Breaking Bad #9: "Cranston's shattering performance and the show's cinema-like execution make Bad truly good." - Us Weekly

Welcome to the
:star:Breaking Bad:star:
Appreciation Thread!

About the Show:Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade. []
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-American Cinema Editor's Awards-
Lynne Willingham, Editor - "Best One-Hour Series" for the Pilot, 2008

-American Film Institute-
Breaking Bad, Show - "One of the Best Programs of the Year," 2008

-Emmy Awards-
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series," 2008
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series," 2009
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series," 2010
Aaron Paul, Actor - "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series," 2010
Lynne Willingham, Editor - "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series," 2008
Lynne Willingham, Editor - "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series," 2009

-Satellite Awards-
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Actor in a Drama Series," 2008
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Actor in a Drama Series," 2009
Breaking Bad, Show - "Television Series, Drama," 2009

-Saturn Awards-
Breaking Bad, Show - "Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series," 2010
Aaron Paul, Actor - "Best Supporting Actor on Television," 2010

-Television Critics Award-
Bryan Cranston, Actor - "Outstanding Achievement in a Drama Series," 2009
Breaking Bad, Show - "Outstanding Achievement in Drama," 2010

-Writer's Guild of America-
Vince Gilligan, Creator - "Best Episodic Drama of the Year" for the Pilot, 2008

-Prism Award-
Breaking Bad, Show - "Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline" Season One, 2009
Breaking Bad, Show - "Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline" Season Two, 2010

