Tag Archives: Walter White

Binge Worthy TV Shows

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I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about ‘binge TV viewing’ lately and it seems, every list, is as different from the other.  We all have our favorites, those we recommend to others and those we keep to ourselves as guilty pleasures.  With quite a few shows now on hiatus or heading into break, you may need something to keep your eyes on the screen so here’s my choice picks for ‘binge worthy television shows’.

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Breaking Bad: Without a doubt, Breaking Bad makes every binge worthy list.  It should.  It’s ridiculously good.  I never watched Walter White and Jesse Pinkman when Breaking Bad originally aired….yes I know that makes me a bad television blogger, but it was one of those shows I had to be talked into watching…and watch I did.  I binged on the entire series of Breaking Bad over the space of 2 months and am somewhat glad I was able to take in the entire story-line in one sitting.  Made me appreciate what was on offer and experience the build-up to that last season without beak.

Stars: Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn

Seasons 1-5 available on DVD

The Comeback: Season 1

The Comeback: Lisa Kudrow (post Friends) as a faded and jaded actress named Valerie Cherish who has allowed cameras follow her and her journey to reclaim her former spotlight.  A show that was well before it’s time and only really appreciated after it’s demise. Great to hear talk of a possible comeback for The Comeback!

Stars: Lisa Kudrow, Malin Ackerman and Kellan Lutz

Series one available on DVD

Melrose Place 2.0: Season 1. Bringing back the iconic apartment building with a handful of original tenants, Melrose Place 2.0 offers a rather guilty pleasure for binge viewing.  There's only 18 episodes in this single season that works around a whodunit murder of Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) where most of the tenants currently residing in Melrose Place, plus those from her past, Michael Mancini and Amanda Woodward, are all suspects.  Season One available to buy on DVD via Amazon or you should be able to find a copy floating around eBay.

Melrose Place 2.0: The beauty here is that fans of the original series like to claim this re-boot never happened but for those new to the series, we’ve got an 18 episode single season that follows a       who-dun-it murder mystery of Melrose’s junkie landlord Sydney Andrews. Everyone is a suspect and it’s great to watch while playing drinking games (that mostly involve guzzling your wine anytime Ashlee Simpson appears to act or whenever a character from the original series pops up!)

Stars: Laura Leighton, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Calabro and Ashlee Simpson.

Series One available on DVD (from Amazon or eBay)

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The Chicago Code:  Jennifer Beals post The L Word as tough as nails Teresa Colvin, Chicago’s first female police superintendent who plans to bring to light the mass of political corruption currently polluting the town.  There’s connections to the Irish Mob, undercover cops, and this accents all-round.

Stars: Jennifer Beals,  Jason Clarke and Matt Lauria

Availability:  None as yet  😦

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Tim Daly and Laura Leighton. Source Provided

EYES: Tim Daly as a smarmy and cocky Harlan Judd, who is the head of J.R Investigations, a risk management firm that will bend all aspects of the law to get results.  His company is in financial crisis, his competitor wants to buy him out, there’s a mole within the company, his staff have secrets of their own and his love interest is a do-good lawyer who has issues looking the other way.  ABC shamefully only ever aired 5 episodes of this 12 episode first series back in 2005.

Stars: Tim Daly, AJ Langer, Laura Leighton and Natalie Zea

Series One is not available on DVD but can be found on YouTube.

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ORPHAN BLACK:  Fast paced sci-fi thriller that looks into the world of human cloning and accelerated human evolution through the eyes of young mother Sarah who’s world comes crashing down when she discovers she’s not as unique as she originally thought. Edge of your seat stuff that keeps knocking out reveals and epic scenes.

Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Garvais and Dylan Bruce

Season one now available on DVD.

miranda_2433175bMiranda: Britt comedy at it’s best, Miranda Hart is an unlucky in love, bumbling and fumbling joke shop owner/operator who manages to give the crazy that goes on inside her head a life all it’s own and spreads it among those around her including her highly posh and overbearing mother, her vertically challenged best friend and co-worker and the man of her dreams who works down the road.

