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Breaking Bad - The Complete First Season
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Product Description

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 02/24/2009 Run time: 298 minutes

No one would confuse the desperate dad Bryan Cranston plays in this character-driven drama with the fun-loving Hal from Malcolm in the Middle. In AMC's Breaking Bad, Walter White lives in the suburbs with his wife--and wears tighty-whiteys--but the similarities end there. During the pilot, the cash-strapped chemistry teacher finds out he has inoperable lung cancer. He and Skyler (Deadwood's Anna Gunn) have one son, Walter Jr. (R.J. Mitte), and a daughter on the way. With two years to get his affairs in order, Walter comes up with a wild plan: he and former student Jesse (Aaron Paul), a drug dealer, will open a meth lab.

In the hands of creator Vince Gilligan (The X-Files), Bad's first season plays like the improbable offspring of Weeds and The Shield. With nothing left to lose, the Albuquerque 50-year-old uses his death sentence as a catalyst to break every rule he's ever followed while keeping his family--including Skyler's radiologist sister, Marie (Betsy Brandt), and her DEA agent husband, Hank (Dean Norris)--out of the loop. Throughout these seven episodes, Walt takes on a hostage, a dead body, and a partner who likes to sample his own product. Based on the description alone, the program shouldn't work as well as it does, except Gilligan and company keep the situations psychologically believable and Emmy winner Cranston makes Walt surprisingly sympathetic as he swings between compassion and self-interest. As he tells his students, "Chemistry is the study of change," a statement that applies equally well to the show, since Walt ends up in a very different place than the one he began. This three-disc set comes complete with cast and crew commentary, an installment of AMC's Shootout, two featurettes, deleted scenes, and screen tests. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews:

  • Cancer Man
    There is humor in the show, mostly in Walt's efforts to impose scholarly logic on the business and on his idiot apprentice, a role Paul plays very well. But even their scenes lean toward the suspenseful, as the duo learns that killing someone, even in self-defense, is ugly, messy work. As can be acting, by the way, as witness those shots of Cranston in socks, shoes and skintight white briefs. It takes a brave actor to be shown like that, and a fine one to make the scene as poignant and moving as it is funny.
    Any show built around a meth dealer faces a number of problems, the least of which is the concern that viewers will think it's just the product of some copycat network taking Weeds a step too far. However split people may be on the dangers of marijuana, there's not much debate over meth -- and not much sympathy for, or interest in, the people involved in the trade.

    Wisely, writer/director Vince Gilligan (X-Files) uses our societal desire to keep the drug at a distance to fuel Walt's dilemma and to separate his show from the lighter, more comic Weeds. There's no doubt that death has brought Walt to life, turning him from a milquetoast to a man of action, but it also leads him into a series of terrible decisions. Bad is no advertisement for drug use or dealing; the world Walt enters is dangerous, dehumanizing and gruesome.

    ...more info
  • BREAKING BAD IS BAD TO THE BONE!
    Great shows don't come around too often, but 'Breaking Bad' is one that belongs at the top the list! Great drama, action, comedy, acting and story telling make this show a must see! While this season only had 7 episodes, it packed more entertainment than 90% of the theatrical films released in the same year.

    The story of a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has lung cancer is both heartbreaking and inspiring. The casting in perfect the story is gripping and it's the kind of show that will have you saying OMG more than once an episode. The series is filmed in widescreen to give it that movie look and there is plenty of adult action to keep the most jaded viewer interested from start to finish. If you like TV shows like 'Rescue Me' or films like 'Pulp Fiction' you will love the show! Don't pass this one up folks!...it's a knock out!

