Observations: It's a modern classic – so why isn't this drama breaking on UK TV?
Saturday 04 August 2012
It has been called "revolutionary" by the New York Times and lauded by Stephen King. Yet Breaking Bad, which is back for its fifth and final season in the US, has not aired on a UK channel since 5USA showed season two in 2009.
Nor is that likely to change. While the first three seasons of the show have sold strongly on DVD, no television channel has struck a deal to air it in the UK.
Why is that? It is a show which is spoken of in the same breath as that holy triumvirate of The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire.
What sets Breaking Bad apart is its refusal to give its leading man, the calculating Walter White, the sort of get-out clause enjoyed by the likes of Mad Men's Don Draper. Where Draper's charisma allows us to forgive him, White is a clear-headed criminal. Most importantly, he doesn't exist in a vacuum – seemingly inconsequential actions from earlier seasons ripple forward to create seismic outcomes in seasons three and four.
'Breaking Bad' Season 4 is out on DVD on 1 October
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food