It’s only been a week since Breaking Bad ended, but at least for me, it feels much, much longer. Far better writers than I have written at length about the finale, so I’m not going to waste time on that (okay, real quick: I liked it a lot. It did a good job of wrapping up various storylines in a satisfying way. And no, it wasn’t a dream, no supernatural deals with the devil were involved, or any other silly theories like that.). No, I’m writing because I’ve seen a lot of people since then bemoaning the end of Breaking Bad as the end of good drama television. While it’s true Breaking Bad is an exceptional show, the likes of which we probably won’t see again for a while, it’s far from the only drama on TV right now worth making time for in your week. Thus, I’ve put together a list of shows for Breaking Bad faithful to check out.
RULES: All of the shows I’ve listed are either ongoing, or planning new seasons or series in the future. The Sopranos is great, and well worth checking out, but these shows are listed because they give viewers a chance to discuss and react in real time, as they premiere. I also picked shows I think would appeal to this demographic. There are plenty of good shows not on here, from Orange is the New Black to Shameless, but these shows share at least some of the DNA that made Breaking Bad so appealing.
We are living in a golden age of television, specifically of drama television series. The rise of cable and premium channels has allowed creators to present their visions for series with less oversight from networks and advertisers. These shows are made with fewer strictures; rules like ease of entry and stable status quo that make things easy to sell in syndication don’t matter as much. But now Netflix has taken things a step further, with original programming produced by them, for them, a TV show that never airs on TV. They have new Arrested Development episodes in the pipeline and a couple more prospects after that, but they opened with House of Cards, a gripping, visually stunning adaptation of the U.K. series of the same name.