AMC, which a while ago greenlit a second season for Mad Men, now has also ordered another round of its other original drama series, Breaking Bad. Announcing the pickup, network exec VP/GM Charlie Collier says, "From critical praise to strong ratings and a devoted audience, Breaking Bad further reinforced AMC as a top producer of high-quality, distinctive television."Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a dying man who makes a meth of things to provide for his fam. — MWM
Dominic West by Nicole Rivelli/HBO
Its final season may have been built around a number of Big Lies, but here's the honest truth: HBO's The Wire is TV for the ages. Though it spent much of its acclaimed existence under the pop-culture radar, despite annual appearances on critics' best-of-year lists, this heartbreaking and searing masterpiece of urban decay and corruption will live on as all great literature does. Any self-respecting DVD library would want to include the five seasons of The Wire. It's that good, and that rich.Sundays expanded finale wraps up much of the complex story, but as usual, not in a tidy fashion. Ambiguities, moral compromises, deals struck with a variety of devils, all par for the course in David Simons bleak version of Baltimore. No cheap sentiment here, although there is a memorable scene involving a surprise wake at the Irish cop bar.The ironies are deep and dark as McNulty (Dominic West) sweats out the consequences of his scheme being exposed, of having created a fictional ser...
Question: How good was last week's episode of Breaking Bad? I imagine I wasn't the only one yelling "Bad Ass Walt!" at the TV moments before his son came to the same conclusion. I am enjoying the slow (yet appropriately so) progression of Walt's fall into cooking meth. How else would someone so straight-laced end up in such a business without the show becoming cartoonish? The evolution — or regression, depending on how you look at it — of Walt's character goes insanely well with his journey as a cancer patient, and the pace of the show enhances this journey and fills me with (non-sappy/clichéd) emotions. I'm also blown away by the actor who portrays Jesse. What could have been a one-dimensional role is becoming more layered and interesting as the story unfolds. It is certainly unfortunate that the show is hitting its stride just when I've heard that there is only one more episode left for the season! Now that the strike is settled, do we know if they are filming any more episodes this ...
Question: The cast and crew of Breaking Bad have done a great job — at making me depressed! I couldn't get more than halfway through the pilot, and I wanted to cry through the 30 minutes I did see! I think that for a TV show to affect me this strongly means that the writers and actors are nothing short of amazing and deserve some kudos. I never saw Bryan Cranston in Malcolm in the Middle, so I am not familiar with his comedic work, but watching him in this show made me wonder if he's capable of even smiling. So many moments in the pilot were literally heartbreaking: Being ignored by his students while trying to teach, being ignored at his own birthday party, and the one that got me the most, when his wife asked him if he used the credit card at Staples — his simple, "We needed printer paper" response just killed me. I couldn't watch any further, so please tell me that it gets better, as in lighter. Beneath all the doom and gloom, there was something about the show that I really wanted ...
Question: How good is Breaking Bad?! No, how wonderful... finally, a dark comedy that delivers on the promises of its genre, and on the small screen, no less! Thank you so much for the advance notice on this excellent show. Bryan Cranston fulfills a certain potential I've always seen in him (beyond his extremely skilled, broadly comedic talents) in an awe-inspiring turn. The premise and the supporting performances (particularly in the portrayal of the sisterly bond between Mrs. White and her wonderfully acidic sister and the on-the-mark boorishness of the latter's husband) seem more than capable of succeeding in the long term. How well did the show do, and how well does it have to do to be considered a success by AMC's standards? This show has made a true new fan in me.
Answer: From the early numbers that were reported, it seems the show got off to about as good a start as Mad Men, so let's stay hopeful. This isn't nearly as easy a show to watch for a variety of reasons, so I'm not
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? by Mike Yarish/Fox
Tonight on Fox's Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, a contestant who is a Cowboys fan (poor lunk) will have the choice of consulting the kiddies or instead huddling with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (lucky lunk!).... The History Channel's fascinating Life After People special on Monday night very much benefited from us humanfolk still being around, delivering 5.4 million viewers the cabler's most-watched telecast ever.... AMC is rebroadcasting the Breaking Bad premiere tonight at 10 pm/ET.
The Biggest Loser by Dave Bjerke/NBC Photo
Tuesday's highlights: American Idol delivered 29.05 million total viewers, a year-over-year dip of six percent. Averaging 8.94 mil over its two-hour run, The Biggest Loser was up 25 percent week-to-week. One Tree Hill scored 3.05 mil, an 11 percent increase. At 10 o'clock, SVU served up 12.97 mil (up 830K), while Boston Legal (8.24 mil) gained 340 thou.In other ratings news, CNN's coverage of Monday night's Democratic presidential debate was the most-watched primary face-off in cable TV history, registering 4.9 million viewers.... AMC's Breaking Bad on Sunday debuted to 1.35 million. Comparatively, the cabler's Mad Men drew 1.65 mil in its pwn premiere.
Question: Got anything to say about the new AMC show Breaking Bad?
Answer: Three things, actually.
1) If you thought the pilot was dark, wait until you see Episodes 2 and 3.
2) The modern marvel that is *69 will play a significant role in an upcoming episode.
3) Assuming Kyle Chandler is snubbed again, Bryan Cranston will win the best dramatic actor trophy at next year's Emmys.
Bryan Cranston courtesy AMC
Cheers to Bryan Cranston for his image-shattering performance in Breaking Bad. I always knew he was a committed actor: The Malcolm in the Middle episode when dad Hal learns how to roller-boogie remains one of the greatest tour de forces in sitcom history. But who knew Cranston could handle dark material like AMC's dramedy about a dying chemistry teacher who resorts to selling crystal meth (and worse crimes) to save his family? Cranston's not Bad he's brilliant. Read and react to Bruce's opinions on Cashmere Mafia's Bonnie Somerville, American Idol's new season and more! Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board. We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV Guide magazine!
Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad by Doug Hyun/AMC
The when: Sundays at 10pm/ET (with many encores), premiering Jan. 20. Why watch?: Judging by the pilot, this promises to be a smart, stylish, grimly funny, ultimately serious look at how life can treat one poorly and how bad choices can make things that much worse... but not always worse, and not in every way. Walter White is a high-school chemistry teacher in Alburquerque, New Mexico, who is just turning 50 as the series begins. His job pays so poorly that he has to moonlight at a car wash; he had done early work that helped other chemists earn a Nobel Prize while he's clearly been slaving away at his school for too many years; his teenaged son has cerebral palsy (though generally seems to be coping with that); his wife is pregnant; and he discovers that the persistent chest cold he's been fighting is actually malignant, incurable lung cancer. (You're laughing already, yes?) Having decided that playing life straight isn't going to do him any good nor leave any kind of financial (at...