Reviews:"Cranston is always good."-Arizona Republic, 2008
"A new dark comedy with the terrific Bryan Cranston."-The Pioneer Express, 2008
"Cranston's Walter is already a winner."-New York Magazine [2008]
"Cranston's shattering performance and the show's cinema-like execution make Bad truly good."-Us Weekly, 2008
"Cranston and [Aaron] Paul are so good, it's astounding."-The New York Post, 2008
"It's suspenseful and surprising. Cranston is always fun to watch."-The Hollywood Reporter, 2008
"Buzz-worthy."-The LA Daily News, 2008
"An edgy, challenging new series."-The San Jose Mercury News, 2008
"Another fantastic new AMC series."-E! Online, 2008
"Breaking Bad is a drama as dark and disturbing as Mad Men is colorful and intoxicating."-Media Village, 2008
"First there was Mad Men, now there's this edgy new show about a man with no pants who stages a shootout from his RV. What more proof do you need that AMC has the best dramas on cable?"-Rolling Stone, 2008
"His [Cranston's] work here is phenomenal...absorbing, touching, funny, and, most important, wholly original."-The San Francisco Chronicle, 2008
"His [Cranston's] work was stunning in both its power and its control."-The Star-Ledger, 2008
"Cheers to Bryan Cranston for blowing us - and Emmy voters - away with Breaking Bad. Cranston's fully committed performance, (losing weight as well as his hair), eradicated any memories of Malcolm in the Middle's doofus dad and turned Bad into something great."-TV Guide, 2008
"It [the Pilot] played like a small film, and had quite a big job: to set up a bleak premise...and a suspenseful storyline. Walter White - brilliantly captured by Cranston - is a man who's dying even before his diagnosis. By pilot's end, his criminal turn has perversely revived him; he's seizing the day."-Time Magazine, 2008
"This is television as God intended."-The Hollywood Reporter, 2009
"What [Vince] Gilligan and company are crafting in many ways transcends the medium itself, and is so flat-out superb that it appears to be operating at a different level than just about everyone else."-The Hollywood Reporter [2009]
"Utterly compelling."-Variety, 2009
"Dark, witty, weird, and addictive."-Rolling Stone, 2009
"An Emmy nomination for "Best Drama" seems certain for the extraordinary Breaking Bad."-Newsday, 2009
"It continues to astonish. Thanks to Cranston's tour de force performance, Walt is a TV original."-Us Weekly, 2009
"Cranston excels at conveying worry, humor, grit, and Walt's physical decline."-The Orlando Sentinel, 2009
"The Emmy upset he [Cranston] pulled off last fall was no fluke."-The Fresno Bee Notes, 2009
"Aaron's capacity to convey someone who is daring and vulnerable, to bring likability to an unsympathetic character, is astonishing," Cranston says.-USA Today, 2009
"Aaron's a star in the making," Gilligan says. "He has great charisma, wonderful range. He's the whole package. But he's also one of the sweetest guys around."-USA Today, 2009
"If there is any justice," [Verne] Gay concludes, "Breaking Bad will win [Emmys] in September. This is the best program on television, commercial or pay."-Newsday, 2009
"Aaron Paul [Breaking Bad]: Slowly stepping out of Bryan Cranston's shadow. He revealed himself to be a powerhouse actor in his own right."-Michael Ausiello, 2009
"Last year, Breaking Bad was an interesting series with a great star performance. This year, the rest of the show has caught up to brilliant leading man Bryan Cranston, and it's become one of the best series on TV as a result. Along with fellow AMC drama Mad Men, it's the worthiest heir to The Sopranos that we have on television right now."-The Star-Ledger, 2009
"It's a testament to the Emmy-winning brilliance of Bryan Cranston -- so fearless, so technically perfect, and yet so likable -- that I wouldn't run away from a show whose main character could let that happen. And it's a testament to the increasing fearlessness and confidence of "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan and his production team that the series around Cranston has become so addictive."-The Star-Ledger, 2009
"The series also has become a technical marvel, as incredible to look at in its own way (with the emphasis on beautiful desert vistas and disturbing tableaux) as "Mad Men," and amazing simply to listen to. Sound design isn't often a big point of emphasis in series television, but the soundtrack of Walt's life -- the hum of his pool filter, the whoosh of the chemo entering his bloodstream, the sound of the meth ingredients mixing together -- is hypnotic, and as much of a character as any of the actors."-The Star-Ledger, 2009
"Cranston and Paul make a wonderful comic duo, each exasperated with the other's personal shortcomings [Walt has no patience, Jesse no focus]."-The Star-Ledger, 2009
"With all of these journalists taking it upon themselves to nominate, allow me to go out on the Emmy limb here: Bryan Cranston, Bryan Cranston, Bryan Cranston. Okay, maybe I’m a bit overexcited, but last year’s Emmy “stunner” should at least be considered the early favorite to repeat this season, at least in my book. We’re just used to his greatness now, but we need to occasionally remind ourselves to appreciate it. At this point, can you even think of any other actor playing this role?"-Los Angeles Times, 2009
"Speaking of Cranston, he had some very kind words for Paul that I feel compelled to share here since I didn’t get a chance to fit them into a feature about Paul that will appear in Saturday’s paper. “You know, a lot has been said about my character being able to be sympathetic despite my actions in the show,” Cranston said in a recent phone call, “but I would draw your attention to Aaron, who is able to be sympathetic without the help that my character has. My character has cancer -- you get sympathy points for that -- and he makes this bold move, but it’s for his family, so you get sympathy points for that. With Jesse, here you have a guy who’s basically a high school dropout, a drug abuser, a drug dealer, and this guy is sympathetic? How is that possible? It’s a testament to Aaron’s ability to draw people into that humanity that he provides as Jesse, despite his shortcomings."-Los Angeles Times, 2009
"And most impressive of all, the Academy managed to notice the amazing work by Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad this year. As the drug-addled and oddly humane Jesse Pinkman, Paul stole the season. Bravo."-Matthew Gilbert, 2009
"It takes a formidable actor to go toe-to-toe with Bryan Cranston," writes Ausiello. "Voters would have to be high to disagree."-Michael Ausiello, 2009 [Referring to why Aaron Paul should win the Emmy]
"Paul's descent into heroin addiction was both sad and willful - a hard combination to watch. (And apparently, a hard combination not to vote for.)"-TV Guide, 2009 [Referring to why Aaron Paul should win the Emmy]
"Best Perfomrances of the Year: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad: There have been plenty of junkies on TV, but Jesse's sad descent into heroin addiction after Jane's death was particularly poignant. Paul's fine acting has blurred the line between good guy and bad guy in this morally relative drug drama. We're focusing on Walter White's partner because with two back-to-back Emmys, Bryan Cranston's already getting the praise he so richly deserves."-TV Guide, 2009
"The show I called the best series of 2008 has now become the best of the 21st century. Bryan Cranston's fierce portrayal of Everyman teacher/schulb Watler White continues to amaze, and Aaron Paul shines as Jesse Pinkman, a sorcerer's apprentice who gets sucked into a deadly partnership. Series creator Vince Gilligan has opened a window on a world where planes fall from the sky and meth tweakers are cruched beneath stolen ATMs. BB is brilliant, teffifying, shocking, and sometimes screamingly funny. What started as an indictment of the drug culture and America's shoddy treatment of those who fall victim to catastrophic illnesses has morphed into an examination of the American dream itself: shiny and addictive on top, hollow at the core. And dark. Very dark."-Stephen King, 2009

