Review of Pilot

Breaking Bad: Pilot (2008)
Season 1, Episode 1
9/10
Excellent Pilot!
2 August 2015
Breaking Bad is one of the greatest television series to have graced our planet, and you can see hints of that from this pilot episode, which very well may be the greatest television pilot of 2008. What I really liked is how the show used its dark subject matter, dealing with subjects such as terminal cancer and drug abuse, as well as murder and creating a meth lab. As evidently seen in this episode, Vince Gilligan decides to use dark humor to combat these subjects. For example, when Walt learns he has cancer, he absent-mindedly points out the mustard on the doctor's jacket. It was one of the few quite funny scenes. The episode begins and ends with a fast pace. The story needs to be told, so definitely pay attention so you don't lose any details. The cinematography is gorgeous, as evident during the scenes in the New Mexico desert.

Now as the plot goes, it's a rather simple one. But the plot is executed in such wild ways in the episode. We are already told the plot twist within the first five minutes, so all we get for the rest of the episode is the events leading up to the twist. Anyhow, we meet Walter White who is a high school chemistry teacher just celebrating his 50th birthday. Life goes south when he finds out he has terminal lung cancer. He decides to recruit one of his former students, a druggie named Jesse Pinkman to help him start a meth lab, so he can provide for his pregnant wife and his crippled son after he is deceased. When Jesse puts him in contact with one of his distributors, Walt and Jesse fear they may be too far in up their sleeve.

This show introduces some rather interesting characters. There is Walter White, who is played by the amazing Bryan Cranston. Cranston is known for his comedy, but he does a great job handling drama and in particular, the average-looking, intelligent man. Anna Gunn plays Skylar, Walter's rather suspicious wife. She does a good job in playing the confused part, while Walt is out and about with his criminal activities. R.J Mitte does a rather good job as Walter Jr, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Aaron Paul does a good job as Jesse Pinkman, although his character is just a tad whiny. There is just a funny scene involving him and the neighbor while a drug bust is going on. Dean Norris does a wonderful job as Walt's DEA brother-in-law, Hank Schrader. He seems to be the witty member of the family. Though not much screen time is involved, Betsy Brandt plays Hank's wife, Marie.

So this pilot episode ends up being one of the better pilots in recent memory, thus beginning television's golden age, which we are currently in the midst of. This episode is not only full of action and how it sets the stakes high from the get-go, but it also is a funny episode. Some favorite scenes of mine involve Walt flipping out at his surprised car wash manager, and Walt protecting his son from bullies at a clothing store. Although Walt's first attempt at meth ends in failure, he is convinced that road will still go on.

My Grade: A
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