It played for five years on AMC until its final episode on September 29, 2013. It was hailed as one of the best TV shows ever made (Wood). An examination of Breaking Bad may help explain its critical and popular success.
It's better to start with a basic synopsis if the viewer is one of the few who hasn't seen the show. A middle-aged chemistry teacher named Walter White realizes he has terminal lung cancer and turns to a life of crime to finance his family and their future. Walter has a teenage kid with cerebral palsy and a second child on the way. Walt is the primary earner in his family because his wife, Skyler, is unemployed. Due to Walt's stage 3 lung cancers; he teams up with a former pupil, Jesse Pinkman, to create an unprecedented amount of pure crystal methamphetamine. Walter White becomes the world's top producer, a multi-millionaire, and a sought-after criminal genius.
This series may be seen in several ways. Breaking bad is a rags-to-riches story. Or a descent into criminal psychosis. Like the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It may be seen as a story of total betrayal. However, few people see it as a straightforward narrative of 'a down-on-his-luck man doing his best to aid those he loves.' The protagonist makes questionable actions that challenge practically anyone's moral compass in minutes (McCluskey).
Breaking bad constantly asks the audience to consider: if faced with death and nothing to lose, how far would you go to ensure the safety of your loved ones? Understandably, each spectator must assess their values. Could you lie to a boss or the cops? Doubtful. What about deceit, a tiny, non-violent, non-victim crime? For example, flooding the whole Southwest United States with an illegal narcotic would ruin the entire demography and cause numerous overdose fatalities. Walter encounters these (and other) dilemmas at some time. Breaking Bed’s appeal determines where unburned borders separate casual scruples from rigid moral ideals (Hills). It's not always simple to tell, and Breaking Bad does its best to keep it that way. The program does an excellent job of pushing the audience in several ethical directions, sometimes with equal power; making judgments that appear simple to some viewers suddenly look complex.
But it's a long way from the start to the conclusion for Walter White. Situations arise that gradually push the boundaries of what is acceptable or unacceptable to the spectator. There seems to be a lot of 'in for a penny, in for a pound,' and 'at what point does the reward outweigh the risk?' throughout the series. Moreover, the program investigates the potential for evil inside every one of us. This turpitude would likely leave any spectator somewhere along Walter White's route. One of the show's hooks is watching where Walter White's actions go and what awaits him at the next fork in the road. What would the audience, or Walt, do now? Over five years, Walter White transforms from the excellent person fans support to the terrible one whose end everyone is avidly awaiting.
The series also provides a voyeuristic look into the lives of persons involved in the drug trade in North America. From the desperate junkie on the street corner to law enforcement and the kingpin himself (his compassionate family man façade and his homicidal double ego); everyone is attractive to shady netherworld outsiders. Binge-watching serial television came of age right as Breaking Bad aired, and this is acknowledged as a factor in the show's success (Wood). Many forced love-hate relationships make any serial drama enjoyable. The storyline of the series also develops a relationship between teacher/student and mentor/mentee, filled with love/hate, screaming for resolution. Ultimately, the varied experiences brought about by character growth (both desirable and unwanted) keep viewers coming back (Watkins).
While the program deals with some heavy topics, it is essential mentioning that Breaking Bad was shown on a cable network. Although the series deals with mature themes, it does them in a way that allows it to be uncensored during primetime. There is some profanity and graphic violence, but it is done in a way that contributes to the story's seriousness. It occurs to indicate severe natural repercussions of heinous unnatural activities. The show will use graphic imagery to emphasize that reaching the summit is dangerous since only down is left.
Breaking bad has much to offer most viewers from a sociological standpoint. Racism, classism, healthcare, sexism, and gender roles are covered in the five-year television series. Breaking bad covers a wide range of topics and delivers a plot that most viewers can relate to. This broad range adds to the show's overall popularity. Even if they disagree with Walter White's choices, many viewers may sympathize with his situation or how circumstances forced action. They are not drug traffickers (let alone kingpins), nor are they murderers (especially premeditated murders). Most viewers aren't chemistry instructors or dying of cancer. Like many other characters, Walter White has several dimensions that are relevant to most viewers in some manner.
Breaking bad has been on primetime network cable television for eleven years. Even five years after its finale, Breaking Bad remains one of the most beloved TV shows ever (Wood). It may not have satisfactorily answered the question, but it did.
Walter White, the beloved antihero of Breaking Bad, morphs into a more sinister evil. Walt's path disrupts many lives. It's a whirlwind of Walt transcends cultural preconceptions and odds against him. He befriends foes and friends. Walter White is divided between pride and dishonor during his travels. Walt struggles to define success and failure along the way. Breaking bad follows the adage about a path paved with good intentions from start to finish. The audience knows where this well-paved road leads and enjoys watching Walter White follow it to its finish.
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