    If I have one gripe it's that I think the price is a bit steep for such a short season, but I'm sure the price will drop in the future....more info
  • The quintessential nothing-to-lose story
    This is an incredible show. Bryan Cranston is simply awesome as a very smart man who never really tapped into his own potential until he had nothing to lose. Faced with impending oblivion, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) feels the urgency of time that we should ALL feel, but so rarely do. Walter is actually a brilliant man who has just not either had the breaks or ambition to climb above the mediocrity that surrounds him - until he is confronted with his own early demise. As a man who truly loves his family, Walter realizes that he needs to make a lot of money FAST before he dies, so that he won't leave his family destitute. He then pursues with single-minded determination the only avenue available to a "little" man with no resources or powerful friends - drug sales. Realizing that his prowess as a chemist FAR outstrips the abilities of the typical losers who synthesize meth as a living, Walter sets out to become a meth "cooker." However, true to form, he does so honestly, at least in the way that he insists that proper procedures be used to make the best product possible, and then to sell it at a fair price! The contradiction of an "honest" meth cooker is incredibly well played by Cranston. Throw in the other factors that would accompany such an outlandish (and yet, believable) plot, and you get a very compelling story that is accessible to a lot of main-stream America....more info
  • what this show is missing?
    I watched the entire first season in one sitting and enjoyed it very much but felt the show could have benefitted from at least one scene illustrating the havoc that crystal meth can create in the lives of many of its abusers and Walter White's reaction to it. I mean, I can't recall any scene where White expresses one shred of regret for what he unleashes upon the world. And I couldn't stop thinking of the countless methamphetamine addicts White would help create after they took thier first hit of his purer-than-pure drug and chased it forever thereafter to thier utter ruin. White seems so decent and morally-driven that I doubt he wouldn't have considered this as well. A great show though overall. Bryan Cranston is a wonderful actor....more info
  • One of the best shows EVER.....
    I'll have to admit, after seeing Mad Men (and just about everything HBO and Showtime had to offer) I was pretty much convinced that there was nothing else worth watching on TV..... happy to be proven wrong.

    You've probably heard all the hype surrounding Breaking Bad and know about it's premise (dying chemestry teacher becomes Meth dealer to support his family). While this sounded interesting, I wasn't too impressed....that is until I actually saw the first episode.

    You already know about the great performances, dark humor (Walt-the main character going from timid to fearless) and gritty scenes of drug dealing, but what really sold me on this show was it's honesty. Not just the characters but of how their situations play out and how everything they do effects the world around them.

    If I had one problem with the show, it's that it's first season is so short. But honestly I'd rather have seven outstanding episodes than a handful of filler between them.

    This DVD set also has some great commentaries and interviews. I'm very impressed with how much the actors and producers of the show believe in the project and want to see it succeed.

    I won't pretend that this series is everyone's cup of tea, but if you dig the first episode you'll be in for one of the wildest rides of your life.
    ...more info
  • Unexpectedly brilliant!
    Breaking Bad is probably one of the best shows on TV and I am so happy to have accidentally "bumped" into it one night while channel surfing. Not to spoil it for anyone, but it has a very unusual, but very compelling main storyline about a science teacher who resorts to desperate means to generate quick cash. The subplots are also very intriguing. All I can say is thank goodness for basic cable, because without it, quality TV would have gone down the tubes years ago. Another great show on basic cable is Burn Notice - Season One. While completely different from Breaking Bad, it is also an underated gem. ...more info
  • Quite simply...
    Quite simply, the best show on TV as of 2008 and 2009. Superb in every aspect: writing, acting, direction, cinematography, you name it. It has been a very, very long time that a show has kept me on the edge of my seat, actually giving me anxiety from the dramatic tension, waiting to see what happens next. And it's funny too, along with being compassionate enough to break your heart. An amazing piece of work. As of today, only 10 episodes of this series have aired so far, but it seems like so many more because it has accomplished more in its short life than most shows do in years.

    This DVD set seems a tad overpriced considering there were only seven episodes in the first season, but really a show this good is worth a lot more. Pick it up if you are at all interested in this show; you will want to watch it from the beginning for maximum effect....more info
  • The First Season Barely Breaks The Surface
    First I want to say that this series is great and if you haven't seen it yet or are unsure about it, the second season is currently airing on AMC, so try to catch a few of them to get a better understanding. If you like those episodes or if you're one of the people who already love this series then this DVD boxed set is for you. It contains the complete first season of AMC's Breaking Bad in seven one hour long episodes.

    In short the plot is a more serious Bryan Cranston than we've seen playing chemistry teacher Walter White, who gets diagnosed with cancer. With a son, Walter Jr, who is disabled and a wife, Skyler, who is pregnant with her second child in her late thirties he decides the best way to take care of his family is to start making crystal meth with one of his old dead beat students, Jesse. The further he goes to try and provide for his family the darker and more complicated his life becomes with crazy drug dealer's, increasing extended family issues with his wife's sister, Marie, and to top it off a bother in law, Hank, who is a Drug Enforcement Administration Officer.