Quotes:"Second season there's a lot more sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. [Laughs.] That's what we're all about here at Breaking Bad."-Aaron Paul,, 2009

Fan Question: Your character seems to be developing a very dysfunctional father/son relationship with Jesse. How do you feel about the direction the characters are taking?
Bryan Cranston: Walt has no interest or desire to develop this relationship with him. He's strictly there out of necessity, to facilitate my need. We have nothing in common. He is a nincompoop. I'm a man of science - I actually have some contempt for Jesse. He almost enjoys being an idiot and a drug user. He's failed in everything, and he doesn't seem to want to change. But you're right in the sense that despite all that, the way Aaron Paul plays him, he creates such compassion in people and you feel for him despite what he's doing. I figured out the other day that Jesse is like a puppy dog: He's cute, and he's messy. He ****s the rug, and you have to scold him: "Stop it! Just stop it! What's the matter with you?" And then a moment later his tail is wagging and you go, "Oh, come here." And so despite yourself and despite the fact you have to clean up his mess, you still feel for him because there's almost a sense, like a puppy, that he doesn't know any better. For some reason, something skipped in him - some chromosomes were missing, and he doesn't know how to clean up his life. So where did this come from? It's awfully interesting, and we're going to continue to explore it., 2009

AMC: Jesse actually went ballistic a few times in this episode. How was it to watch that unfold?
John Dahl: Jesse's story is built on contrasts. He's this conniving shyster of a kid, but Paul also brings pathos to that part. Somehow you hate to see Jesse do these things to himself. When the movers are taking boxes from his kitchen, you see him hit what seems to be rock bottom -- but then his performance gets even more intense, and that long, hard fall is powerful. I love the contrast between Jesse's life and the old band mate's life: They used to be the same, and look what life has handed to them., 2009

AMC: Well, to be fair, you did have a storyline in Breaking Bad about a white boy and a white girl falling in love.
Felix Alcala: Yeah. The scene was actually written for Jesse and Jane to kiss, and we had a lot of talks about it. In your first date, the most frightening thing in the world is, how do I touch the girl? Kissing is the easy part. But at first it's how do you touch her? How do you deal with that fear of rejection? Jesse's been bad his whole life, and now he's sort of being reborn and making real decisions. Yeah he's been laid, but he's never really been touched. He's never really looked into a girl's eyes and said, "I just want to touch you." That's real. That makes your skin crawl. It's not slamming her on the tabletop and ****ing her brains out. That's just white male fantasy., 2009

Gary Strauss:Sleazeball drug dealer Jesse Pinkman was to have come to a violent end in the first season of AMC's dark dramedy Breaking Bad (Sunday, 10 ET/PT). "I panicked when I heard that," says actor Aaron Paul. So convincing was Paul as the scuzzy, twitchy business partner of Bryan Cranston's straight-arrow-gone-bad chemistry teacher Walter White, his character was too strong to lose, says series creator Vince Gilligan. "I didn't realize the depth, humor, and pathos Aaron could bring," Gilligan says. "He was so excellent, I told Aaron I wasn't going to kill Jesse - but I couldn't promise I wasn't going to torture him.", 2009

I love the story, the nice layers - the role is just incredible," says Paul, 29., 2009

Pinkman's evolution includes a girlfriend - series newcomer Krysten Ritter - in what's shaping up as a star-crossed romance. "He's an amazing scene partner," she says. "Everything Aaron did made my performance better. He's totally my cup of tea.", 2009

