Kish and I admittedly have been derelict in our hot TV show watching. We have never watched Mad Men, or Dexter, or the vast majority of the other shows that have dominated the national conversation and shifted the zeitgeist over the past decade or so.
That includes Breaking Bad. And our out-of-itness meant that, for years, when one of our friends would ask what we thought of the latest episode, we could only shrug and say we don’t watch the show — a response that was typically greeted with a puzzled look and then a heartfelt “You’ve got to watch it!” But somehow, with everything else on our plates, we just never got around to it . . . until now.
We’ve decided to do a crash course in cultural catch-up. With AT&T U-Verse as the platform, we’ve subscribed to Netflix, installed Roku, and started our studies. Breaking Bad is the first class on the schedule, and each night after I return home from work we’ve become immersed in the weird world of Walter White and his pal Jesse and his crooked lawyer and watched mini-marathons of episodes. We’re now nearing the end of season 3, and things just seem to be getting worse, big picture, for the ever-rationalizing OCD cancer-battling chemistry teacher turned bad-ass meth cook.
Some people argue that Breaking Bad is the best show that has ever been broadcast on TV. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I would say it is a superior show, although I’m not sure that it is quite at the level of The Sopranos or The Wire. Still, it’s got all of the elements of a great show — fascinating characters that you care about, great acting, evil, unexpected violence, stone-cold criminals, difficult moral choices, and little touches that just make the show a bit more interesting, like a character who always wears purple.
But here’s my problem: I simply can’t watch too much non-sports TV programming without dozing off. I don’t care how good a show is, and whether Hank is in mortal peril — there’s something about sitting on a couch and watching hours of TV that makes me nod off. Three episodes is about my limit, and that’s OK by me. I prefer to parcel out and savor the episodes of a great show, rather than watching them all in one big gush.