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Culture 'Breaking Bad': The final long haul

‘Breaking Bad’: The final long haul

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Breeanna Hare

CNN

As Breaking Bad fans look forward to the final two episodes of the series, they should also re-program their DVRs.

Both the September 22 episode, “Granite State,” and the September 29 episode, “Felina,” will run longer than 60 minutes. “Breaking Bad” writer/producer Peter Gould tweeted Wednesday that he “checked and its official: #BreakingBad eps are 75 minutes each w/commercials. Set your DVRS accordingly.”

Or, of course, fans could watch live — and they may want to, considering the way the Web has been particularly spoiler-heavy during the show’s final stretch.

Sunday’s episode, “Ozymandias,” has been picked apart online as viewers scramble to digest what’s become of Bryan Cranston’s meth kingpin Walter White. As The Hollywood Reporter incredulously asked, “How can one man have become so evil, so cold-blooded?”

The descent of Cranston’s chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord has been epically rendered since 2008, but “Ozymandias” was a pinnacle episode in an already exemplary series. (It was also a record-breaker: Sunday’s installment was the most-watched Breaking Bad episode to date, with 6.4 million tuning in.)

If you don’t watch the show, the astonished praise could seem outlandish and unwarranted. But let’s take a look at the bigger picture for a moment, as we march toward “Breaking Bad’s” conclusion: It’s not just about how creator Vince Gilligan has made great TV, but what the impact of his drama will be.

As Forbes’ Allen St. John proposes, “Ozymandias” — and, fingers crossed, the last episodes to come — “will set the bar for the next generation of content creators, showing them what’s possible and daring them to do even better. … It matters because television finally has a great drama that makes no excuses.”

Gilligan’s gut-wrenching drama is often called the equivalent of the Great American Novel, with the exception being that it’s “come to your flat screen” instead of your local bookstore, Forbes writes. “By saving its best for last, Breaking Bad is quietly pushing the boundaries of this evolving genre.”

If you’ve yet to get hooked on the series, it’s not too late: binge-watching is always an option.


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