Breaking Bad is the best show on television you and I aren’t watching. The fact that Bryan Cranston picked up a 2008 Emmy award as Best Lead Actor in a Male Drama only two years after concluding his role as Frankie Muniz’s stern, yet sincere goofball father with a short fuse is a testament not only to the quality of the actor, but the entire production.
For the uninitiated who aren’t already watching this acclaimed gem from AMC, and for the hardcore fans who can’t wait until the March 8 season two premiere, Sony Pictures Television has the minisodes for you.
AMC and Sony launched five online original episodes this week on AMC and Crackle. They certainly make more sense if you’re familiar with Breaking Bad – in which Cranston plays Walt White, a chem teacher who’s diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and decides to go all FTW and starts producing and selling meth – but are entertaining enough for this online video reviewer to wonder why he’s not tuning into this show on TV.
In addition to the originals, Sony and AMC are condensing seven episodes of the series into five to seven-minute “summary videos.” Shortening television shows is something Sony’s used to doing for its Minisode Network, but Breaking Bad will be the first instance a program that wouldn’t belong on Remember the ’80s will be compressed.
Certainly, teasing season premieres and courting online viewers is nothing new for a premium cable channel. Showtime set Mia of Californication up with a video blog. HBO created online original vignettes for Big Love. And condensing entire seasons into a few minutes appears to now be a Home Box Office staple. But it’s cool to see other networks jump on board and take online audiences and the medium a little more seriously. Especially when that network is also home to Mad Men.
Come summertime, I’m expecting some sweet scenes of Don Draper’s days selling used cars and Pete Campbell running an uncomfortable amok as a teenager in Manhattan high society.