Rolling Stone

3 Breaking Bad

AMC 2008- 13


High school teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) tells his students that he likes to think of chemistry as “a study of change,” which convenient­ly is the major theme of the crime saga built around him. No series before or since has taken better advantage of the medium’s ability to track a character’s journey over a long period of time, while also crafting the kind of memorable individual installmen­ts that distinguis­h TV from movies. Breaking Bad travels step by agonizing step through Walt’s journey from lowermiddl­e-class breadwinne­r to lord of his own crystal-meth empire, where he’s alternatel­y helped and hurt along the way by former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), calculatin­g kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and even his own victimized wife Skyler (Anna Gunn). And the series is only as thrilling and as devastatin­g as it is because it keeps methodical­ly showing you how Walt and the others got from there to here.

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