    The episodes found on this set are:

    Ep 1: Pilot - Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher who learns that he has lung cancer. With a new lease on life, Walter becomes a drug dealer to secure his family's financial security.
    Aired: 1/20/2008

    Ep 2: Cat's in the Bag... - Following their debacle in the desert, Walter and Jesse are left with a mess to dispose of. Later, Skyler grows suspicious of Walt's recent activity.
    Aired: 1/27/2008

    Ep 3: ...and the Bag's in the River - Walter is left to deal with Krazy-8 alone following an argument with Jesse. After Marie raises concerns that Walt Jr. is smoking cannabis, Hank shows him the dangers of drug use.
    Aired: 2/10/2008

    Ep 4: Cancer Man - The DEA becomes suspicious of a new drug kingpin. Walt reveals that he has cancer to Marie and Hank. Elsewhere, Jesse visits his estranged family.
    Aired: 2/17/2008

    Ep 5: Gray Matter - Walter and Skyler attend a former colleague's party. Jesse tries free himself from the drugs. Later, Skyler organizes an intervention for Walt.
    Aired: 2/24/2008

    Ep 6: Crazy Handful of Nothin' - The side effects of chemo begin to plague Walt, who is also cooking meth again. Jesse's friend, Skinny Pete, introduces him to a distributor named Tuco, but things go awry and Jesse ends up hospitalised.
    Aired: 3/2/2008

    Ep 7: A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal - Walter accepts his new identity as a drug dealer after a PTA meeting. Elsewhere, Jesse decides to put his aunt's house on the market, and Skyler is the recipient of a baby shower.
    Aired: 3/9/2008

    Some people have said that the new season has taken too long to air but they must not realize AMC and HBO take a year between seasons of all their big shows. The second season is currently airing (started March 8th 2009), which happens to be one year after the first. Only the first episode into the second season and already it's become more riveting, intense, dramatic and complex than the first season. The second season premiere really left us with a shocking ending that leaves one eagerly awaiting how the rest of the season will follow.

    I feel this show and the quality being put into it will help make it the next version of the Wire, while Mad Men is more like the equivilant to the next version of Sopranos yet both shows are something entirely of their own. I suggest fans of television that is made like movies give both these series a try. Breaking Bad's first season barely broke the surface of these character's and the storyline possibilties they hold. Thanks for your time.

    *Rather than clutter up the review page I have listed the special features included with this set in my comments section for those wondering about them.
    ...more info
  • It started out being so electric-
    I wonder if people aren't afraid to rate it a little lower just because nobody else did. There are some good characters and some great writing, and the first episode was absolutely riveting. But there are also some long, drawn-out boring parts to most of the remaining episodes.

    I don't need to see so much angst-ridden family discussion about the main character's disease. I don't need to see the man who's going through chemo vomiting, much less twice. They could have found somebody better to play his wife, I found her to be vaguely annoying, boring and stereotypical.

    It's almost like a made-for-TV version of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

    But when it's good, it's great. ...more info
  • Breaking Bad
    Breaking Bad is great entertainment in character study. The actors play their roles to the letter and the viewer can feel their frustrations and pain by the way they play out these roles. The series is very well done....more info
  • A promising series with considerable potential
    I've now caught up on BREAKING BAD by watching all of Season One on DVD and Season Two on DVR. I've been extremely impressed by what I've seen so far, and consider all that I've seen so far to be first rate. While I'm not yet convinced that this is going to end up a truly great series, it clearly has enormous potential and is buoyed by several exceptional performances, especially by Bryan Cranston as Walter White.

    Just about everything that has taken place so far on the show has been beyond criticism. My hesitation in proclaiming this a masterpiece or even one of the best shows currently on television stems from a lack of sense what the endgame of the show is. Only time will eliminate my hesitancy. If it turns out that Vince Gilligan has a clear vision of where this show will eventually end up and if that vision is compelling, then this will indeed go down as a great series. Does Gilligan have a rough storyboard for the entire series? Or does he just have a rough idea of where the next season is going? It is an important distinction. Although Ron Moore repeatedly hinted that he had only a few ideas of where he was taking BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, the ending and the way it deeply coheres with so much that happened even in the first couple of seasons leads me to believe that he was essentially deceiving us and really knew all along. Contrast this with a series that was just making it up as it went along, THE X-FILES (a series upon which Gilligan worked extensively). Although there were many great episodes on that show and a host of memorable aspects, in the end it was a show that was greatly harmed by the ramshackle long story arc, with a host of variant versions of key events (e.g., what precisely happened to Mulder's sister and who his father was, answers to which changed several times over the course of the show). We simply haven't had enough episodes of BREAKING BAD for us to tell whether there is an end towards which everything is pointing.

    That being said, there are a number of things I really love about this show. Sticking with narrative structure for the moment, I like that many of the episodes more or less pick up from the end of the previous episode. I'm a passionate believer in the superiority of serial narrative. Almost without exception all the TV series that I have loved over the course of the past twenty years have featured serial narratives; virtually none have been episodic. I love the complexity of character and story that can result from this. And BREAKING BAD clearly has embraced the serial format. This will, in the end, be a series with a definite beginning, middle, and end.

