Breaking Down Breaking Bad’s Brilliance

Kudos to Sky’s SoHo channel for screening tonight’s 9.30 series finale of Breaking Bad within hours of the US.

Who would have thought only a couple of years ago that Kiwis would catch up with Walter White’s past so fast.

After years of languishing on the shelf at MediaWorks after only a first-season run on TV3, Breaking Bad resurfaced on sister channel Four for a peak-hour showcasing of season two, before seasons three and four eventually were consigned to late-night.

SoHo’s acquisition, through a one-off package deal with Sony Pictures TV, saw the first half of season five belatedly go to air in HD a few months ago and then we were in fast-track mode with the second half.

Breaking Bad’s rise in pre-eminence here coincides with how it took off around the world, and SoHo’s buyers and programmers deserve two thumbs up for having the nous to be ahead of the game in this respect.

In this excellent analysis, Deadline Hollywood recounts how Breaking Bad went from “cult series to game-changer”, partly thanks to the impact Netflicks – once the nemesis of network and cable TV in the US – is having on viewer behaviour.

Similarly, Variety identified “seven lessons showbiz can learn” from the Breaking Bad phenomenon, with #1 being “patience is more than a virtue”.

Meanwhile, in a review of the final episode that’s just finished airing in the US, The Hollywood Reporter quipped, “All hail the finale,” while Variety reckons “Breaking Bad Finale Gets the Chemistry Just Right”.

Says critic Brian Lowry: “The 75-minute finale written and directed by [creator Vince] Gilligan perfectly capped a final arc that was all forward momentum, with barely an ounce of fat on it, and almost nary a false note.”

That’s more than can be said for the series finale of Dexter, which aired this time last week on SoHo.

For an insight into how that shambles was cobbled together, see this Entertainment Weekly interview with the producers.

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One Response to “Breaking Down Breaking Bad’s Brilliance”

  1. Pity you have to spend around $82 just to watch SoHo HD.

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