AMC is a great network. It hosts two of my favorites–Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and constantly shatters ratings with its most popular show, The Walking Dead (which I have mixed emotions about).
Earlier in the year it was announced AMC had picked up two new series for Spring 2014. One, titled Halt & Catch Fire, is a drama set in the 1980s during the computer technology boom. The second series is titled Turn.
Turn focuses on America’s first spy ring, and looks action packed–almost resembling a miniseries. Check out the first trailer, and let me know what you think!
The Breaking Bad: Complete Series blu-rays were released last week, and arrived on my doorstep in a barrel. Seriously. As a hardcore fan, I spent the rest of the week watching the extended cuts, special features and alternate endings. It’s incredible. Without giving too much away, I’ve provided some photos of my favorite parts of the barrel.
1.) The Breaking Bad Documentary
This is the 2-hour documentary, which provides a detailed look inside the series. The GPS coordinates of course, represent one of the most important locations of the series. It was worth buying the entire series, and if you’re a softie–it’s sure to leave you misty eyed as you watch each cast member shoot their final scene.
2.) The Blu-ray Presentation
This is a photo of how the blu-rays are presented within the barrel. Each case has a symbolic graphic etched into it. My favorite displays the pink bear, which had a recurring appearance throughout the series.
3.) The Breaking Bad Challenge Coin
The absolute best part of this box set (besides the actual show in blu-ray format) is the challenge coin. It can be found in the top of the barrel, resting over a paper-illusion of Walter’s riches. The challenge coin, according to Vince Gilligan, is a military tradition. This coin is heavy, features the infamous cartoon Heisenberg, and reads “Yo soy el peligro.” (I am the danger.)
Overall, I’d say this is the ultimate gift for a huge Breaking Bad fan. If you’re interested in purchasing one yourself, they’re available now on Amazon.
Sad things are sad, right? This thing is especially sad.
Chris Hardwick is having a great year career-wise. He hosts a wonderfully nerdy podcast, two post-show programs on AMC and his recent gig on Comedy Central was just picked up for a second season after its overwhelming success with viewers.
Cue the sad: On Sunday’s episode of Talking Dead, Hardwick pulled at our heartstrings during the final moments when he revealed his father, Billy Hardwick, had passed away suddenly just one day before. Yes, I cried.
Hardwick left viewers with a touching message, which I’ll allow you to see for yourself. My thoughts are with him.
Monday morning was rough. Usually, I spend Mondays reading recaps (the best come from Andy Greenwald), & analyzing plot points to try to figure out what will happen next. Not this Monday.
Never again will I have to wonder what Walter’s plotting, or if next week we’ll be dealing with Walt Jr. or Flynn. It’s over.
**At this point, I feel obligated to warn you with a SPOILER ALERT. Please don’t read on if you haven’t finished Breaking Bad.**
This week the internet is flooded with interpretations & theories about the end of Breaking Bad. Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker makes an interesting case that the entire finale may have occurred in a post-mortem fantasy of Walter White’s. While her argument is strong, I have a hard time believing Vince Gilligan would bring something so methodical to a halt through a dream.
Others were disappointed by the cleanliness & convenience of Walter White’s demise & felt it seemed “too easy.” I do agree that everything wrapped up nicely, but we weren’t looking for a messy ending full of unanswered questions. No matter how awful Walter White became, a part of us, as the audience, still wanted to see him “win” a little. The ending, as promised, was unapologetic & satisfying. Our antihero ended up on top (at least in his mind) and the crowd favorite, Jesse Pinkman, was finally set free.
I, for one, am glad to see the series end without loose ends, & am satisfied with this conclusion of the best drama series our generation will ever know. In the words of Patton Oswalt, it was a 100% pure cook.
If you’re still unsure how to feel about the finale of Breaking Bad, check out these alternate endings Vince Gilligan & the writing staff considered. It definitely could’ve been worse.
I love the Emmys. Typically. This year I had to choose between the Emmys & Breaking Bad, so obviously, I chose the latter. It seems either choice would’ve left me feeling empty & jaded, but at least I picked the one without the over-the-top dance numbers.
I decided to watch the Emmys one day later, and am certain I could write a novel on the reasons this year’s show was a huge disappointment. I’ll spare you. If I had to pick one thing above all that drove me up the wall, it was Jeff Daniels winning Best Actor in a Drama Series for The Newsroom. I mean really?
Me reacting to Jeff Daniels’ win.
I wouldn’t even refer to this tragedy as an upset, although many people are. An upset in my book implies the underdog came out on top. An upset is usually well deserved. At the Emmys, these people are earning their awards, not given them. I prefer to call this a fluke.
I realize awarding the Emmy to Bryan Cranston would have been “predictable“, but if you’ve watched ten minutes of Breaking Bad you know he deserves it more than anyone. I would have been equally delighted to see Kevin Spacey take the award for his outstanding performance as Francis Underwood on the Netflix Original Series, House of Cards. Even Jon Hamm, who completely owns Don Draper, would’ve made me less mad. (Plus, the guy has been neglected by the Academy many times.)
The Newsroom is a mediocre show at best, especially by HBO standards. Jeff Daniels never has to dig too deep as Will McAvoy, (a Keith Olbermann type), and in my opinion, didn’t even belong on the list.