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Breaking Bad
BB

Genre

Serial Drama

Created by

Vince Gilligan

Starring

Jonathan Banks

Opening Theme

"Breaking Bad Theme" by Dave porter

No. of Seasons

5

No. of Episodes

52

Channel

AMC

Running Time

35-50 mins

Wiki

Breaking Bad Wiki

Breaking Bad is an American television drama series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), with the aim of securing his family's financial future before he dies.

The series is broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC, and is a production of Sony Pictures Television. It premiered on January 20, 2008, and has completed its fourth season. On August 14, 2011, AMC announced that Breaking Bad had been renewed for a fifth and final season consisting of 16 episodes. The fifth season will be split into two parts, each consisting of 8 episodes, which premiered on July 15, 2012.

Breaking Bad has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing, cinematography, and the acting ability of its cast. The series has won four Emmy Awards—including three consecutive wins for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Cranston, one win for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Paul, and three nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Cranston has also been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama and he was nominated three times for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

ProductionEdit

ConceptionEdit

Breaking Bad was created by Vince Gilligan, who spent several years writing the Fox series The X-Files. Gilligan wanted to create a series in which the protagonist became the antagonist. "Television is historically good at keeping its characters in a self-imposed stasis so that shows can go on for years or even decades," he said. "When I realized this, the logical next step was to think, how can I do a show in which the fundamental drive is toward change?" He added that his goal with Walter White is to turn him from Mr. Chips into Scarface. He has said it is difficult to write for Walter White because the character is so dark and morally questionable: "I'm going to miss the show when it's over, but on some level, it'll be a relief to not have Walt in my head anymore." As the series has progressed, Gilligan and the writing staff of Breaking Bad have made Walter more and more unsympathetic. Gilligan said: "He's going from being a protagonist to an antagonist. We want to make people question who they're pulling for, and why." Cranston said by the fourth season: "I think Walt's figured out it's better to be a pursuer than the pursued. He's well on his way to badass." Gilligan defines the term "breaking bad" as "to raise hell".

Development historyEdit

File-BreakingBadcastphoto

The network originally ordered nine episodes for the first season (including the pilot), but the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike limited the production to seven episodes. The series is set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is shot on 35 mm film. Breaking Bad reportedly costs $3 million per episode to produce, higher than the average cost for a basic cable program.

Vince Gilligan has indicated that he intends to conclude Breaking Bad with the fifth season. In early August 2011, negotiations began over a deal regarding the fifth and possible final season between the network AMC and Sony Pictures Television, the production company of the series. AMC proposed a shortened fifth season (six to eight episodes, instead of 13) to cut costs, but the producers declined. Sony then approached other cable networks about possibly picking up the show if a deal could not be made. On August 14, 2011, a deal was made where AMC renewed the series for a final 16 episodes.

CastingEdit

You're going to see that underlying humanity, even when he's making the most devious, terrible decisions, and you need someone who has that humanity – deep down, bedrock humanity – so you say, watching this show, 'All right, I'll go for this ride. I don't like what he's doing, but I understand, and I'll go with it for as far as it goes.' If you don't have a guy who gives you that, despite the greatest acting chops in the world, the show is not going to succeed.

Gilligan cast Bryan Cranston for the role of Walter White based on having worked with him in a sixth season episode of the science fiction television series The X-Files. Cranston played an anti-Semitic man with a terminal illness who took series protagonist Fox Mulder hostage. Gilligan said the character had to be simultaneously loathsome and sympathetic, and that "Bryan alone was the only actor who could do that, who could pull off that trick. And it is a trick. I have no idea how he does it." AMC network executives were initially hesitant about the casting choice, knowing of Cranston only from his role Hal on the comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, but they were persuaded after Gilligan screened the X-Files episode for them.

