“It doesn’t get really good until Season 2,” people said. “Stick with it.” The first season was not without its moments, and it laid key groundwork for Bryan Cranston’s Walter White to later descend from family man to soul-shucked demon, but the second season was when Vince Gilligan’s astonishing, gripping, often plain harrowing show really took off. There followed murders, plane crashes, betrayals, ferocious set pieces, indelible dialogue (“I am the one who knocks!”) and meth – enormous quantities of meth. A fall like this in a character takes time to chronicle, and the Breaking Bad team stepped up to that, meticulously crafting each turn and shooting the show as though it were a cinematic offering. From claustrophobic crawlspaces to wide desert vistas, the show never looked less than amazing. And it wasn’t just Cranston’s show, either: Aaron Paul blossomed as Jesse Pinkman (originally intended to die early, he became an integral element), while the rest of the cast brought real life to the characters. At the beginning of the bingeing era, here was some Class A, seriously addictive television. And might we recommend our list of the 25 Best Breaking Bad Moments?

UK & US: Stream on Netflix

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