Title: Breaking Bad
Genre: Contemporary Dramedy
Watched: Season 2, November 10-19, 2011
Summary: Even stronger
While the first season of this show was great, the second is even better! Spoiler warning. It starts off with a bang resolving the “Tucco situation” and then keeps rolling from there. The pre-titles scene for each episode employs the effective (when done well) TV device of cryptic flash forwards to the season’s last episode, leaving us with the “uh, oh, what’s coming?” and “how the hell are we going to get to that” feeling. Breaking Bad keeps this lean and creepy, without a ton of information. It doesn’t do the kind of sophisticated and deliberately misleading layering that say, Damages (another excellent show) uses.
Even in the middle of the season there are some intense moments, like when Walt and Jesse are stuck in the desert, or Jesse’s attempt to recover some stollen cash from two junkies, and even brother-in-law Hank’s explosive trip to Mexico. All the character’s are really solid. I’m particularly impressed by Jesse. His addictions and weaknesses feel very real, but he has some real good qualities that while not in full control, round the character out to make him very sympathetic.
The last third of the season is really really strong. We delve deeply into Jesse’s personal problems and to say things aren’t going well is an understatement. These all manage to wind themselves into the larger scale cataclysm of the finale. And while this leaves us with a slight taste of Deus ex machina, it really breaks up powerfully at the end. Very strong closer. People tell me seasons 3 and 4 are even better too!
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