• Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 20, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 88
    The acting is as good as you'll see on TV (take a hard look at the genius of RJ Mitte, who really does have CP). And the script and plot are as out-there as creator/writer/producer Vince Gilligan's other series, "The X-Files."
  2. 88
    Bad brings new life and depth to an old one: Malcolm in the Middle's Bryan Cranston, riveting and remarkable as a chemistry teacher who finds a more commercial use for his skills.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    83
    Breaking Bad mixes desperation and deviousness to yield a volatile, valuable product.
  4. 80
    What this sharp if unsettling show wants to meet head on is middle-class angst, the quiet desperation that starts to unravel in the upstanding when their obligations suddenly seem insurmountable--or what happens when the folly of controlling one's destiny starts to resemble the riskiest of lab experiments.
  5. It's very good, although as sad and disturbing as the mustache implies.
  6. It's unpredictable and stimulating, like the drug that White manufactures, but it produces a much safer high.
  7. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    It's an uneven Coen Brothers--like mix of dark comedy and darker moral drama, but Cranston is amazing as a desperate, conflicted gangsta-nerd.
  8. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    Grisly and wacky, suspenseful and sorrowful, this darkly compelling cautionary fable of very abnormal chemistry is infused with a Coen Brothers-like flavor of macabre humor.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    Series creator Vince Gilligan brings a quirky sensibility to the pilot, and the show grows increasingly rich and absorbing in the second and third hours.
  10. Give Gilligan credit for a pilot, written mostly as one long flashback, that is suspenseful and surprising. Cranston is always fun to watch and Bad is no exception. What's more, a strong supporting cast suggests there is a lot of room for this series to grow.
  11. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    80
    Creator Vince Gilligan ("The X-Files") never loses touch with the mundane reality that so brilliantly magnifies its absurd horrors.
  12. Occasionally, something will pop up to remind us of just how good television can be when smart writers come up with an intriguing concept and execute it well. A case in point is Breaking Bad, an edgy, challenging new series.
  13. Breaking Bad promises seven compelling and unique hours of drama.
  14. Reviewed by: Julie Hinds
    75
    It sets up a scenario that sends Walt, played by Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle"), on an unpredictable, surprisingly fun-to-watch journey that frees him from his law-abiding past.
  15. Not enough of Breaking Bad was available for preview to decide whether the supporting cast will eventually satisfy as much as "Weeds" regulars like Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, Tonye Patano, and Justin Kirk, but Cranston’s Walter is already a winner.
  16. 70
    The show, so far, doesn’t have quite the right ingredients--it could use something more combustible in the mix.
  17. It’s the pacing that makes Breaking Bad more of a hard slog than a cautionary joy ride. It has good acting, particularly by Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle”), who blends Walt’s sad-sack passivity with glints of wry self-awareness.
  18. 70
    Viewers who like to tiptoe over to the dark side now and then--at least once a week--are bound to find Walt White's wonderland of woes worth a visit or two, or many more.
  19. 70
    Breaking Bad is very well done, but it has a bleakness that seems to be manufactured for no good reason. In its spiral down toward nothingness, Breaking Bad pulls viewers down with it, just because it can.
  20. Breaking Bad is a bit of a load, more weighted than wacky, and surprisingly predictable for a show whose main character is first discovered wearing a gas mask but no trousers.
  21. Cranston's performance alone is enough to keep me watching for a while, but I'd like to see something resembling a completed formula, and soon.
  22. In such rare instances [in the second episode], Breaking Bad achieves a perfect moment of nerdy believability, but too often the series fails to provide details that would help explain its characters' illogical choices.
  23. Based on Sunday's opener, Breaking Bad falls around the middle of the pack in the new wave of cable dramas. It's no "Mad Men."
  24. Breaking Bad is a show constructed around a self-conscious edginess. You have to push past this edge and be willing to step inside before discovering any depth.
  25. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    60
    Its achievement rarely matches its ambitions, but the effect is still pretty dope.
  26. 60
    You can feel creator Vince Gilligan (of "The X-Files") straining to build an emblematic American fable and forgetting to fill in his story with particularities and believable motivations.
  27. 50
    Breaking could be a good study of acting, since Cranston and Aaron Paul (as his partner, Jesse) get under the grimy skin of their characters. But there's not enough of the good stuff, like writing, directing, mood, cinematography--you get the point.
User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 2679 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 334
  1. BrandonR
    Mar 31, 2010
    10
    The best show I've seen on TV in years.
  2. matta
    Sep 30, 2009
    10
    Good call Doug Elfman. I bet you feel like a douche now that the series has grown into the best thing on TV.
  3. Feb 12, 2011
    10
    This is how GOD intended TV to be made!!! This has to be one of the, if not, THE best show ever made!!! An absolute thrilling ride from the very first second!!!! The writing and acting in this show is second to none. It absolutely deserves a user rating of 9.4!!! Full Review »