Breaking Bad

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Spoilers ahead.

I was boycotting AMC.

They killed Rubicon and I wasn’t about to forgive them.

But a few weeks ago, they ran a marathon of the fourth season and there was nothing else on TV for background noise that weekend, so I put it on.

It wasn’t long before I got sucked in.

AMC then ran a marathon of the entire series leading up to the finale.

I didn’t get to see them all, but I saw enough that the largest pieces fit together.

And then last night was the finale, which I watched — too many damn ads, AMC — live.

That was one of the highest points in TV history.

“Is that the best you can do?” was asked of Jesse. That’s the way I feel about most of TV.

Clearly Breaking Bad was the best that could be done.

I now have a new yardstick by which to compare other TV series.

If Breaking Bad had been brought to ABC, CBS, or NBC, they would have flipped it. Jesse would have been the star and Walter White would have been the stooge, somehow blackmailed into using his chemistry skills to make meth. AMC did well in buying it and leaving everybody alone.

You know creators are being left alone to do what they do best when you see an entire episode devoted to nothing but chasing down a stray fly!

I wonder how many writers watched that series and then looked at their own works-in-progress in despair? If TV can do that, a single writer on a book has to aim even higher.

The finale was entirely unpredictable — which is what good TV — and every story — should be.

Well done to Vince Gilligan and his entire team.

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