Two of the most popular TV shows of the last decade – Dexter and Breaking Bad – had, until February, passed me by. I knew of their existence and, in the case of the latter and according to many, was aware I was missing one of the greatest television shows ever produced.
But in February I found them, and yesterday I watched the final episodes of both. Eight seasons and 96 episodes of Dexter; five seasons and 62 episodes of Breaking Bad. That’s a lot of TV.
Dexter is about a man who starts as a monster and gradually becomes more human as the series progresses; Breaking Bad is the complete opposite, with Walter White as the meek chemistry teacher who transforms into, well… a pretty despicable guy by the time the show wraps.
Both made for excellent television, and at times they both soared to heights rarely achieved by TV drama (Season Four of both were fantastic viewing). Dexter fluctuated far more often between fantastic and filler, whereas Breaking Bad was a much more consistent offering. Dexter is certainly quicker and arguably the more exciting; Breaking Bad however is more rooted in reality and aware of its own history.
But ultimately they are completely different shows, and for that reason, there’s little value to be had in saying one is better than the other. I’m only bringing them both together here because they shared my world and my sofa for the last couple of months.
So, is Breaking Bad the greatest television show ever made? No. It’s certainly very good, and it compares favourably to almost anything else out there, but at no point did I really consider it a contender for Best Ever. It would probably scrape top ten.
But hey, I’m just one lone voice. I still like Knight Rider, so what do I know? I am certainly in the minority about Walter and his meth empire. There are tens of millions who disagree with me, and they’re certainly more vocal about their love than I am about my indifference.