Confessions of a Last-Minute ‘Breaking Bad’ Binge-Watcher

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Breaking Bad Walter White Bryan CranstonIn keeping with the confessions theme of Breaking Bad’s final season, I have one to make. I had never watched a single episode until around three weeks ago. Being an entertainment writer that hasn’t seen Breaking Bad is like being that fourth dentist. You know, three out of four dentists said sugarless gum is better for your teeth. The commercials imply that fourth dentist recommends shotgunning sugar cubes and washing them down with molasses.

Once Netflix put everything through the first half of Season 5 up for streaming, my wife Tish and I dove in, recording the new episodes on DVR. She asked what the show was about, and I offered my best description. She told me it didn’t sound interesting. This was hilarious because a few days in, she was watching all night and quickly passed me. My job gives me a lot of TV shows to keep up with. Yeah, tough problem to have. After I laughed at her, she again chided me for my boring description that didn’t sell her properly. That’s not the thing to say to a TV critic. There was probably some speech about how I am “the one who writes” after that. Wasn’t as cool as Walt’s, if you were wondering.

My job often requires me to become an expert in a show six seasons old over the course of a week, but this experience has convinced me this isn’t the way to take in a great show. Talking about TV is as much fun for me as watching it. Thus, the time spent wanting more episodes is an enjoyable one. As long as there is a lengthy wait ahead, the experience isn’t ending. In blowing through one of the best shows in TV history in less than a month’s time, I didn’t get the full experience. I didn’t get to share theories with people in chat rooms. I never got to be “Team Skyler,” “Team Walt” or “Team Anything Else.”

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