I'm a very bad man
All too often, when discussing various versions of the “blank blank is the best blank blank blank ever” (fill in movie, music, tv show, book, actor, etc.), people either tend to jump to an already established popular choice (The Godfather is the best movie ever, The Sopranos is the best television show ever; Marlon Brando is the best actor ever, Shakespeare is the best writer, Hendrix is the best guitar player, New York
pizza is the best evuh) or try to uniquely identify their tastes by declaring some other off-beat preference, such as, “The Killers are the best band ever.”
There has been a lot of (or perhaps not enough?) talk lately about AMC’s drama Breaking Bad, which is starting it’s highly anticipated fourth season in July 2011. Forget about Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Rescue Me, The Killing, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, or any other major network program, the realization is, no show is better written, acted, or more intriguing than Breaking Bad is at this very moment.
I am here to tell you that Breaking Bad is the best show on TV right now.
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Long before The Social Network, but not long after A Few Good Men and The American President, Aaron Sorkin combined the latter two movies and created the Emmy Award-winning television drama The West Wing on NBC. The show ran for seven seasons (1999-2006) and covered a plethora of political and personal topics that were both timely and overtly dramatic.
Luckily, for those of you that didn’t watch the show when it originally aired, we now have NetFlix and various other avenues by which we can view an older television series. Now, watching an entire season of any show only requires a rainy weekend and, oh, say about, 10-20 hours of free time to kill. Lucky for me (I think) I was hooked on the original running of the series before it even aired. I remember there being plenty of hype for it before the pilot episode even hit NBC.
One of the most interesting things about going back and re-watching movies or television shows (or music) is discovering if you still feel the same way about it after subsequent viewings as you did upon the initial one. Shows like The Wire or Deadwood undoubtedly grow more and more engaging with multiple viewings, once you are able to absorb more of the dialogue, character development, and plot lines. When The West Wing originally aired, there was no such thing as pausing or recording live tv, no Tivo or NetFlix. If you missed an episode, well, you were screwed (unless someone you knew taped it on their VCR). A relative once asked me what the point is in re-watching a movie you have already seen? My response was, “do you only listen to an album once?”
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