Breaking Bad Biography
Breaking Bad is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on AMC for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, 2013.
Set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the series tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling and depressed high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with stage-3 lung cancer.
Together with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), White turns to a life of crime by producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal underworld.
The title comes from the Southern colloquialism “breaking bad” which means to “raise hell” or turn to a life of crime. Gilligan characterized the series as showing Walter’s transformation from a soft-spoken Mr Chips into Scarface.
Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By the time the series finale aired, it was among the most-watched cable shows on American television.
The show received numerous awards, including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, eight Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Critics’ Choice Awards and four Television Critics Association Awards.
For his leading performance, Cranston won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series four times, while Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series three times; Anna Gunn won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series twice. In 2013, Breaking Bad entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed show of all time.
Breaking Bad Premise
Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico between 2008 and 2010, Breaking Bad follows Walter White as he is transformed from a meek high school science teacher who wants to provide for his family into a ruthless player in the local methamphetamine drug trade as a result of being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Initially making only small batches of meth with his former student Jesse Pinkman in a rolling meth lab, Walter and Jesse eventually expand to make larger batches of special blue meth that is incredibly pure and creates high demand.
Walter takes on the name “Heisenberg” to mask his identity. Because of his drug-related activities, Walt eventually finds himself at odds with his family, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) through his brother-in-law Hank Schrader, the local gangs, and the Mexican drug cartels and their regional distributors, putting his life at risk.
Breaking Bad Production
The show 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 was to turn him from Mr Chips into Scarface.
The title is a Southern colloquialism meaning, among other things, “raising hell”, and was chosen by Gilligan to describe Walter’s transformation. According to Time entertainment editor Lily Rothman, the term has a broader meaning and is an old phrase which “connotes more violence than ‘raising hell’ does …
The words possess a wide variety of nuances: to ‘break bad’ can mean to ‘go wild’, to ‘defy authority’, and break the law, to be verbally ‘combative, belligerent, or threatening’ or, followed by the preposition ‘on’, ‘to dominate or humiliate’.”
After writing the concept for the show and pilot, Gilligan pitched it to Sony Pictures Television who began very interesting in support it. Sony arranged for meetings with the various cable networks. Showtime passed on this as they had already started broadcast of Weeds a show with similarities to the premise of Breaking Bad
Other networks like HBO and TNT also passed on the idea, but eventually, FX took interest and initial discussions toward producing the pilot started. At the same time, FX had also started development of Dirt, a female-centric crime-based drama series, and with three existing male-centric shows already on the network, FX passed up Breaking Bad for Dirt.
The network ordered nine episodes for the first season, however, the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike limited the production to seven episodes.
The initial versions of the script were set in Riverside, California, but at the suggestion of Sony, Albuquerque was chosen for the production’s location due to the favourable financial conditions offered by the state of New Mexico.
Before the series finale, Gilligan said that it was difficult to write for Walter White because the character was 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.”
Gilligan later said the idea for Walter’s character intrigued him so much that he “didn’t give much thought on how well it would sell”, stating that he would have given up on the premise since it was “such an odd, dark story” that could have difficulties being pitched to studios.
In July 2011, Vince Gilligan indicated that he intended to conclude Breaking Bad at the end of its 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 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, AMC renewed the series for a fifth and final season consisting of 16 episodes.
Breaking Bad Cast|Characters
- Bryan Cranston as Walter White – a chemistry teacher diagnosed with Stage IIIA lung cancer who turns to make meth to secure his family’s finances.
- Anna Gunn as Skyler White – Walter’s wife who was pregnant with their second child before his diagnosis and who becomes increasingly suspicious of her husband after he begins behaving in unfamiliar ways.
- Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman – Walter’s cooking partner and former student. 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.”
- Dean Norris as Hank Schrader – Marie’s husband, Walter and Skyler’s brother-in-law and a DEA agent. At the beginning of the series, Hank was intended to be the “comic relief”. Norris, who has played several policemen before in film and television.
- Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader – Skyler’s sister and Hank’s kleptomaniac wife. 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, who has cerebral palsy. He begins lashing out after Walter’s cancer announcement. Like Walter Jr., Mitte has cerebral palsy, although he is a milder form.
- Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–5) – a crooked strip mall lawyer who represents Walt and Jesse. Odenkirk drew inspiration for Goodman from film producer Robert Evans.
- Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut (guest star season 2, main cast season 3–5: part 1) – works for Gus as an all-purpose cleaner and hitman, and also works for Saul as a private investigator.
- Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (recurring season 5: part 1, main cast season 5: part 2) – a high-ranking employee of Madrigal Electromotive and a former associate of Gus Fring.
- Jesse Plemons as Todd Alquist (recurring season 5: part 1, main cast season 5: part 2) – an employee of Vamonos Pest Control who becomes an associate of Walt and Jesse.
