Breaking Bad: Season 1

Breaking Bad: Season 1
There wouldn't seem to be much humour in a man dying of cancer making crystal meth in a desperate attempt to leave his family some money but Breaking Bad manages to take the depressing subject matter and turn it into a dark comedy unlike anything else on television. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a mild-mannered high school science teacher living a quiet life with his wife and their physically challenged teenage son. When Walter is diagnosed with terminal cancer and realizes that his insurance won't cover the expensive treatment, he seeks out Jesse (Aaron Paul), a former student involved in the meth trade. Soon, Walter and Jesse are setting up shop like a sinister odd couple. Extras include a few commentary tracks with a confusing number of cast members involved, deleted scenes, screen tests, a series of typical "making of" features, a bunch of AMC promo spots and an interview with the creator and lead actor, none of which are required viewing for any but the most bored of fans. The main menu gives the option of skipping the episode recaps shown on television to remind viewers of what happened last week; it's not a big deal but it saves you the time of fast-forwarding the first three minutes of every episode and is a welcomed feature that should be adopted by more series. In addition to the black comedy based on a situation spinning increasingly out of control, Breaking Bad is part buddy comedy, part family drama and part crime caper. The disparate elements are perfectly balanced and will appeal to different audiences that don't typically converge. Of course, the humorous tension and budding friendship between the uptight scientist and drugged out slacker is the show's driving force and both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul play their parts perfectly, keeping the dark undertones of their characters in check to keep the audience engaged in their semi-bumbling criminal undertakings. Though the season is short (only seven episodes), Breaking Bad is one of the most interesting and unique television shows on American television and is well worth a watch before Season 2 begins March eighth. (Sony)