After having spent my Monday night and my free Tuesday doing next to nothing, I have reached one conclusion: There is no excuse for you to not have a Netflix subscription.
While my job here is to inform you of how to spend your free time in a worthwhile and productive manner, sometimes you deserve a day off. You don’t always have to work hard. You deserve a break from self-improvement every once in a while.
I choose to spend these days with 1999 James Franco. Mmm.
Netflix may be best known for its selection of both classic and recent films, but it also offers subscribers hundreds of TV series, ranging from categories such as “Witty Workplace” to “Suspenseful Supernatural Time Travel” to “Dysfunctional Family” TV Shows. These programs provide an escape from reality, some to more distant locations than others.
Myself? I prefer the more relatable programs that come with an edgy element, like your chemistry teacher cooking meth, Amy Poehler running your city’s Parks Department, or 17 year old Jason Segel coming to your school stoned. I’d be down with any of those.
By no means am I an expert on what qualifies as good television. All I know is what I enjoy. Lucky for me, my standards are easily met. All a show needs to do to make it onto my list of favorites is make me laugh out loud or make me cry. Several shows currently on Netflix have made me do both of those things, sometimes within a single episode.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that one of the best, actually probably THE best, shows on TV right now is AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” starring Bryan Cranston, whom you may know as Hal from “Malcolm in the Middle.” “Breaking Bad” has won six Emmy Awards, Cranston himself winning three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. No one was surprised. The show follows high school chemistry teacher, father, and husband Walter White who is diagnosed with lung cancer. I already feel ashamed trying to even provide a short synopsis of the series, simply because there are so many wonderful aspects of the show.
The most engaging element of the series is Walter White’s rapidly diminishing morality. He begins the show as a harmless middle-aged man whose potential to be a world famous chemist faded over the years as he married a.. to put it nicely, ‘difficult’ woman named Skyler (sorry Skyler fans, she sucks), and they had their relatively non-bouncy bundle of joy, Walter Jr., who was born with cerebral palsy. Since then, Walter had to commit himself entirely to his family and could not spend long hours in a lab slaving over cataloguing the molecular composition of the human body (in case you were wondering, you are approximately 63% hydrogen, 26% oxygen, 9% carbon, 1.25% nitrogen, .25% calcium, .00004% iron, .04% sodium and .19% phosphorous. Thanks, Walter.) But upon receiving the diagnosis of his lung cancer, he worries about how his meager teacher’s salary will be able to support his family if worse comes to worst.
Walter hitches a ride with lovable brother-in-law and DEA agent Hank on a call about suspicious activity in what ends up being a meth lab. After inquiring about approximately how much money can be generated by an amateur meth cook, the wheels start turning in Walter’s head. He realizes that he can put his wealth of chemistry knowledge to good use and support his family a thousand times over. Walter begins to cook the most potent meth on the streets at a shocking 99.1% chemical purity, earning millions upon millions of dollars. But at what cost? Walter’s ascent into power runs parallel to his descent into evil. This is the most fascinating part of the show: seeing the once meek old man hold a gun to someone's forehead while looking them directly in the eye and smirking.
He is the one who knocks, folks. My own descriptions can’t do justice to how excellent this show is. The characters, the scripts, the storyline.. All I can really say is that it is the perfect TV series. I recommend this show to anyone who enjoys character driven dramas, such as “The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Mad Men.” The series is in its fifth and final season, but the season is split into two parts, the first of which aired from July of this year and finished in early September. The second half, which includes the final eight episodes of the series, is set to debut this summer. All but the fifth season are on Netflix, and there is more than enough time for you to get caught up in time to catch the series finale. If you aren’t hooked within the first few episodes, I can recommend some other shows for you to watch, like “Tosh.0” or “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” because you may be better mentally equipped to handle programs like these. In all seriousness though, if you are passionate about your television watching, there is no excuse for you to not at least give “Breaking Bad” a shot. It’s the best. That’s all I can really say.
Do you vehemently despise Breaking Bad and know of a program that tops it? Don’t be afraid to contact me, I am always open to suggestions. You can email me at
, or tweet at @sweeeeeens. Thanks for reading.