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Sunday, January 29, 2023


Breaking Bad series ending leaves fans feeling blue

Editor’s Note: No plot spoilers were used in the writing of this article. That would be sick, disgusting and punishable by death. 

Well, it was bound to happen someday. Chances are, reader, you and I are in the same boat on this harrowing, fateful Sunday. We’re trying to distract ourselves with things that pale in comparison to the importance of this cultural phenomenon; things like homework, family, friends, our health and well-being. Honestly, you and I both know that we couldn’t care less about these things on a day like this.

The End is upon us. Our lives will never be the same. There’s no sense in seeking counsel to deal with a hurt this real.

Tonight, AMC will be airing the last original episode of “Breaking Bad,” and fans couldn’t be more heartbroken.

Those who are masochistic enough to have never given this show a chance are constantly asking us what makes this show so incredibly brilliant and flawless (I’m sorry, but that could take years to properly articulate). Producers looking to take a foothold in the television industry have been set to a new, impenetrable standard. AMC is thanking their lucky stars they aren’t one of the many networks — TNT, Showtime, FX — that turned the colossal hit down.

Before the advent of “Breaking Bad,” AMC was a struggling American film rerun network, desperate to gain a significant hold in original television.  Though the show wasn’t immediately a fan favorite, critics lauded it from the start. The show nabbed two Emmys and four Emmy nominations after the first season. Six months prior, AMC’s critically acclaimed “Mad Men” had just swept with fifteen nominations and six wins. It was 2008, and AMC was finally giving the big guys a run for their money.

Fast-forward five more extraordinary seasons, and Vince Gilligan’s small-screen masterpiece has transformed itself into nothing short of a pop-culture magnum opus. It’s completely rewritten the rulebook on what consumers demand from their television sets. (We’ve developed a finer palate in regards to our after-eight entertainment. Thanks, but no thanks, E! Channel).

The show’s presence on Netflix helped to transform the online subscription network into a formidable ratings opponent for behemoth networks like HBO, Showtime, FX and NBC. For those of you who aren’t aware, “Breaking Bad”’s season five premiere in 2012 aired to an unheard-of 5.9 million viewers. According to The Variety, this was double the amount of viewers who tuned in to the previous season’s premiere.

It was also the season that aired after “Breaking Bad” had gained exceptional popularity on Netflix.

Now, one year later, Netflix is the happy home to original series like Emmy Award-winning “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and the “semi-original” Emmy Award-winning “Arrested Development.” Among many things, it’s got “Breaking Bad” to thank for bringing them a new kind of substance-seeking audience to cater to.

So, we get it, “Breaking Bad.” As sad as a day this is, we respect you for leaving on your own terms. (After all, we’re not sure we could handle another “Dexter”-esque departure this year. Eek.) You’ve always been graceful, and it’s one of the many things we love about you.

We understand this is nothing that either one of us could have stopped. You’ve got some insane posthumous royalties to collect, and we’ve got our pillows to cry into after you’ve left our living rooms for the last time. It’s just life, and we’re so, so incredibly happy for you.

So, on behalf on AMC, Netflix and the long-suffering viewers who demanded more substance in television, we thank you for six incredible seasons. We hate to see you go, but we don’t mind watching you leave.

 Senior staff columnist Cara Smith is a communications junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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