Breaking Bad beginners guide

A beginner’s guide to Breaking Bad

It’s the cult drama that’s kept viewers on the edge of their seats for almost five series. But for the uninitiated, here’s a need-to-know guide to the must-see US series.

WHAT IS IT?

Breaking Bad follows the story of Walt (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher struggling to support his pregnant wife and teenage son. When he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides he needs to generate more money for his family – and when a chance encounter leads him to crystal meth seller – and former student – Jesse, Walt seizes the chance. Danger, desperation and an increasingly dark twist of drama makes it compelling viewing, and as the story develops, the character transformations are remarkable. Walt goes from downtrodden and decent citizen to driven and mildly murderous drug lord.

WHO’S IN IT?

Bryan Cranston, AKA dopey dad Hal from Malcolm In The Middle. Also, Anna Gunn (Deadwood) and Aaron Paul (Big Love). 

WHY DO I NEED TO WATCH IT?

It’s a heady mix of drama, black humour and emotive action. Walt is a heartbreaking protagonist, his actions made all the more poignant by the life-sentence that hangs over his head.

WHAT DO THEY SAY?

Bryan Cranston: “When I first read the script, that’s what struck me: I thought, ‘Tony Soprano, Dexter, Vic Mackey. When we were introduced to them, they were already that kind of person. But I’m not sure this has happened before: Where we take one kind of person—bright, depressed, just turned 50, dying of cancer—and say, ‘For the next two years, he’s going to go on the greatest roller-coaster ride of his life… He smiles wryly and adds, quite unnecessarily… Greatest meaning biggest. Not necessarily good.” (Read the full interview on GQ.com here.)

WHERE CAN I WATCH IT?

Netflix. Go, go, go!

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