Breaking Bad is breaking all sorts of conventions in a good way. The show, now in its third season, is about what your chemistry teacher does in his spare time.

No, seriously. Read on.

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a father and high school tutor who is diagnosed with lung cancer. In order to provide for his family following what he feels is his inevitable death, Walter turns to cooking crystal meth with a former wayward student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Sounds logical, right?

However, due to his chemical expertise (who knew it would be useful one day?), Walter becomes to the drug world what Einstein was to nuclear physics. Eventually, their product causes a storm on the streets and causes huge headaches for drug enforcement (and for competing cartels over the border in Mexico).

This excellent show revolves around the father and son-like relationship between White and Pinkman, who sneak out to ‘cook’ in their mobile meth lab — an RV — and dig deeper and deeper into the drug rabbit hole. The focus isn’t on meth-heads but the civilised ‘overworld’ of Walt’s family and how long he can maintain his secret.

That said, there are, of course, shonky lawyers, drug lords, prostitutes and meth addicts littered throughout. Plot complications are thrown in as well — like Walter’s barbecue-beer-in-hand brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), being a senior DEA agent. It all adds to the euphoric (dare I say television ‘high’) that Breaking Bad produces.

The details: The third season of Breaking Bad is currently airing on pay TV channel Showtime. Seasons one and two are available in Australia on DVD.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey