Heads up for the return of one of the most harrowing and intriguing series on television. Season three of Breaking Bad commences Sunday night at 10pm on AMC.
Bryan Cranston (two time Best Actor Emmy award winner) stars as Walter White; mild mannered high school chemistry teacher and cancer victim by day...meth amphetamine cooker and dealer by night. It's the biggest double life on TV, only Showtime's lovable serial killer Dexter comes close to the duplicity.
When we last saw Walter he was getting fellow meth entrepreneur Jesse (played by the remarkable young actor Aaron Paul) into rehab for heroin addiction. Jesse got hooked with his artist girlfriend Jane, who overdosed in a horrible moment that underscored how depraved Walter has become. He could have saved the girl as she choked on her own vomit, but in a scene that seemed to last for hours (it was probably only 20 seconds), he just watched her die. Breaking Bad is filled with shocking moments, most of which are set against the baked and barren vista of New Mexico. It's not every day you see a TV show that features a severed human head glued to the top of a desert tortoise as it ambles through the tumble weeds. And the final minutes of last season's finale were both appalling and surreal, as a passenger jet exploded over Albuquerque, raining body parts and stuffed animals over the suburban landscape below. It was Walter's fault, of course, but in a way that was entirely unexpected.
What makes this bleak story bearable is some of the most superb acting and writing on TV. Breaking Bad, along with the riveting Mad Men series, has put AMC on the map as one of the most creative networks on television. They are giving HBO a run for their money, and that's saying a lot.