Breaking Bad is an American crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad is the __ ( I )__ story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with __ ( II )__ lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine, in order to secure his family’s financial future before he dies, teaming with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The series has been labeled a contemporary western by its creator.
The series premiered on January 20, 2008 in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC, and the series finale aired on September 29, 2013. Breaking Bad received __ ( III )__ critical acclaim, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By its end, the series was among the __ ( IV ) __ cable shows on American television, with audience numbers that doubled in the fifth season from the previous year’s episodes.
Breaking Bad was created by Vince Gilligan, who spent several years writing the Fox series The X-Files. Gilligan wanted to create a series in which the protagonist became the antagonist. “Television is historically good at keeping its characters in a self-imposed stasis so that shows can go on for years or even decades,” he said. “When I realized this, the __ ( V )__ next step was to think, how can I do a show in which the fundamental drive is toward change?” He added that his goal with Walter White was to turn him from Mr. Chips into Scarface.
While Gilligan defines the term “breaking bad” as “to raise hell”, it apparently means more than that. According to Lily Rothman, it is an old phrase which “connotes more violence than ‘raising hell’ does.... The words possess a wide variety of nuances: to ‘break bad’ can mean to ‘go __ ( VI )__ ‘, to ‘defy authority’ and break the law, to be verbally ‘combative, belligerent, or __ ( VII )__ or, followed by the preposition ‘on,’ to ‘completely dominate or humiliate.’”
The concept emerged as Gilligan talked with his fellow writer Thomas Schnauz regarding their __ ( VIII )__ unemployment and joked that the solution was for them to put a “meth lab in the back of an RV and drive around the country cooking meth and making money.”
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