Drusilla Moorhouse: We think it would be a crime if you don't score an Emmy nomination for your work this season, especially the heartbreaking finale.
Aaron Paul: Thank you so much. The thing is, it all starts on the page, and what [show runner Vince Gilligan and the writers] give to us as actors is just incredible. When they finally give Jesse this love he's never really felt, and you see this softer side of him...I think at first Jane [his girlfriend, played by Krysten Ritter] was an absolute good influence on Jesse, but she kind of relapsed and turned into a really bad influence. And then she was taken away. Just to be able to do that sort of work on a show that I'm so unbelievably proud to be a part of is such a dream—such a crazy dream.
Drusilla Moorhouse: How do you make the show's seamless transition between intense drama and comedy seem so effortless?
Aaron Paul: Honestly, I give all the credit to Vince and Bryan. Vince is a genius—a mad genius. When I read the pilot, I went in thinking it was an hour drama—it didn't seem like a comedy at all. And it's not a comedy, it's definitely a drama, but it's very humorous at times, and I found myself laughing while I was reading the script. But I'm like, Should I be laughing? Dean [Norris], who plays Hank, was in the waiting room with Betsy [Brandt], who plays Marie, when they were auditioning for it. And they started talking and were like, "Is this supposed to be funny? Because it's hilarious. But it's so dark." And they were like, "I don't know!" Dean said, "I'm just gonna go in there and play it funny. I'm just gonna play it funny." He is brilliant at that. And how incredible is Bryan Cranston? If I were to be able to act against anyone on this planet, it would be him. He is so genius at what he does. But him as a human being is truly inspiring to me. He is just the nicest man.
Drusilla Moorhouse: How would you characterize Jesse and Walt's relationship?
Aaron Paul: At the beginning, their relationship was definitely quite different than it is now. Jesse is frustrated with Mr. White, he doesn't want to be involved with him, and they are constantly butting heads. I think they are going to keep that—that Odd Couple relationship, which I think personally works for the show. But Jesse considers Mr. White a true artist, and he's impressed by him. And he definitely wants to learn. It's a little tough, at times, for Jesse, but he wants to learn. I think toward the end of season two you realize [Walt] is somewhat of a father figure for Jesse. Finally, now, Jesse really has so much respect for Walt. But I think Walt is going to take to the grave the fact that he's responsible for Jesse's love's demise. I can't imagine—who knows, maybe the guilt's gonna get to him—but I can't imagine he'll ever confess to that. If he did, there's no way that, personally, I could ever be around him anymore.
Drusilla Moorhouse: But Jesse was supposed to die by the end of the first season?
Aaron Paul: I'm so happy they didn't kill me—let that be known. When we were shooting the sixth episode, and we only had one more episode to go [in the writers' strike shortened season]. I hadn't read the final script when Vince told me, "You know, originally, we were going to kill your character off." [So I wondered,] "Why are telling me this right now?" I was slowly panicking inside, trying to hold my composure. I was definitely shaking, and my spine slowly started to actually hurt. [Even now] they are constantly messing with me—Karen Moore, one of the producers, once asked me how tall I am, because "We're just getting measurements for your casket"—but Vince has let me know I will be sticking around. That is very good news—for Jesse and me.
Drusilla Moorhouse: What else can you tell us about season three?
Aaron Paul: I can tell you two things: Jesse is not going to die, and Jesse and Walt are going to be roommates.
Drusilla Moorhouse: Yay! That was one of our questions!
Aaron Paul: I'm only joking! You were happy they were going to be roommates? No, actually, I have no idea. I need a place to live, because Mr. John de Lancie [Jesse's landlord—and his dead girlfriend's father] is definitely not going to let me stay at the house anymore. And you know, Mr. White is definitely getting the boot from his place, so...I don't know. I hope, I hope, that Jesse and Walt become roommates—I can just imagine the beautiful montages now. Yes, we should all get together, sit Vince down, and be like, listen, this is what needs to happen. I would love to live with Mr. White. I would love to live with Bryan Cranston in real life. But I think Jesse would have a good time., 2009

"I'm in such a dream state right now. I really hope I'm not dreaming this."-Aaron Paul, The Associated Press, 2009 [On his nomination for supporting actor, drama series, in AMC's Breaking Bad.]

"My manager called me over and over and over again until I woke up. I was just so out of it. He was like, 'You gotta wake up, man! You're nominated!' It still doesn't seem real. It really doesn't. I think I'm going to have moments of silence and also moments of freaking out, screaming and jumping up and down. I just can't believe it. I'm in shock, a state of shock."-Aaron Paul,, 2009 [On his nomination for supporting actor, drama series, in AMC's Breaking Bad.]

