In the olden days, before th’internet, if you missed a show you missed it. If you missed a whole series, you missed that – or waited to hand over a large wedge of cash and stagger home with a hulking great pile of video cassettes, in a souvenir carton, if you were lucky. Thus it was that I never did get to watch The West Wing (seems too late to start now) and, yes, I do feel culturally impoverished as a result.
No such problems these days. I’ve belatedly realised that Twitter is full of something called Breaking Bad, which I was dimly aware of but only as far as connecting it with a picture of a man with a shaved head and glasses looking a bit menacing. It didn’t seem like my cup of tea, but Twitter will wear you down, particularly when people whose opinion you respect keep banging on about something like it’s the best thing since… well, The West Wing, probably.
So hurrah for Netflix! I had a little look last night, and it’s got five whole series of the thing on it! Obviously, this wouldn’t be great news at all if the show itself was actually a bit dull and I didn’t like the shaven-headed glasses man. So I watched the pilot and – I expect you know this already – it’s brilliant. From the opening scene of an RV being driven extremely recklessly by a man in a gas mask, while apparently dead bodies slip around the floor in the back, to the ending where Walter (not shaven headed yet) gets his sexual mojo back because even though he’s got terminal lung cancer, he’s also more alive than he’s been in years – it’s fantastic. It’s stylish and dramatic and has a sly humour. It’s got main characters I cared about (I almost cheered aloud when Walter sorted out the kids who were laughing at his disabled son). The greatest thing of all is that because everyone is still raving about it, I know it’s worth carrying on with it, and it’s not going to fizzle away like Heroes. That’s my viewing pleasure sorted for the foreseeable future (though I’ll be tense as hell now, trying to avoid spoilers).