Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of several fascinating original series from cable's American Movie Channel, Breaking Bad was produced by Vince Gilligan of X-Files fame. Former Malcolm in the Middle regular Bryan Cranston starred as high school chemistry teacher Walter White, who at age 49 was told that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer--even though he'd never smoked a cigarette in his life. Unable to pay for his medical treatment or provide for the future financial security of his pregnant wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) and his son Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte), the latter a victim of cerebral palsy, Walter began moonlighting at a car wash. When this proved inadequate to make ends meet, Walter entered into a slighly unholy alliance with former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Using Walter's chemical knowhow, the two partners set up a crystal meth lab, with Walter supplying and Jesse dealing. Now the unfortunate Mr. White found himself straddling two worlds, one legitimate, one definitely not. Adding to Walter's crown of thorns was the omnipresence of his brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), a DEA agent who'd been trying to bust Jesse for several months--and who of course had to be kept completely in the dark as to Walter's new "sideline." Breaking Bad debuted on January 20, 2008.