- Steven Michael Quezada as Steven “Gomey” Gomez – Hank’s DEA partner and best friend who assists in tracking down and learning the identity of Heisenberg. In comical situations between him and Hank, Gomez serves as the “straight man”.
- Matt L. Jones as Brandon “Badger” Mayhew – Jesse’s dimwitted friend and junkie, who often serves as the series’ comic relief.
- Charles Baker as Skinny Pete – A friend of Jesse and a fellow pusher.
- Rodney Rush as Christian “Combo” Ortega – Also a friend of Jesse and a fellow pusher.
- Jessica Hecht and Adam Godley as Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz – Co-owners of Gray Matter, a company that they co-founded alongside Walter, who left the business before its major success. Gretchen was a former flame of Walt’s and partially the reason he left.
- Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca – A psychopathic Mexican drug kingpin who becomes Walt and Jesse’s meth distributor.
- Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca – A former high-ranking member of the Juarez Cartel who is now unable to walk or speak because of a stroke, communicating with the help of a bell. He is the uncle of Tuco, Marco, and Leonel Salamanca.
- Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke – Skyler’s boss and president of Beneke Fabricators who begins developing financial issues, resulting in intervention from Skyler.
- Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis – Jesse’s apartment manager and girlfriend, who is a recovering addict.
- John de Lancie as Donald Margolis – Jane Margolis’ father, an air traffic controller who causes an aeroplane collision while being distraught over his daughter’s death.
- David Costabile as Gale Boetticher – A chemist hired by Gus Fring to work alongside Walter.
- Daniel Moncada and Luis Moncada as Leonel and Marco Salamanca – Two ruthless and taciturn hit-men for the Juarez Cartel who are the cousins of Tuco Salamanca and the nephews of Hector Salamanca.
- Emily Rios as Andrea Cantillo – Jesse’s second girlfriend, who is also a recovering addict. She has a young son named Brock.
- Jeremiah Bitsui as Victor – A loyal henchman to Gus who serves as his enforcer along with Mike.
- Ray Campbell as Tyrus Kitt – Gus’s enforcer along with Mike during season 4.
- Lavell Crawford as Huell Babineaux – Saul’s bodyguard who also handles problems Walter needs fixing.
- Tina Parker as Francesca Liddy – Saul Goodman’s receptionist.
- Bill Burr as Patrick Kuby – A hired con man of Saul’s who handles various sensitive tasks involving verbal intimidation, coercion, and misdirection.
- Michael Bowen as Jack Welker – Todd’s uncle and the leader of a white supremacist gang.
- Kevin Rankin as Kenny – Jack’s second in command.
Special guest appearances
- Danny Trejo as Tortuga – A Mexican cartel member and DEA informant.
- DJ Qualls as Getz – An Albuquerque police officer who brings Badger into police custody, prompting Walt to turn to Saul Goodman.
- Jim Beaver as Lawson – An Albuquerque arms dealer who obtains several guns for Walt.
- Steven Bauer as Don Eladio Vuente – The leader of the Juarez Cartel who has a history with Gus.
- Robert Forster as Ed – A vacuum cleaner repairman whose undercover business is a new identity specialist.
- Charlie Rose as himself.
|1||7||January 20, 2008||March 9, 2008|
|2||13||March 8, 2009||May 31, 2009|
|3||13||March 21, 2010||June 13, 2010|
|4||13||July 17, 2011||October 9, 2011|
|5||16||8||July 15, 2012||September 2, 2012|
|8||August 11, 2013||September 29, 2013|
How to watch ‘Breaking Bad’ online
Here are a handful of streaming services to watch Breaking Bad online. Some of them offer trials, so you can watch the show totally free.
- Cost: $7.99-13.99/month (after a free month)
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii
Netflix is the king of online streaming, or at least, it’s the most ubiquitous one. The library of shows is massive, whether it’s original series like House of Cards or Orange is the New Blackor popular shows like Bob’s Burgers and Breaking Bad. The entire series is available to stream on Netflix, which is also where the Breaking Bad movie will air.
- Cost: $4.99 per month, on top of your monthly cable or live TV streaming subscription
AMC Premiere works a bit differently from the typical on-demand channel service. You can watch shows from the AMC family of channels as soon as they are without commercials, along with exclusive content and behind-the-scenes footage. However, you need to have a cable or live TV streaming subscription to join, plus pay an additional $4.99 a month.
How to watch Breaking Bad episodes
- Cost: $2.99/episode, $9.99-24.99/season
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, Nvidia Shield, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii
Every episode of Breaking Bad is available for purchase a la carte from Amazon Video. This is a good venue to stream from if you’ve missed a handful of must-watch episodes like “Face Off,” “Ozymandias,” and of course, the explosive “Felina.” Single episodes are available for $2.99, with entire seasons running from $9.99-24.99.
Breaking Bad Twitter
— Breaking Bad (@BreakingBad) May 2, 2019