If you watched last night’s season three finale of Breaking Bad, I have no doubt that you are just as excited as I am about the fact that AMC has picked the show up for a fourth season. Announced in a press release yesterday just after the finale, the network said that Vince Gilligan’s dark drama has gained 20% in overall household ratings from season two to three. It has also won a few Emmys and features one of the best actors on television, Bryan Cranston.
In an interview with The AV Club, Vince Gilligan (the show’s creator and the writer/director of last night’s finale), talked about how much more story he has left for Walt (Cranston) and his world of crystal meth. “In my mind’s eye I originally saw the show going maybe three seasons,” he explained. “And now I definitely see beyond three seasons. At least four, and possibly five. But it is a very tricky question to answer and it’s one of those things where it’s better to leave the party too soon than too late.”
And then of course, there is a bit of story-driven logic behind that: “As Bryan Cranston puts it,” says Gilligan. “The end date is kind of a moving target. I like the way he words that, because I understand what he means. The longer we do this series, the more possibilities and opportunities present themselves to us storywise.”
As we know from last night’s cliffhanger season finale, there are plenty of opportunities that await the team of writers behind this show. A team that has been putting out perhaps one of the best dramas on television for three seasons now. As a recent convert to the cult of Breaking Bad, I have faith that it could restore optimism in storytelling. I hear from so many of our readers (almost daily) that the situation is hopeless. In a sea of remakes and re-fried adaptations, there are no original ideas left. But there are original ideas. There are truly original achievements happening all the time. Breaking Bad is one of the brightest examples.
For Breaking Bad, it is the control that Vince Gilligan and his team of writers have over their audience, and effortlessly so. In a two episode arc at the end of season three, they proceeded to reach into the chests of fans and pull hearts up into throats by using three seasons of dramatic build to unravel an emotional hornets nest. The evolution of Walter has been one of the most impressive feats I’ve seen in the past two decades of television watching.
And that’s not even the half of it. There’s more to say about Breaking Bad, and say more, we certainly shall. For now, it’s nice to know that both AMC and Vince Gilligan are in lock-step with keeping one of modern televisions marvels alive. Now if only they could start season four next Sunday, that would be nice…