It seems that apart from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning, yet again, to host the Golden Globes in its 71st annual ceremony it was time to bid a fond farewell to the AMC drama Breaking Bad. Apparently, not just fans of the show have been missing the odyssey of mild mannered chemistry teacher gone bad, Walter White; in a gesture of belated support the program about a dying meth kingpin and his hapless assistant took some well deserved awards.
Bryan Cranston has already won three Best Actor Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the cancer-stricken nice-guy turned criminal. After winning the award three times in a row, from 2008 to 2010, he was passed over for the next trio of ceremonies. His Golden Globe win has gone a long way toward making up for the Emmy snubs. At the Golden Globes, only one other award went to the brilliant series.
Sadly, despite the show winning Best Television Series, and Cranston’s win for Best Actor, Aaron Paul; aka Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad did not win for his stunning portrayal of the “meth-head” partner of Walter White. The AMC show became an icon during its run. Show creator Vince Gilligan’s story followed protagonist “everyman” Walter White’s journey from nice-guy loser to master criminal over a period of five seasons.
Malcolm in the Middle star Cranston showed just how convincing he could be as the “victim” turned dangerous meth king. The 57 year-old actor proved that he did not just have the “chops” for comedy, but, he could bring just the right amount of pathos and dionysian motive to his doomed character.
The Golden Globes bid a fond farewell to Breaking Bad, but, the ceremony also went on to honor those who will be competing for Oscars later in the year. Jennifer Lawrence got the nod for her supporting role in American Hustle. Amy Adams won for the same film when she picked up the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture. Michael Douglas won another Best Actor gong for his portrayal of Liberace after winning an Emmy in 2013 for the same role.
While it was nice to see all the other awards handed out for projects on the big screen, and small, it was the nod to Breaking Bad that caused a wave of disappointed nostalgia. Gilligan thanked those fans who had been with the show from its beginning for staying the course. The show did start off slowly with low ratings at the beginning while the show found its audience, but, as the seasons went on, more people began tuning in to watch Cranston’s epic, yet intimate, journey.
AMC purposefully broke from tradition and allowed viewers from across the big pond, England, to see episodes 24 hours after they aired in the U.S. which helped Breaking Bad garner an even bigger, timely, following. Apart from this pandering to its audience, AMC also encouraged fan “interaction” by encouraging members of the cast to “live tweet” while the show’s aired.
This “new” type of audience interaction allowed a fanbase to develop that increased popularity and prompted avid debate and conjecture by those who loved the show. Binge watching as well as having all previous episodes on Netflix allowed viewers to go back and forth in the show’s timeline. This “selective” and extensive viewing gave deeper insight and fans could find signposts which seemed to show a certain direction of plot.
Breaking Bad used social media and the internet to keep its audience captivated and intrigued. Fans could discuss plot points and question the show’s creators and actors about events in the series. The belated fond farewell for Breaking Bad by the Golden Globes served to bring back memories of a program that was as addictive as the methamphetamine that Heisenberg and Jesse sold across the Southwest and, later, overseas.
By Michael Smith