Gilligan originally intended for Jesse Pinkman's character to be killed at the end of Breaking Bad's first season. Originally, Gilligan wanted Jesse to die in a botched drug deal as a plot device to plague the main protagonist Walter White with guilt. However, Gilligan said by the second episode of the season, he was so impressed with Jesse's character and Aaron Paul's performance that "it became pretty clear early on that would be a huge, colossal mistake, to kill off Jesse".

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Bryan Cranston as Walter White – a chemistry teacher diagnosed with Stage III lung cancer who turns to making meth to secure his family's finances. Cranston stated that, though he enjoyed doing comedy, he decided he "...should really focus on doing something else. But I think any good drama worth its weight always has a sprinkling of comedy in it, because you can ease the tension to an audience when it's necessary, and then build it back up again. Walt White has no clue he's occasionally funny, but as an actor I recognize when there are comedic moments and opportunities."
  • Anna Gunn as Skyler White – Walter's wife who was pregnant with Walt's second child prior to his diagnosis, and who becomes increasingly suspicious of her husband after he begins behaving in unfamiliar ways. Gunn sees Skyler as "grounded, tough, smart and driven". Gunn sees Skyler's stalled writing career as her biggest dream, saying "I think she really deep down yearns to be an artist and to be creative and productive."
  • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman – Walter's former student and drug dealer who partners up with Walt and makes high-level meth. Paul sees Jesse as a funny kid. "He's just this lost soul – I don't think he's a bad kid, he just got mixed in the wrong crowd." Paul elaborated on the character's background, saying "He doesn't come from an abusive, alcoholic background. But maybe he just didn't relate to his father, maybe his father was too strict and too proper for Jesse." Paul compared the character's relationship with Walt to The Odd Couple.
  • Dean Norris as Hank Schrader – Walter's DEA agent brother-in-law. Hank has been described as the "comic relief". Norris, who has played several cops before in film and television, stated "Having played so many cops, I've talked with a lot of technical advisers, so I've been able to pick up a lot. Coincidentally, one of my best friends growing up is a cop in Chicago, and one of my other best friends out in LA is a sheriff. So I get to see all the components of that culture."
  • Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader – Hank's wife and Skyler's kleptomaniac sister. Brandt described Marie as "an unpleasant bitch", but also stated there was more to her than that. "I think we're seeing more of it now that she would be there for her family. But it's all about her."
  • RJ Mitte as Walter White, Jr. – Walter and Skyler's son, has cerebral palsy. He begins lashing out after Walter's cancer announcement. Like Walter Jr., Mitte has cerebral palsy, although his is a milder form. Mitte stated he had to regress from his therapy to portray the character, staying up late into the night to slur his speech and learned to walk on crutches so his walking wouldn't look fake.
  • Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–5) – a crooked strip mall lawyer who represents Walt and Jesse. Odenkirk based his character on film producer Robert Evans. "I thought about Robert Evans because I've listened to The Kid Stays in the Picture on CD. He's constantly switching up his cadence and his delivery. He emphasizes interesting words. He has loads of attitude in almost every line that he says. So when I rehearse the scenes alone I do my impersonation of Robert Evans to find those moments and turns. Then I go out and I do Saul."
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–4) – a high level drug distributor who has a cover as a fast food chain owner. Esposito stated for the third season, he incorporated his yoga training in his performance. "Gus is the coolest cucumber that ever walked the Earth. I think about Eddie Olmos way back in Miami Vice. He was like dead – he was hardly breathing. I thought, how is this guy just standing in this fire and doing nothing? Gus has totally allowed me that level of flexibility and relaxation – not because he has ultimate power and he knows he can take someone's life. He's just confident."
  • Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–5) – an all-purpose cleaner and hitman who works for Gus. The character of Mike has been compared to Harvey Keitel's performance in Pulp Fiction, which Banks says he isn't trying to emulate: "I immediately tried to put it out of my mind, quite honestly. His cleaner ain't my cleaner. But throughout this world, you would suspect there had been a great many cleaners, whether government-run or individual contractors."

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