Breaking Bad

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Plot Summary

BREAKING BAD is an American neo-Western crime drama television series. The TV show was created by Vince Gilligan, who spent several years writing the Fox series The X-Files.

What is the story of Breaking Bad?

When chemistry teacher Walter White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given only two years to live, he decides he has nothing to lose. He lives with his teenage son, who has cerebral palsy, and his wife, in New Mexico. Determined to ensure that his family will have a secure future, Walt embarks on a career of drugs and crime. He proves to be remarkably proficient in this new world as he begins manufacturing and selling methamphetamine with one of his former students. The series tracks the impacts of a fatal diagnosis on a regular, hard working man, and explores how a fatal diagnosis affects his morality and transforms him into a major player of the drug trade.

Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. It had moderate viewership in its first three seasons, but the fourth and fifth seasons saw a significant rise in viewership when it was made available on Netflix just before the fourth season premiere. Breaking Bad is also one of the highest rated fictional TV shows on IMDb (Internet Movie Database).


If you want slow but original thinking TV show then Breaking Bad is for you!

How did Breaking Bad get popular again?

After old episodes of Breaking Bad began airing on Netflix, the show got more popular on AMC, its original network. Usually, audiences for TV shows decrease in number over time. With Breaking Bad, the opposite happened: Its season four finale had less than 2 million viewers; but when the series finale aired two years later, its audience had grown to 10 million people.

This is an example of what we call the Netflix Effect — that’s Netflix’s ability to find new and bigger audiences for shows that had started losing their popularity on traditional networks.

That’s why Netflix was traditional TV’s "frenemy" for a relatively brief time period. It could grow the popularity of shows that were still running on traditional TV — while simultaneously teaching TV viewers to stream shows on Netflix.

AMC insists that Netflix was just one of the reasons Breaking Bad got so big — it says that audiences also found the show via video-on-demand and Breaking Bad “marathons” that the network would run. Most other people, including Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, credit Netflix for the boost.

Netflix’s platform made it easy for viewers to binge multiple episodes in one sitting. They could watch episodes whenever they wanted, rather than waiting for them to air on TV. And, crucially: When they watched Breaking Bad on Netflix, they didn’t see a single commercial.

Netflix provided a superior way to watch the show, and audiences followed.

Breaking Bad’s Netflix-powered ascent was good for AMC, and for Netflix, and for Netflix viewers. But this kind of win-win-win was a temporary phase for Netflix and the TV networks. Eventually, the TV guys realized that even though Netflix could boost them in the short term, they were weakening their own business in the long term by training viewers to watch their stuff on Netflix instead of TV. So they started to claw back their programming for their own Netflix-style services that they began launching. But Netflix executives, who anticipated that move, had been busy creating their own shows.

Even in 2020, it’s not always a direct competition. Netflix is spending billions a year on its own shows to pull more viewers away from traditional TV, but the streaming service can sometimes still work with traditional TV.

In 2019, Vince Gilligan finally released a Breaking Bad sequel — El Camino, a movie focused on Walter White’s sidekick Jesse Pinkman. And this time, the TV/Netflix order was reversed: The movie debuted on October 11th, 2019 and then showed up on AMC a few months later.

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