“Say My Name”

An Introspective on Breaking Bad


Created by Avery Mitchell

Over 15 years ago, the debut of the now critically acclaimed Breaking Bad was released. Even at its old age, the TV giant still reigns supreme over media. A recent resurgence in popularity of the TV show introduced a whole new generation to the show. With new spinoffs being introduced, it is important to discuss how this TV show captured the spiral from the feeble Walter White into the cold and calculated Heisenberg. This review does contain mild spoilers for Breaking Bad.

The story follows the underpaid and overqualified highschool chemistry teacher, Walter White. His recent cancer diagnosis causes a financial burden on his family and makes them wonder how they will make ends meet causing Walter to join forces with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, to cook meth in order to pay for his rapidly increasing medical bills. Walter, with his chemistry genius, produces the purest form of meth the entire world has ever seen, causing them to get entangled in groups from local gangs to even the Mexican Cartel. We watch as Walter and Jesse grow into feared king pins, going head to head with the DEA and other drug lords. 

Arguably, the most impactful part of the show is the characters. Every character has their own flaws and traits which were carefully selected to conflict the viewer on who the good guy really is in the story. Walters’ interaction with each character contributes to the plot, such as the wild goose chase between Walter and Hank, his DEA brother in law adding a level of suspense throughout the entire show. 

The cinematography in the show is breathtaking. Breaking Bad develops a unique style that uses landscapes, timelapses, and their trademark perspective shots- allowing deeper messages to be portrayed to the audience without spelling them out. The camera is used to elevate the story instead of just accompanying it. Breaking Bad uses cinematography to the best of its potential, truly enveloping the viewer into the story.

Walter’s transformation to Heisenberg is a slow burn throughout the entire show. The audience empathizes with Walter throughout his difficult decisions as his alter-ego fights with his morality. Slowly his morality is chipped away, and the things he would have never done, become commonplace. Due to the slow progression through the show, the audience still roots and supports Walter while he commits controversial  actions. It shows how manipulative Walter is, as he is even able to manipulate the audience into supporting him instead of the other more sane characters like Skylar White.

These points barely scratch the surface of Breaking Bad. The twists and turns throughout the series  have the audience on the edge of their seat nearly the entire time, always wondering how Walter will get out of this problem. With 16 Emmys, 8 Satellite awards, 2 Golden Globes, and 2 Peabody Awards, this series has made an impact on the world. Breaking Bad is a fantastic show from start to finish, only getting better as the show goes on. If you have not seen Breaking Bad, I strongly recommend watching it.