    I also have been blown away -- along with everyone else -- by Bryan Cranston as Walter White. He was good in MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, but he is so much better in this it is as if Jerry Seinfeld had gone to sleep and work up Laurence Olivier. The range and depth of his performance is absolutely astonishing. I especially love how nuanced he makes Walter. Although someone engaged in criminal activity, he does so from a sense of moral obligation. He is pursuing immoral means to achieve a moral end. Above all he is a man dedicated to caring for his family. At no point is this illustrated more than in the moment where he compiles a list of the reasons for sparing and the reasons for killing Crazy Eight, a drug dealer being held in his partner's basement. In the "not to kill" column he has a long, long list of compelling reasons. In the "kill" column, there is only one: if he lets him go he will kill both him and his family. That pretty much sums up Walter. He will do no wrong, unless by so doing he endangers his family.

    Another thing I love about the show is the wide range of responses it evokes. Although essentially a drama, I find myself laughing constantly. His life has been reduced to one long absurdity, and Gilligan does not hesitate to emphasize this by showing how ridiculous things are. But the show can turn on on a dime to go from humorous or dramatic, to out and out shocking. There are many, many OMG! moments one the show.

    This has become one of the shows that I simply won't miss. No one who cares about quality television should neglect catching up on this one ASAP....more info
  • Breaking Bad Season One
    Awesome show with a lot of very light and funny moments mixed in with dark and frightening moments. Many twists and turns as you watch the lead character Walt, concerned family man morph into an almost psychopathic meth dealer. There are a couple of holes in the writing which make you draw your own conclusions, but I think that is from the budget of AMC and the limit on amount of shows. This would be Soprano-esque had HBO picked it up to develop. Well worth the price!!! ...more info
  • Perhaps too good?
    I was really impressed with everything about this show. However, there is way too much dramatic tension for my taste, and I don't consider myself a drama lightweight. After watching the second and third episode yesterday, I couldn't sleep last night. I kept getting woken up by flash-backs.

    This definitely needs an R rating! I sure wouldn't want kids seeing this....more info
  • Breaking Bad is such a great series!
    I went into this with doubts that it would engage me, but this series does not disappoint. Excellent writing, acting and story line. Not for the faint of heart......more info
  • Very VERY good show!
    I'm not one to write reviews on amazon, nor do I even hardly even watch TV shows. But Breaking Bad has seem to change my perspective. I absolutly love this TV show. The drama, the suspense, and the action! Are all great in this show. So yeah, im no writer so my review is probably horrible, but the show is fantastic. When they had the writers strike last year I was soooo upset. Im glad its back on the air and season 2 has been rockin!!!!...more info
  • Believe The Hype....
    Outstanding 1st season!

    I loved this show!

    Brian Cranston was hands down "phenomenal" as Walter White and easily deserved his Emmy. Aaron Paul is awesome in his role as Jesse Pinkman, and all the other cast members seemed to be a perfect fit.

    I knew the show was good, because of all the rave reviews, but I was'nt expecting it to be this good! "Breaking Bad" Season 1 has a 5 star overall rating here on Amazon.

    Great writing, great timing and development of the characters. The storyline is dramatic, hilarious and keeps you watching. Just when you think the story is starting to slow down, they nail you with something big!

    I watch alot of TV seasons on DVD (The Shield, CSI, Rescue Me), because I work at night. I haven't seen a show in its 1st season that was this good, since "Dexter Sea. 1"!

    The only bad part about this show, was that the 1st season was only 7 episodes! Looking forward to the next season already!

    Highly, highly recommended!...more info
  • One of the best shows, ever!!!!
    In Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston stars as a 50 year old chemistry teacher, who discovers he is in the late stages of lung cancer. He has a wife who is pregnant with their second child, and their first child is a teenager with a physical disability. He learns about all the money made by meth dealers, he figures he can make some quick money before he dies by manufacturing crystal meth. You won't believe the challenges he faces trying to succeed in a world of bad people, when he is such a good person to begin with.
    Strongly recommend this series. I was sad to see that it didn't have english subtitles.

    I don't know why we had to wait a year for this first season to come out on DVD, and I'm glad the new season has started. I hope I don't have to wait a year for the second season to come out on dvd too, because now I don't have cable, so I have to wait for it to come out on dvd. If you've seen the first season you'll understand the pain i feel in having to wait (hopefully not) two years for the second season to come out on dvd. I can't wait to see what happens next! ...more info