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Thompson on Hollywood

TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Breaking Bad' Goes Out with Neat Freak White at the Helm; Do the Suits Smell Blood?

It is now work like "Breaking Bad," rather than the white elephant CGI films that play in theaters, that furnishes our touchstones and defining metaphors. And if this really is the '60s and '70s, we have to thinking about how it might end. If the Third Golden Age of Television began because the suits didn't see any obvious way to "monetize" (lovely word) the wacky things the creators were doing, can the end be far behind now that they've tasted blood?
  • By David Chute
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  • September 30, 2013 3:35 PM
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'Breaking Bad' Finale Divides Critics: Just Right or Too Neat? (REVIEW ROUNDUP)

As with anything hotly -- nay, insanely -- anticipated, the "Breaking Bad" finale was bound to divide critical opinion. Some found it the perfect cap to the series, while others took issue with its too-neat wrap-up of plot. A roundup of reviews below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 30, 2013 12:26 PM
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WATCH: Best Skits from SNL Season Premiere with Tina Fey and Aaron Paul

Last night's "Saturday Night Live" introduced the 39th season with longtime SNL veteran Tina Fey hosting, alongside musical guest Arcade Fire and Aaron Paul from "Breaking Bad" in a handful of playful cameos.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 29, 2013 12:58 PM
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TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: As We Head Toward the 'Breaking Bad' Finale, We Are Jesse (VIDEO)

On Sunday's episode of AMC's self-referential chat show "Talking Bad," actor Matt Jones observed that his character, Badger, a slacker/stoner member of Jesse Pinkman's drug crew, had been kept around on "Breaking Bad," along with his pal Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), mostly to remind us where Jessie came from. "Badger and Skinny Pete," Jones said, "represent what Jesse was. And if Jesse never met Walt and they never cooked together, he'd still be us."
  • By David Chute
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  • September 24, 2013 6:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments

WATCH: 'Breaking Bad' Stars Cranston, Paul, Gunn, Norris and Show Creator Gilligan on Conan O'Brien

"Breaking Bad" stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris and Anna Gunn (who walked away with a Best Supporting Actress win at Sunday's Primetime Emmys) and the show's creator Vince Gilligan swung by Conan O'Brien last night to talk the immensely popular series, which will have its finale September 29. All were in good spirits following their Emmy win for Best Dramatic Series. Video highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 24, 2013 2:33 PM
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TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season Premiere, Nussbaum TV Game, Johnson Directs 'Breaking Bad'

The season premiere of "Boardwalk Empire" was as lush and well-acted -- and as weirdly uncompelling -- as ever. Perhaps we've watched too many period gangster dramas, at this point, to be easily enthralled by a show that takes a staunchly traditionalist approach to the genre.
  • By David Chute
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  • September 10, 2013 4:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Breaking Bad' and 'Low Winter Sun' Updates, Mark Strong on Brit Actors in U.S. Series (SPOILERS)

The big TV news this week was a breathtaking episode of "Breaking Bad" (AMC) that delivered huge surprises that were, at the same time, perfectly plausible. This is a mark of great storytelling, the ability to jolt us with startling developments we couldn't have anticipated that now seem inevitable. We thought we had a pretty good sense of the possible denouements the show could be aiming for. But now, once again, just a few hours from the finale, all bets seem to be off again.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 27, 2013 4:19 PM
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'Breaking Bad' Premiere Review and Roundup: 'Blood Money' Kicks Off Fast-Paced Countdown to the End, Breaks Show Ratings Record

With eight episodes left, "Blood Money," the final season premiere of AMC's "Breaking Bad," moves faster than entire seasons of this brilliant series. Some huge developments unfold along the way, including a scene fans have been waiting for since the first episode.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • August 12, 2013 4:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: Crime Pays (VIDEO)

Look at almost anybody's list of TV's best and most durable recent dramas and, a large percentage of them, from "The Wire" to "Breaking Bad, are likely to be crime dramas. That means different things on different shows: "The Killing" plays by the rules of a procedural whodunit, while "Breaking Bad" follows the trajectory of classic noir as defined, if memory serves, by novelist Megan Abbott: "Starts bad, gets worse."
  • By David Chute
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  • August 6, 2013 4:14 PM
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Inside the TCA Awards 2013: 'Breaking Bad' and Louis C.K. Accept "shitty piece of plastic"

At this year's Television Critics Association Awards, AMC's "Breaking Bad" and Louis C.K. of FX's "Louie" once again proved to be the favorites, but newcomers such as Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan Black" received prizes as well.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • August 4, 2013 4:15 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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