"Should win: Paul. Will Win: Slattery. If it comes down to these two, as it should, I'd be pretty happy. As I noted in tomorrow's column, if there's a rejection of niche-cable drama by Emmy voters, more mainstream network winners will be abundant. Even without a backlash against last year's winners and nominees, it's certainly conceivable that Emerson could win. He's a wonderful actor. (As for the others, nobody on Boston Legal should be nominated, much less win, anything. And William Hurt pretty much slept through his role on Damages). With Paul, you've got a young actor who did extraordinary work this past season. Not only did the writers deftly evolve the in-over-his-head meth-dealing character, but Paul's breakout performance really gave the role depth and humanity. "Breaking Bad" was flat-out phenomenal last season and Paul had a lot to do with it. Slattery, of course, is a superb character actor who lent some gravitas to a cast of relative unknowns when the show started and really took off last season, and he may be part of another "Mad Men" run on Emmys. But Paul really deserves the hardware this year."-Tim Goodman,, 2009

"Supporting Actor winner Aaron Paul came with an announcer, fellow drama actor Emmy winner Bryan Cranston. Both won for their roles on Breaking Bad. As Paul approached the media center outside the Nokia Theatre, Cranston picked up an orange construction cone and announced: "Aaron Paul is an Emmy winner!"[, 2010

"Even though Cranston won the two previous awards he still seemed surprised by the whole process. "You are so beside yourself. You are not thinking clearly, it feels like they are throwing a surprise party for you and the instant it happens you are shocked. You kind of recognize your name, you are embarrassed you don't want to go up, you are happy, all those emotions. It is rushing through your system like a drug.", 2010

"Paul said of winning "I can't even begin to explain it to you. When I saw his [Cranston's] face first when they called my name, I saw the joy and excitement. It is just unreal. And the rest of the cast jumped up and hugged me, and when I went up on stage I could see him [Cranston] jumping up and down, throwing his fist in the air. That is what it is all about. And then he took it [the Emmy] down three years running it was just unreal.", 2010

"Asked if he had any advice for first time winner Paul, Cranston said, "Breathe.", 2010

"After his big night at the Emmys, Aaron Paul just might be my new crush. He got sweet thanking his mom in his acceptance speech for outstanding supporting actor in a drama, and in the Emmy press room, he couldn't stop mentioning how "fantastic" he feels.", 2010

Buzz Sugar: How do you feel about your statue?
Aaron Paul: I can't believe I own her. I get to take her home. It's fantastic.
Buzz Sugar: What does your first Emmy mean to you?
Aaron Paul: I have no idea but I love it. I think it's wonderful. My buddy who lives with me in my house, he won one years ago. So I'm happy to have one to call my own. It's fantastic. I'm just happy that people like the show.
Buzz Sugar: Were you nervous?
Aaron Paul: You have no idea. I was losing my mind. When they called my name I couldn't believe they actually called my name. I sat in my seat for a little bit. I didn't know what to say, and I'm sure I looked like an idiot. But it was fantastic.
Buzz Sugar: How do you relate to Jesse?
Aaron Paul: I have such a soft spot for Jesse Pinkman. He's just this lost kid struggling to find his way. I'm so, so opposite of that character. It's nice to kinda zip on that skin, play make believe for a little bit. I love everything about him. He's just this messed up kid who thinks cooking crystal meth is an art form, and I think that's beautiful.
Buzz Sugar: Who did you think was going to win?
Aaron Paul: I truly was rooting for either Michael Emerson or Terry O'Quinn because I'm obsessed with Lost. I was not expecting it at all. I'm just so unbelievably honored to be mentioned in the same breath as my fellow nominees, it's just incredible.

Links: [Official Breaking Bad Site]
Breaking Bad LJ Community
Aaron Paul LJ Community
Breaking Bad Twitter

Previous Threads:
Breaking Bad #1: "This is television as God intended." - The Hollywood Reporter

Future Title Suggestions:

Breaking Bad #: "Cranston and Paul are so good, it's astounding." - The New York Post
Breaking Bad #: Cranston's work was stunning in both its power and its control." - The Star-Ledger
Breaking Bad #: "Cheers to Bryan Cranston for blowing us - and Emmy voters - away with Breaking Bad." - TV Guide
Breaking Bad #: "It continues to astonish. Thanks to Cranston's tour de force performance, Walt is a TV original." - Us Weekly
"You're a time bomb tick, ticking away. And I have no intention of being around for the boom."
Breaking Bad #: All hail the king.
Breaking Bad #: "There's a market to be filled. And currently no one to fill it."
Breaking Bad #: "We're cooking again."
Breaking Bad #: "This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed... Bitch!"

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