Stars: Miranda Hart and Tom Ellis

Seasons 1-3 available on DVD

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Dawson’s Creek: You can’t have a binge list that doesn’t include Dawson’s Creek.  It’s the mega 90’s teen drama that gave us James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams.  Joey has feelings for Dawson but Dawson is too interested in his movies to notice Joey, that is until new girl Jen Lindley comes along while Pacey is having secret meetings with his teacher.  Drama, ugly crying, teen sex…this has got it all.

Stars: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson.

Seasons 1-6 available on DVD

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Nip/Tuck:  Christian loves drugs, money, women and sex.  His professional partner Sean McNamara loves his son, his wife and his professional career.  It’s the lives of two plastic surgeons trying to rule the roost, deal with their inner demons and still come out on top regardless of who they end up hurting.  One of the greats to come out of the 90’s/00’s period.

Stars: Julian McMahon, Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson.

Seasons 1-6 Now available on DVD.

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Cougar Town:  Bad title, good comedy says it all.  Cougar Town feels very Scrubs with it’s humor (created by the same team) and as you watch through the seasons, you’ll see this great show evolve from it’s ‘cougar’ story line into a very tight and funny comedy around friends and family.  Don’t judge this show by it’s title!

Stars: Courteney Cox, Busy Phillipps, Christa Miller and Dan Byrd.

Seasons 1-4 now available on DVD.

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My Love/Hate Relationships With Flawed Characters.

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Dexter Morgan, Jackie Peyton and Walter White

Having only just recently finished watching the entire run of Breaking Bad, a friend asked me what my thoughts were on the show and in particular the finale.  My first immediate response was “I hated Walt”.  Apparently that was a pretty natural response as my friend replied “You’re supposed to by the end”.  It got me thinking how I could become so involved and enamored with a show in which you literally despise the lead character for all the bad he or she does.

That said, this does this not apply to every character that expresses dark behavior.   Take for instance Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall).  The guy is a serial killer (who only kills bad people) whose actions led to the death of his wife Rita (Julie Benz) and several other innocent people along the way (Doakes, his sister Deb and LaGuerta to name a few) yet we are rooting for him to evade the law and continue on his merry killing way while, watching Breaking Bad, all I wanted was for Hank to get his man and put Walter White (Bryan Cranston) away for good.

Nurse Jackie’s Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) is another prime example of a love/hate relationship.  The pill popping superstar nurse all but ruined her marriage, her career and treated friends and co-workers like trash all while downing copious amounts of pills and having an illicit affair and all I wanted was for her to get what she had coming.  I disliked Jackie Peyton for all the horrible she brought to peoples lives.

Melrose Place's Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw
Melrose Place’s Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw

Yet going as far back as the 90’s with the Aaron Spelling soap Melrose Place.  Two of the show’s most devious characters Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and Dr. Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross) both slept and blackmailed and even bombed their way through a decent run of the series, but in true form, all I wanted for these crazy ladies was to come out on top.

What I can’t get my head around is what is the difference between Walter White and Dexter Morgan and Jackie Peyton and Sydney Andrews? Each are flawed, each have done inexplicable acts and yet i’m divided as to who I root for and whom I want to receive their comeuppance.

Part of it, I think, is because we go into a show, say like Dexter, knowing he is a serial killer.  There’s no surprise shock act that makes us question our feelings towards him.  Same applied to Kimberly and Sydney on Melrose Place.  The two made a splash on their entrance, letting us all know they were here to cause trouble, while on the other hand, when we meet Walter White, he’s a married science teacher who’s discovered he has cancer.  We want to resonate with his less than perfect life situations and we do….but then we witness his actions of atrocity (including poisoning a little boy) and suddenly we begin to question.

It’s this tickle on our emotions that makes characters like Walter White and Jackie Peyton so different from those like the Melrose duo, Dexter Morgan even American Horror Story Coven’s Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) or Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Mad Men’s Don Draper (Jon Hamm).