After eliminating most of our cable TV channels to save money, Lana and I decided to use the library to pick up some TV series that we’d heard good things about. We figured to watch an episode or two a night and get through a series that way. The first show we decided on was Breaking Bad. We’ve now finished it, and here are some thoughts.
First, watching a show this way is a lot better than watching it on a normal broadcast timeline. You don’t have the lengthy breaks that lead to forgetting of plot lines and details. I suspect that probably added to our enjoyment of the show.
Second, Breaking Bad is, in both Lana and my opinions, a very, very good drama. There are some weaknesses, particularly the show’s relatively poor handling of the main female characters, but overall the writing was outstanding. Tension, characters who were fully rounded and showed development, the settings, the way flashbacks were used. All these were deftly handled.
Third, this is only the third time in my history that I actually felt, even remotely, the kind of sadness at the end of a TV series as I have so often felt at the end of a really good book. The only other times I’ve had this feeling was with Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Frazier, and the feeling in both those cases was much less than with Breaking Bad. I’m talking about the kind of bittersweet melancholy that one feels when you read the last page of a beloved book and close the cover.
As we got closer to the end of the series, Lana and I both hated thinking about how we had only three episodes left, then only two, and then one. That’s also not something I’ve really felt, although I’ve never watched a show in this fashion before.
Lana and I were talking last night about our concern that we’ve become spoiled by Breaking Bad and that we’ll never find another series to watch that will compare. We do plan to try The Wire, Justified, and some others, so I suppose we’ll see.
I’ll end with this thought. TV has never been of much interest to me. I’ve very, very rarely felt any particular desire to see the ‘next’ episode of some show. For those shows I liked, such as Frazier and TNG, I was happy to catch an episode when I could but never gave it much thought between episodes. Breaking Bad has been something of a revelation to me. I think, for the first time, I have seen the potential for TV to create the kind of compelling stories that I’ve taken for granted in written fiction. I didn’t even know it was possible.