Top 35 Shows of 2013: No 1 Breaking Bad

I did it for me, I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really… I was alive

I’ve written nearly 12,000 words on the subject of Breaking Bad’s final season. I’m not sure I’ve written that much about a TV Show since my university days and I certainly haven’t theorised a show in that way since Lost. I’m not sure I even have anything else to say about the series only that watching it come to its conclusion over the course of two months was a TV experience one rarely has these days.

It wasn’t just that every episode built on this unbearable tension that ended up leading to the devastating events of Ozymandias and then in fall out in the final two episodes – it was that everyone was talking about the show and there was a sense that something special was happening on screen as well as off as the cast and crew embarked on their farewell tour. Breaking Bad became a phenomenon in 2013, yes there are shows with bigger audiences or more obsessed fanbases but Breaking Bad was the show of the year.

It certainly feels that the male anti-hero genre is coming to an end on TV withMad Men and Sons of Anarchy heading into their final stretches. One of the kings of the genre Walter White is now gone and he went out in a self destructive blaze of glory, a man who had ruined everything and everyone in his life. There was no fade to black ambiguous ending like The Sopranos, there was no surviving but being rendered powerless like Vic Mackey in The Shield. No Walter White was well and truly dead. A fate that he deserved.

I’m still deeply satisfied and happy with the way Breaking Bad ended, I think about it quite a lot since the show finished (though the final season was so tense at times I’ve yet to rewatch it). It certainly deserves the title of an All Time Classic series and much like with other shows whether it be The Wire orThe SopranosBreaking Bad will have a lasting impact on TV for years to come and a lasting impact on its viewers. Now the gold standard of final TV seasons will be whether a show can match the sheer intensity and thrill ofBreaking Bad final eight episodes. I wouldn’t want to compete with that.

Favourite episodes: Ozymandias / Felina

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