking meth. I’ve spent the last month bingeing the show in its entirety and telling all of my friends to watch it. I have stressed, though, that the show can be considered to be slow: the episodes are all around 50 minutes, and there’s usually 13 episodes in a season. The show takes its time, but the intense episodes are always action-packed and worth the wait.

What truly makes Breaking Bad so good are its characters. The show’s title comes from a colloquialism meaning to turn to a life of crime, or to raise hell. As you watch Walter White’s transformation from a meek chemistry teacher into the kingpin of a meth empire, you can see the morality drain out of him. There’s a certain moment that I would label the worst thing he does in the entire show, but even following that decision, I was almost still rooting for him. I wanted him to win in the end, even though he’s quite literally a bad person.

Walter isn’t the only character who undergoes a significant change. There’s Skyler, who turns into a sort of Lady Macbeth, and my favorite character, Jesse. The latter goes from a goofy drug addict to a tortured and tired man, who still manages to hold onto a sense of morality despite everything that’s been thrown at him.

Breaking Bad’s character development is incredible. All of the characters drive the story, so that it doesn’t go on too long, and also so that it’s just long enough that you’re satisfied but wistfully miss it once it’s over. You’ve got two weeks of winter break, and I’m a firm believer that you deserve some time off to relax. Why not relax by watching one of the greatest TV series of all time?


Photo source: